If ringing in the new year inspires you to want to ring in some updates to your home, you are not alone. Studies generally show a predictable uptick in renovations and home interiors purchases in the first quarter. All of us have undoubtedly spent more time in our homes this past year than in any previous year. With that comes a deeper understanding of how we live, and what refuels us in these crazy times. All things design are driven by form and function.  I’ve gathered the trends I see beginning to take hold as they pertain to these 2 areas, and will share them over two blogs. Here I will share the 2021 trends as they pertain to function.  

Gain Some Privacy

With everyone in the household home all the time, every day, the novelty of togetherness can begin to fade. In my home for example, on any given day we have my (campus-closed) college student on Zoom classes, my high-schooler on Google Meets, my husband on international Skype calls, and myself on video and phone calls. We’ve all had to listen, concentrate, and contribute without disturbing each other- a tall order! Like most people, we do not have the square footage for four enclosed offices in our home, so we had to get creative in carving out spaces in our house that afford privacy and productivity, while not being in a bedroom. Here are some great examples of creative uses of space for workstations within a home.

Desk under the stairs designed by By Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects in Austin, TX

Desk under the stairs designed by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects in Austin, TX

And below we see a dedicated workspace flooded in natural light off to the side of the kitchen table. A bit more substantial than the smaller desk spaces we are used to seeing in kitchens.

Kitchen with desk, Dura Supreme Cabinetry designed by Megan Courtney of Cabinet Style LLC.

Kitchen with desk, designed by Megan Courtney of Cabinet Style LLC.

Close up of desk, Dura Supreme Cabinetry designed by Megan Courtney of Cabinet Style LLC.

People have also been giving considerable thought to their video conferencing backdrops, adding greenery, artwork and lighting.

All three are great ideas, as these items are also mood boosters, something we could all use!
Regarding design, people are looking to be able to close it all up at the end of the day and not see the clutter. Work-life separation will become more important than ever this year, and so visually being able to close it off whether by using a cabinet door or a barn door is important.
For more on home offices, see our recent blog dedicated solely to this here

Clean Convenience

2020 saw the rise of hand sanitizer use and lessons on proper handwashing. Not only are we all washing our hands more effectively, we are doing it more often. As a result, I have seen a rise in requests for more sinks in homes. These have taken the form of small handwashing sinks in mudrooms and entrances, and more secondary sinks in kitchens.

Hand washing sink by entry, Design by Airy Kitchens in Philadelphia, PA

Hand washing sink by entry, design by Airy Kitchens in Philadelphia, PA.

I have also seen prime real estate in mudroom locker systems, front hall tables, and entryways given to storing supplies like masks, travel size sanitizers, wipes, etc.

Design by Carr Home Improvements with Top Knobs hardware

Design by Carr Home Improvements with Top Knobs hardware.

This can be as simple as setting out a basket holding these supplies by the front door, or as elaborate as creating cabinetry with designated drawers and dividers. All solutions share the same goal- to make it easy for family and visitors to stay safe when coming and going.

This concludes my top two functional trends rising for 2021. Stay tuned for my upcoming Part 2 covering 2021 trends as they pertain to form, specifically the styling and finishes you can expect to see a lot more of!

Sandy Kloncz is the Lead Designer and blog author for Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Sandy is the Lead Designer for Dura Supreme Cabinetry with 20 years of involvement in the field of Kitchen & Bath Design, Bachelors and Associates degrees in both Interior Design and Mathematics as well as a Masters degree. Sandy’s experience ranges from running all aspects of a Design+Build firm to creating beautiful cabinetry designs at Dura Supreme. She has been a judge through the Builders Association of the Twin Cities for their semi-annual Parade of Homes Tour and is continually inspired by creative uses of space, appreciating projects where form and function are blended seamlessly.

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