2020 is the year that changed the way we live. We found ourselves working and socialising from home to a much greater extent. Rooms suddenly became multifunctional. These days, the dining table has to work as an office, the walls provide a backdrop for remote meetings, and the kitchen table, on occasions, doubles as a schoolroom. As our lives have become more focused on our homes, it’s not only about aesthetic appeal. What’s emerging for 2021 is a focus on creating a unique and totally liveable environment.
Trend 1: Informality
In 2020, the whole energy around the dining room changed, Brought into day-long use by the whole family, it has to adapt to the new functionality. It’s no longer about a well-defined and perfectly accessorised theme. No matter what style, color or accessories you choose, the key will be to create a space that’s warm and welcoming.
In 2021 the key trends are simply: relaxation, comfort and versatility. Surround yourself with the things that mean a lot to each member of the family. A few quirky ornaments, some much-loved photos in your favourite frames. Add rugs, warm throws, and downy cushions to create a cosy feel on chilly evenings. Entertaining will become more informal, with the focus being on hospitality and warmth. Even dinner party menus will move away from formal, carefully arranged plates, and towards huge bowls of wholesome traditional dishes to pass around and share with love.
Trend 2: Outside inside
Houseplants bring a welcome touch of informality into any dining space and the trend will continue to grow in 2021. Plants offer the perfect opportunity to experiment and create a totally personalised look. No need to limit yourself to one lonely pot plant on the sideboard, in 2021 plants really move into centre stage.
Cacti and small succulents make fascinating table decorations and need almost no attention. Twisted or straight bamboos, in glass containers are another striking option. Few centerpieces can match the elegance and delicacy of orchids, which are surprisingly hardy.
When choosing to make a dramatic statement with a floor- to- ceiling palms, or a striking bird of paradise, large plants create interest in any corner of the room. Add one or more hanging baskets overflowing with flowers and leaves of different textures and colours Choose plants with variegated and multicoloured leaves, such as begonias, sansevierias or striking dragon plants, to create interest and variety.
Trend 3: Breaking the Rules
As things become more informal in the dining room, the notion of matching sets of furniture or accessories seems somehow too structured. By mixing styles you’ll create that essential relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, so let your imagination run free and express your individuality.
Perhaps some ultra-modern chairs around a traditional oak table. Or maybe a classic crystal chandelier over an industrial dining table, with bench seating (a huge trend in 2021).
Lighting is critical too: introducing a variety of table lamps, floor uplighters and soft ceiling lights can transform the room’s ambience. Table and glassware follows the same trend towards informality and eclecticism: different shapes and styles add interest and fun to the dining experience.
Trend 4: Natural materials
Authenticity is another key trend for 2021, and natural wood from sustainable sources is the perfect expression of both. Following the mix and match trend, expect to see it used in unexpected ways, artfully combined with other materials such as metal and glass.
Rather than being stained or highly polished, a soft natural sheen is the preferred finish. This works well with any colour palette or decorating theme. The neutral tones of a solid oak table or sideboard will give a homely and timeless touch to even the most contemporary decor.
Trend 5: Nights of the round table
The final, unmistakable trend for 2021 is the move away from square or rectangular dining tables to round or oval shapes. No matter what material of the table, sharp angles are replaced with soft curves. This might present an issue in long, narrow dining spaces, however, in most homes it will create a more intimate and relaxed feel
The ideal dining space in 2021 is all about the feeling of welcome, informality and warmth that you create. Whatever theme or palette you choose, the starting point is to decorate in a way that not only expresses your individuality and flair, but also ensures that your family and friends feel welcome and relaxed. Take a few risks, create that feeling, and you’ll be right on trend.