The biggest interior design trends of 2021

2021 is all about earthy and raw interiors says Justine Wilson, leading property stylist and founder of Vault Interiors. She says interior styling has come back to nature this year.

2020 Houses Awards Cremorne Point Apartment by Studio Plus Three Photography BEN HOSKING

Whether it’s broken stone to natural elements of rattan and cane and the use of recycled materials, this year it’s all about embracing raw-looking designs with crisp white interiors. Justine Wilson says, “There has been a major shift over the past 12 months to getting back to nature, looking for ways to be more sustainable and generally becoming more minimalistic when it comes to styling. For many that feeling of nature combined with neutrals creates a sense of calm and prosperity, at least it does for me! When it comes to interior accents colours, these will remain inspired from natural elements and earthy tones so think olive tones, rust tones, soft blues and beige and sand tones,” adds Justine.

Justine’s top five interior trends for 2021 include:

1. Broken stone/eclectic paving

This is a big trend: it’s where slabs of stone like terrazzo, terracotta, marble or slate tiles are broken into random pieces and laid in a haphazard way creating a natural-looking pattern. It’s an earthy look that’s was popular in the 80s, and I see it used in modern boho-style homes, hotels and retail spaces.

The Blue Lagoon Build is the latest home by Kyal and Kara (and a great example of crazy paving). The home features building material from James Hardie to help achieve the Australian-Mediterranean coastal look.

2. Natural elements

Rattan, cane and woven materials continue to dominate, especially in furniture and lighting design. These raw-looking natural designs are paired with crisp white interiors.

Bismarck House by Houses Award_Andrew Burges Architects Photography PETER BENNETTS

3. Rendering interior walls

Rustic wall treatments, similar to what you would find in the Greek islands or externally like on a Spanish revival style home are becoming increasingly popular. Think white or beige as the colour of choice, but this is applied inside in main living areas and bathrooms.

Photography & styling by Bureaux

4. Curves and arches

These are very popular, especially in furniture and joinery design. New build homes will have arched doorways and windows as key design features.

Penthouse M by CJH Studio Photography Cathy Schusler Australian Interior Design Awards

5. Recycled timber beams

I see these being integrated in ceiling design to create the look of a rustic warehouse or farmhouse style but paired with modern colours and joinery. They also feature in external architectural elements such as pergolas or outdoor breezeways.

How to design the perfect kitchen, according to a professional chef

Kitchen design has come a long way in recent decades. No longer hidden away behind closed doors, our kitchen are the heart of home – places for entertaining, gathering and of course, cooking.

Modern kitchen design has evolved with this in mind, with appliances and layout’s blending elegant aesthetics with smart functionality.

Acclaimed Australian chef Tony Tan says when designing a kitchen, getting the right layout is crucial. “Each vital consideration should work in a harmonious synergy, as they are all interconnected. If a kitchen is not laid out effectively, you will end up wasting time moving between spaces to get what you need. It becomes less enjoyable, and can certainly affect your cooking results as well.”

Here are Tony’s top tips to crafting the perfectly functional kitchen:

1. Layout. Alongside quality appliances, layout is a key consideration in modern kitchen design as both can have a big impact on productivity. Layout will determine how you use the space, and exactly how functional your kitchen will be. Designing an effective kitchen ‘work’ triangle configuration will give you easy access to work surfaces, appliances and the sink, which means your all-important cooking efficiency is maximised.

2. Benchtop. The second thing to consider when designing your kitchen is your benchtop. How your benchtop is going to be configured in terms of cooktop, sink and working space is connected to the layout stage. Keeping these elements together helps create an efficient and harmonious environment, saving time when preparing food and cooking. Everything within your kitchen will develop from these initial plans.

3. Storage. The next most important consideration when designing a functional kitchen is the storage. A good kitchen will have plenty of storage, with easy access to everything that you need while cooking. As long as you utilize the space to maximise your storage, you will ensure that you have room for everything – from your ingredients, to plates and utensils, cookware and anything else you need on hand when cooking amazing food.

4. Finishes. The finishes you select for your kitchen need to find the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality. In a home kitchen there is a need for clean, functional benchtops and sufficient work surfaces that are hygienic.

5. Appliances. If you’re someone who is serious about your cooking, you will need to look for appliances that are the highest quality and are time efficient. The reason top-of-the-line appliances are so highly coveted is that you can rely on them to last and to work effectively for many years to come. It’s important to consider the effect of an appliance and how it relates to the room, ensuring both its technology and aesthetics are as advanced as possible

When needing things done fast, it is ideal to have appliances that offer a combination of different cooking methods such as Gaggenau’s multifunctional Combi-Steam Oven. “My Gaggenau combi-steam oven allows me to roast and to steam, achieving amazing results in a single appliance,” says Tony. Vastly expanding cooking options by combining humidity (steam) with convection (dry heat circulated by fans), this innovative appliance cooks more evenly while retaining the essential nutrients of your ingredients.