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Interior designer Matthew Williamson shares his predictions for how our homes will look in 2021


2021 is looking bright – or at least in home décor trends it is (Picture: Metro.co.uk/Sara Savage)

Never has ringing in the New Year been so welcomed by so many. The pandemic affected everything in 2020: our jobs, social lives, travel plans and even our eating habits.

But it’s perhaps our homes that will see some dramatic changes in 2021, says interior designer Matthew Williamson.

‘Many of us have spent more time than usual at home this year, which has enabled us to assess and perhaps start to make some changes to make them work more effectively for a new and very different looking chapter in our lives,’ says Matthew.

Interior designer Matthew shares his predictions for 2021 (Picture: Sara Savage)

‘Having this time to reset and re-think how our homes work for us has been a luxury we have previously not had. Small as well as big changes at home will no doubt improve our wellbeing, our mindsets and our productivity.

‘It’s a tricky gear change and there are challenges ahead to make our homes – which were once predominantly private places of rest and relaxation – step up and work for the future. But it’s doable. And I believe we can create wonderfully individual homes which are unique to us and will bring us a little bit of daily joy.’

Here are some of Matthew’s tips to get ahead of the trend in 2021:

Get colourful

I’ve always steered away from colour trends but think green will be the predominant colour for 2021. More vibrant and vivid tones will awaken the senses while staying within the popular concept of bringing nature indoors.

I’m leaning towards bright kiwi and limes through to lush forest and tropical greens. A fresh apple green wall would work wonders in a kitchen, or try unexpected jolts of colour on shelves, door frames, under stairs or inside cupboards if you’re not quite ready to embrace a full room in colour.

The ceiling and walls are decorated in complementary green patterns to reflect the verdant outdoors in a Williamson-designed suite at Belmond de Residencia in Mallorca

Don’t save for best

Laying the table became a more involved and considered ritual for me during lockdown.

Care over details such as throws, candles and flowers, which I’d previously considered to be tasks only to be done for best, became daily and regular gestures to improve the mood. It’s these small touches which bring joy and a sense of specialness to the everyday.

Lighting is like the jewellery to an outfit. Get it right and it can have a great impact and truly make all the difference to a room. I favour bold and decadent lighting concepts.

Matthew’s Pooky shades show how you can update an old lamp in seconds

My recent collection of decorative printed shades for Pooky show how easy it is to update an old lamp and give it a new lease of life. I love vintage and antique lights as they bring such charm and unique character to a space. I’m also a firm believer in having multiple lights in one space.

Early next year, I’ll be bringing out a tiny gold battery-operated table lamp which you can literally move to any spot – down a dinner table, kitchen unit, side table or desk. I’m sure this versatile, portable approach is the way forward.

Show off your individuality

I have always believed in carving out your individual style and finding your own design DNA rather than following trends.

The pandemic for me has amplified this belief to go it alone and stay true to yourself, be that opulent grand statements or clean and carefully curated minimalism.

Matthew goes bold in the bedroom

My personal tendency is for maximalism, colour, pattern and layering, and the pandemic has only made me gravitate to this aesthetic even more. Why have one candlestick on your table for dinner when you can light a row of ten?

Why not dress your bed like a boutique hotel with plump cushions, a cosy throw, a water carafe and slippers to hand? Go with your instincts and only buy what you love.

Embrace imperfection

Natural materials will be the order of the day – shiny metals, coloured marbles and petrified woods will all resonate.

Visibly hand-crafted goods will make their mark with flaws or imperfections giving way and taking precedent over the perfect and precise.

Get nostalgic

Pattern will no doubt continue to play a key part of any interior story. Notions of nostalgia, romance and comfort can all be illustrated so well through the clever use of pattern, colour, embroidery and texture.

Soft comforting pinks and apricots set the tone for a year of healing

I imagine we will see less use of monochrome and cool grey tones making way for a warmer spectrum of tones ranging from beige though to peach, apricots, watermelon and blush pinks as we strive to find more healing and comforting colours.

Make your rooms work for you

Each room in the house will have to work harder for us in 2021. Kitchens will need to be even more organised and more storage needed as we continue to cook and eat more at home.

Say goodbye to boring old bathrooms

Folddown tables, kitchen islands and breakfast bars will no doubt have more customers and will be integrated wherever possible. Bathrooms can become havens for escape and solitary contemplation –calming colours and more luxurious materials will be used and we might see a move away from the all-white and stark sanitary solutions that were once the trend.

Living rooms may become more sectional with zones for dining, working and relaxing. With a lot to cram in to a single space, I envisage lighting becoming key and furniture which can be multipurpose and portable.

Cosume consciously

Natural, local, repurposed, crafted goods for the home will no doubt come to the fore. This doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice glamour, decadence and grandeur but that we need to achieve it in new ways.

Now, more than ever, designers are, for the most part, conscious and mindful of their working practices. We have to step up and respond to the impact we are having on the environment. The challenge is exciting.

My online store showcases rugs that are hand-made by a community of craftspeople in India, whose work supports local schools. I also source, curate and sell local antiques and vintage pieces, which bring new life to a space without the need for mass manufacturing.

This for me will be the most prevalent trend – to create and consume more mindfully in all aspects of our lives.

Think about lighting

Candles, vases, and mirrors are my three tips for a quick interior fix. Candles are accessible, affordable, romantic and atmospheric.

I light my lounge, dining table and bathroom at 6pm each night to mark a change in the day and the start of my wind down.

I’m obsessed with vases in all shapes and sizes, and I collect them wherever I go.

Tall vases and quirky lamps are quick ways to freshen up a space

Mirrors are less for looking at myself these days and more for their gilded glory and opulence. I run rows of them down my hallway to widen the space and have a wall studded with vintage mirrors in my bathroom simply because it looks good.

Check out Matthew’s exciting new lines on his website. A new collection of furniture is to be launched in the spring.

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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