Home has always been a significant part of our lives. However before the pandemic, it was one of several locations to be inhabited throughout the day. We also had workplaces, commutes, our favourite cafes, and other peoples’ houses to visit. Over this year of lockdowns, our own houses and apartments are now where we spend the vast majority of our time. When Vogue interviewed prominent interior designers about their trends predictions for 2021, the word that summarised their findings best was ‘comfort.’ Now more than ever, we want our homes to cushion us from the harshness of the world and bring us a sense of mental wellbeing. At the same time, our desire to feel connected to nature, biophilia, can be seen in many of the ways we have chosen to spend our time and money during this time. Being so confined has made access to the outdoors feel even more precious. Therefore, many of the biggest trends in interiors help us to bridge this divide between indoors and outdoors by echoing the colours and textures of the natural world.
Grey has had its day. People are now gravitating towards warmer, neutral colours like beige. Dulux selected ‘Brave Ground,’ as their 2021 Colour of the Year. A warm, natural neutral, Dulux calls it an ‘enabling and stabilising colour’ which creates ‘a connection back to the natural world.’ We know that we are subconsciously affected by the colours that surround us. During a year when nature has been one of our few comforts, it follows that we would gravitate towards hues which would invoke the feelings of calm we experience meandering through woodlands or overlooking the sea. Benjamin Moore, for example, chose Aegean Teal as their 2021 colour. Other colours which ground us in nature such as sky blue, terracotta, cinnamon, marigold, soft pinks, and clay shades are having a moment. Whereas a full spectrum of earthy greens from sage to olive to deep forest shades are increasingly popular choices for bedrooms and kitchens alike.
Texture also plays a significant role in creating a biophilic interior. Rather than cold, harsh surfaces like granite and concrete, people are opting for the natural textures of wood. Burl wood, with its abstract grain patterns, is being incorporated in decorative furniture, as is reclaimed wood with its storied character. As sustainability is becoming a greater priority in interior design, bamboo and cork flooring may see a resurgence. Area rugs, flat-woven in sisal and jute as well as plush wool, such as those from sustainable Australia rug designer, Armadillo, are highly sought after. Layering natural textures throughout the design is important to creating the overall look. Think rattan furniture, dried flower arrangements, pampas grass, woven baskets, macramé, wool throws, and ceramic decorations. People are phasing out anything plastic they can to replace with natural substitutes. And our love affair with houseplants is only expanding.
Those looking to adopt this aesthetic in Ireland have plenty of choice. Jysk’s 2021 spring collection is full of natural tones and textures from woven rugs to bamboo furniture and accessories. From weavers to potters to woodworkers, products from Ireland’s many small designers and craftspeople also seamlessly fit with this interiors trend. Our inclination to make our interiors feel more organic is unlikely to be a fleeting fad. As it sits at the intersection of wellness and sustainability, it represents a larger mind-set shift in our relationships with our home. Throughout the tumultuousness of this past year, home has become our sanctuary and we aren’t about to forget that any time soon.