The trends that will triumph in 2021 lifestyle
2020 will go down in history as the year that changed the course of things. The question now is, in which direction? From reconnecting with nature to prioritising wellness, here are the ten trends that will lead the way next year.
1. VEGANISM: animals off your plate
“Working with nature is important; it connects you to your roots; it helps you nourish your body in the best possible way. I want to remind people where food comes from,” explains Paul Ivić, chef at Tian Restaurant, one of the few, but ever more frequent, vegan restaurants in the world with a Michelin star. In 2020 King’s Joy in Beijing, Nix in New York, and Joia in Milan joined the list, showing an interest in this type of lifestyle, which according to Google Trends has increased fourfold since 2014 and has peaked following the pandemic, reflecting a change that has put health, wellness and the environment at the heart of a renewed set of values. During the pandemic, plant-based food sales grew by 90% and meat substitute sales -a market that is expected to reach $4,200 million in 2021- rose by 148%. And, experts do not foresee a slowdown: “One third of food is thrown away. Another third is cereal grown on an industrial scale to feed livestock. And, just the other third is consumed by us. Do we really need to eat meat every day? Our health will be the judge of that,” states Ivić.
2. UPCYCLING: the “ready-made” of the 21st century
Or, the ordinary maximum usage of things. A trend that every crisis “rediscovers”, and the current one is no exception. From fashion -it started with Balenciaga selling jeans put together with parts of old jeans, and today the list of firms and designers creating collections with surplus fabric and reinvented garments is becoming increasingly extensive: Marine Serre and Cecilie Bahnsen, Levi’s and Coach, and even Ronald Van From Kemp in haute couture- to gastronomy -there is already an Upcycled Food Association, which this year made headlines for officially defining the foundations of this philosophy and is preparing an official certification system similar to those already in place for organic and biological products-. Architecture too, where projects resorting to ingenuity in an effort to reuse materials are beginning to gain interest and traction. From bathrooms made with Krion Shell -a material that gives discarded plastic bottles a new life- to the Prostore Café Bar in London and Mo de Movimiento, a restaurant located at what used to be Espronceda Theatre, in Madrid. “The work followed a linked, live process. For example, the benches’ terrazzo backrests are made from demolition material, and the furniture was made using the stall area’s wooden subfloor,” explains Lucas Muñoz, the architect in charge of the innovative project. The difficulty of getting a table not only has to do with the food itself -people say that the cheesecake causes delirium-, but also with the philosophy behind the project as a whole. “During this period, we have seen how the message has struck home with society. People are aware,” he says.
3. COLOUR: chromotherapy raises the tone
Pantone has declared 13-0647 Illuminating the colour of 2021, and its name already gives us a hint of where things are heading: after a rather rough year and raw winter, people want light and colour, and there is no more of an optimistic tone than bright yellow. Although for practical purposes, colour therapy is covering the entire palette. Fashion is usually the first to go against the vicissitudes of times, and just as the 20’s gave in to debauchery -also chromatically-, today’s catwalks are heralds of the desire for colour. Net-a-Porter, for example, tells us that bright colour dresses are the grand proposal for next season. “Designers are transmitting through bright and optimistic shades a much-needed joy in our lives,” says Elizabeth von der Goltz, the platform’s purchasing director. And this premise equally applies to the home: in spite of searches for neutral palettes and earth colours tripling on Pinterest during the pandemic -more than one sociologist has an explanation for this: people were seeking a therapeutic effect at a time of uncertainty and agitation-, following the lockdown and looking ahead, people want to liven up their homes with a touch of colour. From painting a wall or defining a bathroom with tiles in yellow tones to adding a pink sofa, the entry “ways to add colour to a home” is being increasingly typed in the platform’s search bar.
4. TRAVEL: expanding horizons
According to YouTube data, 2020 has been a year when users pointed the compass towards the world of travel. And Pinterest analysts, that bottomless pit of inspiring images for any topic that we can come up with, say that it is directly linked to a need for escapism, where during the lockdown the platform registered the words “dream trip” seven times more than last year. However, following the lockdown and as 2021 has drawn closer, searches have increased after promises of easing restrictions and of being able to get into a car and take to the road. Yes, priority has been given to a car over a plane, as the concept of “dream trip” is not so much on a beach in Bali with a daiquiri in hand as it is a four-wheel getaway: Roadtrips are starting to catch on, and they have totalled the most queries on the platform together with stargazing and glamping (the search for hotels in the mountains has doubled, and the further away and more in nature, the better).
5. MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPACES: our entire world without leaving home
There is no doubt that we have currently had to diversify the functions of homes for our survival. Forced by the work-related consequences caused by the pandemic and the lockdown, we have turned our homes into offices, gyms, classrooms and even meeting points (telematic, that is). This has led to a great opportunity for some sectors, such as interior design, sports and delivery services. This has been confirmed by Pinterest, which last year registered an increasing number of searches related to multifunctional homes. Specifically, the search for the term Cloffice -neologism created by joining the words Closet and Office- doubled in comparison to 2019, only surpassed in the home category by users interested in Marie Kondo, the uncontested papess and guru of domestic order. It is a decoration trend that seeks the most favourable aesthetic solution when it comes to integrating an office at home, turning closets into desks and dressing rooms into conference rooms, thus avoiding any work-related or personal chaos. If there is no alternative to working at home, we should at least be able to disconnect from the office by slamming the door shut.
6. HEALTH: prevention is better than cure
Nobody can dare to disagree that health has become the top priority around the world. In the United States alone, vitamin C sales skyrocketed by 144% in the first week of April. However, the premise has gone beyond the medicine chest. As far as our wardrobe is concerned, beyond the fact that masks have become an essential item, fashion has entered the laboratory, and several brands are developing antibacterial and antivirus fabrics: from Giorgio Armani to Ecoalf and Diesel, who are collaborating with companies specialising in technology with antibacterial properties in order to apply them to luxury fabrics. But, industrial design is also echoing a growing concern for well-being, which is translating into an interest in materials that offer other properties in addition to the already demanded functionality. Proof of this is that ISFA (International Surface Fabricators Association), an independent and non-profit organisation, has launched the educational initiative Safe Solid Surface in response to the idea that “working with safe and hygienic materials is and will be more important than ever”. As a way of example, they have placed Krion ® at the top of their list thanks to its bactericide properties.
7. COOKING: the recipe for success
It has been undoubtedly the most visited room in the house in 2020, and even those who only used the oven as a drawer have joined the frenzy for baking bread, giving back its lustre. And, it comes as no surprise, as searching in Google for a bread recipe returns more than 500 million results (and by country, the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom are on the podium). So, now that we have rediscovered the pleasure of kneading, improving the facilities has become a necessity, hence the search for the term “Modern and minimalist kitchens” rising by 115% on Pinterest in 2020. Two concepts shared by Gamadecor‘s new designs, created on the basis of these new needs and in which the change of structure and use given to spaces can be perceived, as it has become increasingly noticeable that contemporary kitchens are now open and connected to the living room. Architects and interior designers, when removing barriers, have found inspiration in connecting spaces, making them much more accessible and less restrictive, which is perfect when we have guests at home and we do not want to miss a thing while we are cooking. Another way of structuring the kitchen is using islands to achieve a central area that can be used for cooking or even as a table. The ultimate goal is being able to enjoy in comfort our daily activity in the kitchen.
8. NATURE: surround yourself with it, without leaving home
Forest bathing -or shinrin-yoku– has been this year’s trending topic. Books have even been published on the subject, such as Alex Gesse‘s, the authority on the matter. “We used to go to terraces, and now, as we have to social distance, there are many more people strolling through the countryside,” explains the expert. But, the desire to connect to earth has not only led to a widespread rural exodus. It has also been noted in the home. We are not just talking about selling plants, which is also a fact: the sales of seeds and other garden paraphernalia have increased tenfold in Australia. The taste for furniture made from natural materials has also taken root: for example, the search for wooden beds has risen fivefold. It is one of the major trends in interior design and decoration, which covers from the furniture through to the finishings. And, in view of an almost unanimous proposal within the sector -such as the marble, granite, quartzite and onyx from L’Antic Colonial, or the natural wood cladding in the firm’s Royal collection-, it should continue to be so in 2021.
9. WELLNESS: the era of well-being
Mindfulness had already become part of popular vocabulary, but it has become 2020’s buzzword: in May, Google searches for this term reached all-time highs. It translated into a peak in sales of yoga mats, the streaming of videos teaching breathing exercises, and the almost mass launch of loungewear collections by fashion brands. But, it also led to record sales of facial masks, jade rollers, sleep aromas… It even turned out that some of the most popular searches in social networks were related to making home-made masks. And, that has put bathrooms in the spotlight. “The ritual of a bath at home is the new spa,” people affirm on Pinterest, where bathtubs have received an unprecedented attention.
10. JAPANDI: the minimalist sum
Little pleases, much tires. Based on this nihilistic axiom, Scandinavian decoration has crafted an aesthetic discourse that has been commercially successful, like a marketing tsunami, and is increasingly seducing the public. But, given the constant reinvention to which the market subjects its flagship signings, a new term threatens to shake the foundations of interior design this season: the Japandi style. The perfect combination between the Japanese-style Zen harmony and the Scandinavian warmth, or in other words: the latest craze in decoration, a product of pursuing inner peace -by inner we mean homely-. This style fuses the best of both worlds -the Japanese and Nordic styles-, giving rise to minimalism in its maximum splendour. Craftsmanship and natural materials are its main pillars, with a solid philosophy that encourages people’s connection to earth. Based on the wabisabi theory, this new style finds perfection in imperfection -the leitmotiv of PORCELANOSA‘s Velvet series, inspired by the lightness of bamboo-, where craftsmanship and natural materials, functionality and clean lines are paramount.