Tropical and modern interior home design

*The content in this post was written in-line with the Covid-19 restrictions at the time. Please follow the current Government guidelines relating to lockdown, social distancing and all relevant matters.*

Making your home into a warm and appealing place where you actually want to spend time has, arguably, never been more important than over the last few months. We’ve worked, played, studied, relaxed and hidden away, and that was always going to put our living spaces and our gardens to the test.

So how can you create something even more special? We’ve asked local designers and some national experts for their top trends to try in 2021.

Pantone perfection

The announcement of the annual Pantone colour of the year is a highlight for anyone who loves fabulous interiors. 2021 has two – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating yellow – and they’ve been chosen with mood in mind. The neutral shade is described as practical and rock solid, while the bright tone is one of strength and positivity, sunny and friendly.

The Pantone Color Institute experts consider all sorts of colour influences, from the obvious art and culture, to new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says: “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

Life of luxury

West Cumbrian interior designer Amelia Wilson thinks spoiling yourself is the way to go in 2021. She says: “After a year of lockdowns and restrictions people are going to be seeking escapism and a bit of luxury. Their first priority may be a holiday but I think this need to treat themselves and add a bit of sparkle to their lives will find its way into our interiors in the form of more luxurious decor. This might be a deep plush velvet sofa, or polished marble tiles or a dramatic oversized pendant light but one way or another I expect to see a trend towards more decadent, luxury style interiors in 2021.”


Stylist magazine says one of the coolest trends of 2021 is Japandi, a blend of Japanese minimalism with enduring Scandinavian design. Though you may not immediately think of the similarities, the two nations have plenty in common when it comes to interior style – sleek lines, no fuss and very neutral colour schemes. Soften the look with cosy cushions and throws.

Outdoor style

Events of recent months have definitely made us appreciate the outdoors in a whole different way, whether that’s getting out in the countryside or spending time in gardens, yards and on balconies – and that’s something that’s unlikely to change in 2021.

Liz Newport, of Buzy Lizzie Garden Design and Wildroof Landscapes, says: “People will be making better use of their outside space and planning for nice weather again. An obvious trend is taking the indoors outdoors, with bifold doors in demand and modern paving materials that flow straight through for continuity.”


According to the Guardian, cottagecore is ‘a visual and lifestyle movement designed to fetishise the wholesome purity of the outdoors’. It’s nothing new, with the trend beginning in the 2010s, but it’s gaining new momentum among interior designers for this coming year. Think dried flowers, macramé, wicker furniture and soft gentle colours inspired by summer days in the countryside.

Real Homes says: “If you’re a nostalgic soul that dreams of living on an 1800s farmstead or in a thatched-roof English cottage then you are guaranteed to love it. While it might be popular at the moment, the truth is, cottagecore has roots in a timeless, homey look which will guarantee to stand the test of time and will always give your home a warm welcome.”

Give me shelter

There’s always the risk that the weather can spoil a carefully-planned gathering so, if budget allows, why not cover up on a grand scale?

Kevin Roper, of The Pot Place Garden Centre at Plumpton near Penrith, says: “The trend for wanting to be outdoors as much as possible is going to carry on well into 2021. Garden buildings can really help and we’re stocking a brilliant new BBQ hut from Estonia. Come rain or come shine, your barbeque will always be able to go ahead in one of these – and they’re really cosy too. Sizes go from five square metres up to 29 square metres and they’re even available with extensions for a sauna!”

Brighten your life

Maureen Whitemore of Cumbria’s Whitemore & Thwaytes Interior Design says choosing vibrant hues will brighten up 2021. “The trend for pattern and colour is perhaps a reaction to worry and lockdown,” adds Maureen, “and you can find both everywhere, really lifting the spirits whether with wallpaper, fabrics, carpets or pictures. This fabulous staircase runner from Kendal Quality Carpets really picks out the colours from the artwork to create a dramatic statement.”

Holiday heaven

We’re all probably craving the chance to travel this year, whether that’s a great British staycation or something a little more far-flung. Homes & Gardens magazine predicts ‘Distant Shores’ is going to be a huge trend in 2021 as we crave new colour in our lives. They say tropical brights, subtle monotones and soft lemons will make for a calm and relaxing living space which is a place to recharge.

Work-life balance

Need a home office that’s out of the house? Paul Ransom, co-founder of Into the Garden Room, says: “The way we live has changed; our homes today need to do more than simply provide shelter – they are now places where we work, exercise, entertain and relax. As such, we’ve seen an increase in demand for people looking to reimagine the way they live with luxury architect-designed garden rooms that feel like an extension of their home and give them physical space they can grow into, as well as much-needed headspace – whether for a home office, yoga studio, teen den, creative workshop or music room.”

Pretty pastels

There’s nothing wishy washy about 2021’s fashionable pastels. According to the team at Cotterell & Co, frosted blues and dusky pinks are in, and can add a sense of calm and simplicity to any setting. You could pair them with white for the most soothing of interiors or add splashes of a more vivid palette for a little more wow factor.

Cleaning up

John Naughten, of Bathroom Design Studio London, says: “Working from home means a lot more focus on our domestic facilities. Hygiene now rises to the top of the renovation priority list as a direct result of the pandemic.

“Self-cleaning toilets have been in the public domain for some time, mainly in commercial places, but since Covid, the awareness of these products has risen, making them more in demand for private homes. Sensor-controlled antibacterial soap dispensers are now very popular, as are radiators and towel rails that double up as extractors to ventilate the room.

“We have just introduced an exclusive range of waterproof wallpaper by Inkiostro Bianco made in Italy of fiberglass, which is designed to make cleaning even easier.”

By Paul Ransom, Co-Founder |

January 8, 2021 |

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