2021 Trends: Interior Environments

  • Date 12.08.2020

  • Contributors Joan Scott, Lauren Coughlin, Kathy Marsh, Nicole Belletti, Lauren Coughlin & Anthony Matsell

When our team looks ahead to 2021, we predict interior spaces that are meditative, flexible, just like home, community building, and technology rich.

Joan Scott – Managing Member: After a year like 2020, we’ll be looking to our interior spaces for healing and wellbeing is going to be a top priority.  We’ll be designing spaces that are physically healthy – with sustainable materials and a focus on air quality – but the real emphasis will be on mental health. Interior environments could take on a minimalist and balanced vibe. Neutral in tone, natural light will flood in as much as possible, fresh air will be highly sought after and the hard line between indoor and outdoor spaces will be broken. Even in environments that are designed to be socially active spaces, quiet and meditative places to take pause will be in demand.

Kathy Marsh – Senior Project Designer: Flexibility! I see everything being flexible, moveable, reconfigurable, adaptable – you get the idea. The more it can move, the more resilient the space. I believe that at its core, the workplace will be a place for meeting and socializing, but for some more traditional companies, there may be a shift back to a traditional layout over time, especially for those that just completed a relocation or renovation. And, we can’t forget about health, acoustics, wellbeing and technology which will all become even more important components of a successful design.

Nicole Belletti – Project Designer: After almost a year of working from the comforts of home (so far!), I think employers will find those returning to the office less excited to come back to cold, stark environments. To spark interest and create a pull, I believe we’ll find many offices looking for ways to bring in that cozy residential vibe through warm finishes, layered artwork, more conversational lounge spaces, larger cafe and pantry areas, and a more fluid, agile working environment as opposed to assigned rigid cubicles.

Lauren Coughlin – Director, Strategy + Culture: Social, culture, connection, community: Interiors will focus on building relationships and fostering real and authentic interactions. 2020 gave us all an understanding of the real purpose of our interior environments – places that allow us to come together. Corporate, hospitality, healthcare, and retail will all place a heavy emphasis on creating spaces that allow for conversation, that are comfortable and intimate enough to support exchanges with no individual guards and affectation, and free of barriers that hinder larger group interactions. Living room-like settings, round tables, eye-to-eye level seating, soft lighting, absorbing acoustics – these are just some of the strategies that could help foster that community and connection we all so need.

Anthony Matsell – Project Designer: I predict an emphasis on technology integration. We’ll see more open and multi-use meeting spaces designed to accommodate distributed teams. And done in a way that makes everyone feel as though they are together. In the past, this was often viewed as a luxury, but I anticipate businesses adding space like this as a program must have. As we begin to design less assigned individual spaces and more collaborative spaces, shared technology is critical, but individuals will also need new tools to connect, share, and be productive. To truly thrive in the future, seamless tech will be key!


You may also enjoy…

2021 Trends: Architecture + Engineering

2021 Trends: Brand Identity + Experience