The latest interior design trends of 2021 as told by Debra Design Group

Exciting yet practical: Find out what awaits you for home design as 2021 unfolds.

Zillow predicts that this year will be less about following the latest style trends, and more about features that increase the functionality and comfort of our homes – and in some cases, even add value.

For starters, some people are saying “goodbye” to open floor plans.

“We expect to see an increase in intergenerational living in 2021, as young adults move into the home and aging parents move in with adult children, driving a preference for homes with more privacy and separate accommodations, such as backyard cottages, mother-in-law suites and double master bedrooms,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow House trend expert.

This month, another pro – Pauline Debra Noel, CEO and Principal Designer of Debra Design Group in Hempstead – offers hurry readers his fresh ideas on hot trends. She’s helped homeowners reinvent and rethink with Zoom Rooms, home offices and gyms, smarter kitchens, fun multifunctional family spaces and fabulous home theaters. She says, “The way we design, the materials we use, the way we furnish our homes, will forever be changed after COVID.”

According to a Zillow survey, the desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons Americans working from home say they would consider moving. But many homeowners who stay put choose to renovate instead. Talk about a recent project. Everyone needs a place to have fun, exercise, entertain, relax. Parents need office space for Zoom meetings. Our customers have asked for everything! Even the smallest space can be transformed into an office. This was the case with a house in Elmont. Our design partner, Creative Re-Design, transformed an 8 x 8 guest bedroom into a beautiful office for a busy boss!

Home amenities, like a pool or spa-inspired bathroom, add value and will become even more appealing to families, while smart home technology, like touchless faucets and self-cleaning toilets , will be much-needed improvements that will help keep germs at bay, according to Zillow. Share your views on current trends. Everyone is looking for non-pourable materials that are easy to clean and reduce the risk of infection. Emphasis has been placed on the use of antimicrobial finishes. This year, we’re starting to look at metals, stones, and woods that are antimicrobial. While copper, brass and bronze are hygienic, they also warm a space much better than the (cold) brush or polished nickel of the past. Woods like bamboo, oak, and cork are extremely durable, but they also stop the growth of bacteria. Quartz has been a favorite for quite some time; demand has increased dramatically as it is one of the most hygienic non-porous stones on the market today.

Another trend: retractable doors. People still love the layout of open floor plans, but with the kitchen island, dining room or coffee tables now becoming the pop-up office, more and more people are asking for pocket doors to semi-enclose rooms. Also in demand: motion lighting. The virus can be transmitted through high-touch surfaces like light switches. Therefore, homeowners prefer to install motion switches throughout the house during reconstruction. This trend has an added value by being an energy saver.

Intergenerational living becomes a necessity as young adults and grandparents find themselves moving in with their families. Have you had more requests for a renovated attic or basement? Basement projects that had been put off for years suddenly became the priority. Families are cleaning up the basement to now become a living space: a grandparent’s suite or a young adult’s apartment. A Baldwin client actually bought his house based on the guest suite in the attic. They asked us to include furniture selection and decor as part of the overall overhaul of our home.

A Zillow survey found that 41% of people value a well-stocked kitchen more than ever, due to social distancing recommendations – and to show off their new cooking skills. Do customers request special items in their kitchens? Customers have always asked to knock down a wall between the kitchen and other living areas to open up the space. But more than ever, they want to add large islands to sit and gather with family and friends while preparing meals and eating. For a client in Long Beach, we added a small island in addition to the existing peninsula and a high, tufted velor bench seat for luxury seating comfort.

Outdoor retreats are super popular these days. Advices ? People added outdoor heaters; Smokeless fireplace inserts are a hot item right now. Upgrading your outdoor space can definitely add value to a home. On average, these exterior features (kitchen, fireplace, gathering areas) can add about $5,000 to $10,000 to the value of a home.

Debra Design Group can be reached at 917-940-2772 or

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