In my daily work I see beauty and find inspiration in authenticity, simplicity, art, comfort, nature, technology, and travel. I have created this book that takes these principals to heart and delivers my vision of what’s on the horizon. It is my hope that these stories will find connection, light a spark, evoke emotion and, above all, enhance your lifestyle.
As CEO, Principal and Creative Director at TRIO, I’m constantly challenging my team to design around a story – to find the why behind the what. Designing with a good story in mind helps create connection throughout the design process, and allows for something personal and memorable to be put out into the world.
At TRIO, lifestyle and behavioral data have long been the foundation of our design efforts. To effectively reach people – to become memorable to them – you have to give them something that resonates on a deeper, emotional level.
You have to understand them beyond the point of the purchase – What do they value right now? How are they living in this moment? What do they need and want? What are they afraid of? What motivates them? What are their hopes for the future?
This year, the answer to those questions changed radically in some ways (hello, quarantine). In others, the tumult of 2020 has reinforced previously held values, bringing them to the top of the priorities list.
As I started thinking through my predictions for consumer design trends in 2021, I began by unpacking what happened to people this year. Several key concepts and associated consumer profiles emerged and helped shape my predictions.
Pablo Picasso said, “colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” It is true, color makes us feel things. It draws us in and creates a mood. Color makes design come alive. One of the key trends we’ll see in color is the emphasis on simple, but not somber, color palettes. We’ll see richer, moodier hues like ICELANDIC COAST across the design world.
Retro-influenced color palettes will continue to enjoy popularity, while pastel shades inspired by Scandinavian style will begin to fall from favor. Deep like the sea, moody like the tides, and subtle like the sky – ICELANDIC COAST is a color that will be seen in furniture, artwork, wall coverings, lamps and accessories. It will be used to evoke emotion and spark interest.
The beauty of all design is that it is always evolving. While a particular design may call back a previous era, I always view things through the lens of our present experiences and perspectives. After a year of tremendous pressure and challenge, I anticipate a significant evolution in the field of design. In an age when information is at our fingertips, the world of design is getting bigger and changing faster than ever before. The rules are being bent. People from all disciplines and walks of life are participating and there is a freer exchange of ideas.
The way we use spaces is evolving and changing. People are personally being asked to evolve the way they’ve always done things and consider new perspectives. From the highest levels of design to the most personal, 2021 will be about making sure you are ALWAYS EVOLVING.
Among materials, wood will rule 2021. I’ve seen Scandinavian simplicity and the concept of hygge gaining in popularity for several years now. Those factors, combined with a growing understanding of the power of biophilic design, will make PRECIOUS WOODs a major global design influence in 2021.
The best thing about natural materials, and wood in particular, is the variance – the veins and eyes, the multitude of shades and colors, the small imperfections – all of which lend to the uniqueness of each piece and offer endless opportunities for personalization. Far from the traditional matched-set approach of the past, I predict a more fearless, global approach to design with TIMBER WOOD, using different varieties and colors to create a more eclectic, hand-picked vibe.
More time spent at home has prompted a reevaluation of what we value in the places we inhabit. Along with the boom in home improvement and redesign projects, we’ll see a return to old ideas of SUBTLE LUXURY – with modern twists. Think organic palettes, semi-precious and natural stone accents, sprawling water features and design-embedded structured ceilings. The sophistication of the ‘20s coexists comfortably with the classics, contrasts beautifully with the minimalism of Scandinavian style and emphasizes the brutality of the loft. We expect to see a number of elements of Art Deco design – with symmetrical organization of spaces, gilded details, noble colors and plenty of mirrors – across mood boards in 2021.
We’ll also see a renewed focus on luxurious materials, from fabrics to marble, precious woods and metals. Velvet in sapphire, citrine, emerald and amethyst will continue to enjoy favor in everything from vintage finds to new designs.
One of the most important trends of this year will actually be the rejection of mass trends and a focus on curating hyper-individualized spaces. Everything that is dear to a person – their values, their interests and their lifestyle – can be manifested in the design of their space. The interior is no longer limited to one style, but instead to one’s style – reflecting the needs and preferences of the individuals who live there. There may be multiple styles mingling in one home, with one-off, custom or limited-edition pieces signaling a person’s taste and individuality.
In the mass market, we’ll continue to see products that allow the consumer to customize – changing color, material and finishes or the location of lamps, shelves, modules in a floorplan.
We will see a collective focus on nature in all its expressions in 2021. The events of 2020 reinforced the strong connection between nature and human health and wellbeing. I anticipate a renewed focus on using natural materials and design that supports a NATURAL HARMONY with the environment. Materials in their natural state – unpainted wood surfaces, textured stone, living plants, ceramics and wicker furniture – will take center stage.
As consumers become more broadly aware of the health and environmental impacts of not only the materials the use, but the materials they bring into their home, transparency and access to information regarding the makeup of products will become more important. Decorative elements and prints will also gravitate towards nature. Images of animals, birds, leaves and flowers are increasingly appearing in modern urban interiors. We will continue to see the evolution of vivid tropical motifs and floral prints on everything from walls to floors to textiles.
In addition to the home improvement projects we saw as a result of increased time at home in 2020, we will see a growing desire for personal improvement, and a renewed SENSE OF BEING, manifest in design.
From physical fitness to mental health and spiritual explorations, the influence of personal growth and awakening will influence consumer behavior significantly in 2021. In interior design, this will manifest in a greater focus on natural light, natural textiles, glass, metals, stone and crystal. Ancient concepts related to the energy and flow of a design will reach new audiences and we’ll see more of a focus on designs that celebrate the creative spirit and a sense of expanding consciousness.
Angela regularly collaborates with national brands such as Phillips Collection, TileBar and Wildcat on limited edition lines of home furnishings and products.
After very successful partnerships with Phillips Collection and TileBar, Angela is excited to share more of her creativity, knowledge, and design expertise with other brands and products. With a master’s degree in Sustainable Design, Angela brings a passion for environmentally responsible solutions that consider how a space impacts the health and happiness of the people who use it. Having established a reputation for designing environments which seamlessly blend marketing, design, wellness and sustainability, Angela is currently leading the charge to incorporate WELL Building Standards into production and multifamily housing.
Benefits when partnering with Angela include the fact that her interior design firm, TRIO, is one of the most highly regarded, fastest growing design and visual merchandising firms in the nation, and is considered the international leader in creative, market-driven design. TRIO has generated over $7B in revenue for builder and developer partners and, over the past three years alone, purchased and placed over $28M worth of product and merchandise. As a Top 100 Giant, TRIO’s work is regularly featured in national publications and has won over 80 national awards. This type of merchandising and marketing presence goes a long way towards strengthening any brand or product.
For manufacturers interested in partnership opportunities we welcome the chance to speak with you.