80s-inspired décor makes a comeback in 2021.
80s-inspired décor makes a comeback in 2021.
Image: Supplied

1. Something personal

A point of view has increasingly become indispensable when it comes to craft and décor accessories. Perfect is passé. Personal is a must. Whether it’s a strong narrative, or a one-of-a-kind shape, the pieces that will be most in demand are those that form a talking point, demand attention and add gravitas to a space.

The best genre to see this trend play out in is via the wave of beautiful statement ceramics and objets being produced locally. Think organic shapes, touchable texture and an interesting backstory. Your go-to artists right now are the likes of Ceri Muller, whose intriguing pots are arresting and endearing all at once, and celebrated ceramic artist Andile Dyalvane whose new iThongo collection — made up of vessels and seating — explores the strong symbolism and sense of ceremony embedded in his Xhosa heritage.

Andile Dyalvane ceramics.
Andile Dyalvane ceramics.
Image: Supplied
Ceri Muller ceramics.
Ceri Muller ceramics.
Image: Supplied

2. Hot and cool

Cued by the global need for warmth and positivity, Pantone’s announcement of yellow as its colour of the year was less surprising than the fact that it was one of two shades to share the 2021 podium. Joined by a tone of grey which offers a serene and grounding counterpoint, the union of Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength, positivity and balance.

Pantone's colour of the year: yellow.
Pantone's colour of the year: yellow.
Image: Supplied

“As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation,’ said the brand in its statement announcing the choice. Locally consult Plascon and Dulux for their selection of yellow and grey shades.

3. Comfortable nostalgia

As we nested and rested in 2021, forced by circumstance to create havens of our houses, it became glaringly obvious that comfort is essential to the notion of home. Hard edges and sterile spaces no longer have a place in spaces that are required now more than ever to nurture our physical and emotional wellbeing. Simultaneously we’re seeing a strong sense of nostalgia and a longing for what was — a result perhaps of the current challenges we face. These two directions combine quite charmingly in a design trend that celebrates traditional décor motifs and rustic beauty.

Cottagecore, as the larger lifestyle aesthetic is known, romanticises the idea of a simple country life, and this has filtered into the interiors world in the form of time-honoured traditions and ‘old-fashioned’ styles. Think chintz and still-life paintings, bunches of meadow blooms, floral wallpaper (see Lemon’s extensive range of archivally inspired floral and foliage patterns), well-loved antiques and cosy sofas — your grandmother’s house, but more curated. Greg Mellor’s De Hoek house and Jacques Erasmus’ Jonkmanshof are both elevated examples of this trend that’s swept the internet and each offers an inspiring way to achieve pastoral, but polished perfection.

Cottagecore and ‘old-fashioned’ styles trend in 2021.
Cottagecore and ‘old-fashioned’ styles trend in 2021.
Image: Supplied
Cottagecore and ‘old-fashioned’ styles trend in 2021.
Cottagecore and ‘old-fashioned’ styles trend in 2021.
Image: Supplied

4. Going (and staying) global

We couldn’t travel much in 2020, and who knows what 2021 holds for would-be globetrotters. So expect to see homeowners satisfying their wanderlust and expressing their yearning to explore foreign lands via their own spaces.

We’ll see décor with a global bent continue to be celebrated in eclectic and layered fashion. East meets West, meets Africa. This can take the form of richly layered spaces and storied pieces — see the evocative and artful way that objects, antiques and artefacts have been curated in Kubili House as inspiration, or a brand like Bofred’s globally inspired Bask collection.

Kubili House.
Kubili House.
Image: Supplied

The beauty of this particular trend is that there are no rules. Pieces should ideally be meaningful, authentic, well-made and combined in a balanced end result, but as far as provenance, you can experiment to your heart’s content.

5. Acceptable in the 80s

Every year, at least one decade gone by gets another chance to shine. In décor terms, 2021 will see elements of the 80s creep back into your home. Playful, a little gaudy at times, never shy and retiring, the 80s didn’t take itself too seriously. Experiment with punches of bright primary colours, glamorous lighting, geometric patterns and statement art. The idea is to have fun — we all need a little of that right now. But if sedate is more your speed, incorporate a few non-permanent accents by way of cushions, wall prints and lamps — something you can switch out seamlessly next season. Take inspiration from Tristan Plessis Studio’s collaboration with power duo Jana + Koos on The Mighty Fine hotel in Joburg — irreverent creative expression at its most upbeat.  

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