10 living room trends for 2021 designers want you to know about

Looking for living room trends to inspire your makeover? We've asked the experts what's looking to be big for 2021

Living room trends
(Image credit: Design by Emily Henderson Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

Looking out for living room trends? Redecorating your living room is one of the most joyous jobs. Don't get us wrong, we love a kitchen makeover, and a bathroom reno before and after is all well and good. But a living room? A living room can be easy, a living room can be quick. Hey you can probably just makeover your living room yourself in a couple of weekends. But how you redecorate, what styles you go for, what paint colors, what layouts, that's when things get a little more complicated.

But fear not because we have asked the experts (as well as called on our own humble views) and pulled together ten top living room trends that should inspire your next makeover. From the on trend colors to choice, to the sofa shapes that are making a comeback, just keep scrolling to start planning...

1. Embracing Fika (aka make your space super comfy)

Coffee table decor ideas

(Image credit: H&M)

Because when you are potentially spending literally all day every day in your living room, comfort comes above everything else. But of course, a comfy, laid-back space can still be stylish, it's just about layering up soft furnishings and keep all the lines soft. A soft color palette suits this trend too. 

'This year we’re seeing a big focus on overall wellbeing, having a zen-like space to protect us from the outside world is becoming increasingly important now we are spending more time at home.' says Kelly Collins, Head of Creative at Swyft (opens in new tab).

'The Swedish Fika, is a concept based around making time to take a break. It’s not surprising that it has become popular recently. I think the importance of mental wellbeing will be one of the key things in the front of their minds. When it comes to Fika, it’s all about the round edges. Think sofas with squishy seating and rounded cushions.'

2. Wanderlust 

Living room trends

(Image credit: David Woolley)

Again, this living room trend makes total sense right? 2020 was the year of staying at home, so we are now all desperate to bring in some global, exotic vibes into our homes. For a living room that means looking out for unique pieces that have a bit of a story to them. Textiles are perfect for this, cushions, throws, rugs will all add some interest to your room.

Want to get the look on a budget? Framing prints from past trips or even adding travel books to your coffee table set up can give your space a wanderlust feel. 

3. Bringing in sun baked colors

Living room with orange sofa

(Image credit: Fiona Murray)

So what colors are on trend for living rooms in 2021? Well, grey is obviously still a big one, that's not going anywhere any time soon, but designers are seeing a shift towards much warmer, more comforting hues. Think terracottas, muted pinks and yep, even beige is back.

'The living room is a space for socializing and relaxing with family and friends and so it’s important to opt for a color scheme that fits with mood or atmosphere you’re looking to create as well as establishing your signature style.' says Helen Shaw, Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab) Director.

'Over the last year, we’ve seen homeowners opting for dark and moody colors in their living rooms to add ambiance and character to the room. However, for 2021 midtown, sun-baked hues will be introduced into our living rooms which will add a welcome splash of color and cheeriness from season to season.'

4. Modern farmhouse vibes

Living room with wooden beams and rustic decor

(Image credit: Design by Emily Henderson Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

Farmhouse style is a classic, it's always on-trend, but what we do tend to see is different takes on the look come and go. Right now it's all about a more contemporary farmhouse look. Still lots of textures and slubby materials going on, buts freshers and lighter, with more clean lines in there and less clutter too. 

5. Traditional florals are back 

Sandberg floral living room wallpaper

(Image credit: Sandberg)

We all knew this one was coming. Bridgeton-inspired interiors have been all over Pinterest so far this year and the search for Regency furniture has just gone up and up! While not every home with suit pelmets and chintz, there are more subtle ways to bring this trend into your home. 

'We have definitely noticed a shift in interiors tastes and trends in recent years, with a move towards heritage designs centered around florals and nature.' says
Nina Tarnowski, Founder and Designer for Woodchip & Magnolia (opens in new tab).

'Period-style dramas like Bridgerton and The Crown have fuelled a resurgence in vintage styles, while trends like Cottagecore, a comforting blend of nostalgia and nature, have also soared in popularity.'

'We’ve noticed tastes in color palettes have shifted too, with the new generation not afraid to mix things up, such as powdery pinks pairing beautifully with masculine dark greens. Indeed, greens, blues and yellows are all on the rise, offering a blend of masculine and feminine that suits today’s gender-fluid generation.'

6. Rugs on Rugs

Kate and Mike’s schoolhouse renovation took more than their share of blood, sweat and tears – but the unique open-plan home they’ve created is worth he effort

(Image credit: Future© Fiona Murray)

A super easy living trend to update your space. A new feature rug.  'A rug can add the perfect finishing touch to your living room. It pulls the scheme together and helps to zone a space when working with a larger room.' explains Jen & Mar from Interior Fox (opens in new tab)

'And don’t be afraid to maximize: the bigger the rug, the better in our opinion. A large rug will create maximum comfort underfoot while adding warmth and texture to wooden floors. Our best design tip: make sure to place the rug underneath the front of the sofa; this will bring your key furniture pieces together. To avoid the room feeling overcrowded, give the rug enough space from the wall, ensuring the sides of the floor are exposed.'

7. Minimalist Japanese-style interiors 

Minimalist living room with statement light

(Image credit: Kagu Interiors)

If you're a minimalist lover this is the living room trend for you. This is also a trend you can incorporate into your current space right now, since it's more about layout and flow around the room rather than buying a whole new look.

'We continue to be influenced from much simpler cultures and ways of living, particularly from the Japanese. We are adapting this way of living as more of a lifestyle rather than a trend. The key is to embrace the core principles that lie within Japanese design; balance and order, serenity, and love for natural beauty.' explains Ben Stokes, Founder & Interior Designer for KAGU Interiors (opens in new tab).

'When designing the living room, begin with the layout, everything should be carefully placed to provide free movement in the room, with a focus on well-positioned windows with a view to a garden, this gives an impression of more space. Remember less is more, the room should feel uncluttered and serene. Incorporate streamlined furniture with simple lines and natural elements such as wood and linen. Complete with layered textures, plants and meaningful objects for a cohesive look.'

8. Large scale furnitures 

Living room rug ideas

(Image credit: Rachel Manns)

Finally, comfy massive sofas are back in style! For so long we have scrunched up on Mid-century modern two seater, that might look gorgeous but is not quite suitable for the amount of time we spend binge-watching Netflix.

'Having spent prolonged periods of time at home with the whole family, we've certainly seen a shift away from occasional seating, to much more expansive comfort. Large scale corner formats and softer fillings are taking centre stage, now that we're lounging more than ever.' explains Ruth Wassermann, Design Director at MADE.COM (opens in new tab).

'These larger, softer sofas are just one example of how people are looking to create more calming and cocooning spaces within their home. We've also seen a rise in demand for natural materials like linen, or textural boucles and corduroys, all of which add to the sense of sanctuary that we're all craving.'

9. Curated shelving 

Living room trends

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Need a cute background for your Zoom calls? A nice shelf set up is your answer. Plus shelves bring in texture and interest to a living room and allow you to bring in a bit more personality. 

There are loads of ways to style shelving and the look you go for will totally depend on your living room look, but we'd say always mix and match. Books, vases, photo frames, plants, having this variety of objects is going to create the more interesting display. 

10. 70's style 

Green living room

(Image credit: Richard Parsons)

Mid-century has been going strong for years now, it was about time another decade started creeping into our living room. 70's interiors are all about that quite hippie, boho feel – macrame, wallhanging, terrazzo, shag rugs and a lot of orange. But there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your style and give it a modern twist. 

Soft furnishings are the easiest and most affordable way to get some 70s vibes going in your living room. Try throwing down a worn Aztec rug or switching out your pillows for some texture numbers. Houseplants are a great addition too, and rattan furniture of course, which was big in the 70s but can give a more contemporary look to your space. 

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.