Never have we had as intimate a relationship with our homes as in 2020. It’s like we got reacquainted with every piece of furniture and accessory and in spring cleaning, we discovered a lot of junk but also some treasures.
We realized what we value most and in so doing redefined ourselves and the home that we want to live in. Fine craftsmanship and slow artisanal work take precedence over impulsive, mass-produced acquisitions. Safety and health are primary concerns as we put protocols in place and redesign, or set spaces for exercising, destressing and caring for our bodies. A workspace is also integrated into our homes but at the same time we need the space to escape so there’s room for fantasy and a sense of grandeur in our interiors.
We also value nature now, more than ever, and find ways to connect. Hence, the importance of outdoor spaces like patios verandas and balconies where we can enjoy the sun and welcome the birds that come to visit. Realizing the importance of the environment, we also feel responsible for preserving it through upcycling, the use of sustainable materials and ethical practices.
With the future uncertain, we look to the past for comfort and warm, cozy feelings. Soft colors and pastels abound, together with rounded edges in furniture and padded walls. Florals a la Laura Ashley brighten rooms and décor is on the traditional side, like old prints that recall our family homes but with contemporary touches like sculptural furniture in the mix to keep it new and fresh.
Nature is ever-present in the home through picture windows of gardens and natural elements and materials like rattan and cane furniture, which are preferably done in the slow, artisanal tradition. Old woods add a patina to interiors aside from bringing nature in. They also blend well with houseplants.
As we learned from our spring cleaning, the finely crafted has more value and has a timelessness compared to the trendy, mass-produced object or tourist tat. Hence, when we do our interiors, details like carving for moldings and furniture, using noble materials is important and pieces are chosen for their classic, heirloom qualities.
Our outdoor spaces are no longer just for barbecues but for living and entertaining, so we should pay a little more attention in decorating this previously overlooked space. As an essential part of the home, they have a similar color palette to the indoor area but can have layers of textures and patterns that make it more personal.
If you want it modern, rattan furniture can be styled with monochrome accessories or to go more traditional, rustic fabrics and accessories can be used.
THE GRAND MILLENNIAL
The 2021 version of granny chic is with floral prints, lace tablecloth and embroidered curtains, but without the saccharine sweetness. So even if old-fashioned prints and designs are used, they are reappropriated and given a new twist by mixing them with modern pieces like a mid-century sofa upholstered in velvet or sculptural brass tables and modern lighting fixtures.
SUSTAINABILITY AND DIVERSITY
With pronounced environmental awareness, we will be shopping more responsibly, repurposing and upcycling what we have and giving our support to local communities and independent ateliers. We will also look to other cultures and have a greater appreciation of their artisanal crafts.
Locked down for so long, you deserve that splurge on an unusual, statement-making piece that can be the highlight of a room. Look to your local gallery or auction house for that artwork or prized furniture piece that will lift your mood and complete that look.
COLOR OF THE YEAR
The past year could not possibly be summed up in one word, much less one color, so Pantone has chosen two colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray, “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation,” like the colors of pebbles on the beach with a weathered appearance that reflects the ability to stand the test of time. This gray “quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”
The second color is “Illuminating,” a bright, cheerful yellow, “aspirational and gives us hope, to feel that everything is going to get brighter — this is essential to the human spirit.”