How Covid-19 will change how we design and furnish our homes in 2021

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From how we socialise to the way we shop, the coronavirus pandemic has shaped every aspect of our lives. 

So it is of little surprise to learn Covid-19 will have a dramatic impact over how we design and furnish our homes over the next 12 months. 

Property experts at online design and renovation platform Houzz have shared their predictions on the trends that will dominate the industry in 2021, from a love of nature-inspired colours to even more smart technology in the home. 

Many of the trends reflect our way of life in a Covid-19 world, with all-white kitchens that 'look clean' high on the list of priorities. 

Outdoor seating areas with pizza ovens and fire pits that can accommodate socially-distant get-togethers have also become more desirable.

Here, a look at nine of the trends expected to grow in popularity this year... 

ALL-WHITE KITCHENS 

Sleek and clean: Photos of white kitchens are receiving more interest on Houzz, a trend that is expected to continue into next year. Experts suggest the choice could reflect a ' pandemic-fuelled desire for clean-looking cook spaces'

It seems this neutral, light-enhancing choice for the hardest-working room in the house is growing in popularity, with searches for 'white kitchen' rising significantly this year compared to 2019.   

Photos of white kitchens are also receiving more interest on Houzz, a trend that is expected to continue into next year. 

Experts suggest the choice could reflect a 'pandemic-fuelled desire for clean-looking cook spaces, with people spending more time in the kitchen wanting an uncluttered feel. 

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL SPACES

Making the most of what you have: This year changed how many use their homes, with households having to live, work and play in one space during lockdown. Pictured, a desk concealed behind doors in a modern kitchen

This year changed how many use their homes, with households having to live, work and play in one space during lockdown. 

As a result, more design professionals are starting to incorporate more hybrid designs, detachable units, and convertible pieces to create a home suited to the 'new normal'.

One example which saw a surprising rise in popularity this year is the 'murphy bed', which gives the option of 'pulling down' a bed from the wall. 

The experts said: 'This suggests a need for homeowners to hide away large pieces of furniture in bedrooms or spare rooms during the day, so they can double as offices while many of us work from home for the foreseeable future.'

ANTI-BACTERIAL BATHROOMS 

Safe and stylish: Antimicrobial tap materials are also gaining traction, as homeowners look to increase hygiene amidst the pandemic. Colourful bathrooms are also becoming more popular

Antimicrobial tap materials are also gaining traction, as homeowners look to increase hygiene amidst the pandemic. Professionals report a rise in requests for copper-based fixtures, which benefit from these properties.

There is also a shift towards colourful bathrooms.

The most popular combinations and features include featuring pink cabinetry, gold grouting, pastel sanitaryware and rich zellige tiles. 

Meanwhile, 'pink bathroom', 'navy bathroom' and 'gold bathroom' were brandnew additions to the most popular search terms on Houzz in the latter half of 2020, with designers predicting further growth for these trends in 2021.

GARDENS TO ENTERTAIN... AND GROW-YOUR-OWN  

Dining al fresco! Outdoor dining and entertaining options and accessories, such as pizza ovens, are becoming more popular as we face spending more time socialising outside

Self-reliant: Vegetable patches are also becoming more popular amid the Covid-19 crisis

Another new addition to the most-searched terms on Houzz this year, 'vegetable garden' speaks to a rising interest in all things horticultural, with many dabbling in growing their own vegetables for the first time. 

Experts expect to see this trend continue into next year, as those with even the smallest amounts of outdoor space, make use of window sills, balconies and planters to enjoy the benefits of home-grown produce.

Unsurprisingly, given the restrictions in place over the summer, there's been huge interest in outdoor spaces on Houzz. 

Homeowners have increasingly been searching for 'summerhouses', 'firepits', 'hot tubs' and 'outdoor kitchens, which have all risen in popularity as search terms this year. We expect to see more of these features in gardens next year.

And it's not just for the summer months, professionals report an increase in demand for designs that will extend the garden's use later into the evening and year. Particularly dining outdoors, with pizza ovens a popular request for 2021.

CHIC EXERCISE SPACES

Exercise at home: The unpredictable nature of gym openings mean more of us want space to exercise at home or in the garden. Pictured, an example of a chic home studio 

More homeowners are seeking out 'home gym' and 'garden gym' ideas, which have both seen a dramatically rise in popularity this year. 

In 2021, the experts at Houzz expect to see more exercise equipment that fits seamlessly into interiors or furniture that doubles up. 

NATURE-INSPIRED PALETTES 

The incorporation of nature into our interiors looks set to continue, with colour experts on Houzz predicting that warm earth tones, such as burnt umber, terracotta and clay and contrasting forest colours like sage, pine and turquoise will be strong choices for 2021. These colours are perfectly complemented by natural materials such as rattan, jute, wood and concrete which are all popular textures in interior design. 

There may even be pieces that have stain-resistant, waterproof, warming or anti-odour properties coming to the market. 

SMARTER HOMES 

As technology continues to innovate and more household items can be controlled remotely, experts expect to see voice recognition tech used more commonly in the home, avoiding the need to touch switches, household appliances and remote controls, all common germ hotspots. 

No-touch technology is likely to become more sought-after for the bathroom, too, with professionals reporting sensor-controlled taps and lights rising in popularity.

LUXURY VINTAGE 

Sustainability, climate change and the impact we have on our planet continue to be a big theme for next year. 

Professionals are reporting a growing interest in high-end, second-hand furniture, which aligns with the interest in sustainability experts have seen on the platform. 

Pre-loved: Designers are still seeing an interest in vintage pieces as customers look to furnish their homes in a more sustainable fashion

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