Bellman’s 2021 Design Trend Forecast

Drum roll please… Bellman’s 2021 design trend forecast is here.

These are our predictions for the design trends that we’re going to see a lot of in 2021 (and the rest of the decade).

What can we expect?

Maximalism as a Backlash to Minimalism: Graphic Design

Minimalism has dominated trends for years now. From minimalist bookshelves to never-ending white space, we’ve Marie Kondo-ed anything we can.

But in 2021, it’s maximalism that sparks joy.

So what is maximalism? It’s defined by bold colour combinations, contrasting patterns, little to no white space, layered images and dense text with multiple fonts to create an overall sense of fantasy. Which to us sounds like escapism. And it’s not hard to see why escapism could be popular right now…

Tie dye, abstract psychedelic patterns and inkscapes are all part of the backlash to minimalism. Designs that fill the page and add movement and colour can be expected.


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Beautiful imperfections amongst chaos as predicted by Shutterstock.

Inkscape Colors-blends on Canvas

And embracing colour is cool again! Just like we did for this rebrand for our sister digital marketing agency Emote. Softness is superior.

Elements of Nature: Interior Design

This makes perfect sense. The pivot to working from home and being stuck at home has influenced the trend for our interiors.

We want our space to be comfortable, welcoming and to bring a bit of the outside world in. After years of Scandi all-white interiors dominating, we’re ready to move on! And we’re ready to have fun with it.

We talked to Adriana from Newline Cushions, an expert in the interior design space. Newline is a family business who not only manufacture indoor and outdoor cushions, they’re also styling geniuses both online and face to face for their valued clients.

What’s their number one trend prediction? Grey is out and browns and beiges are in!

Couch Pillows in Line

Adriana has noted they’re seeing a positive response to mixing lots of textures in fabrics and combining these for soft furnishings along with those natural earthy tones. There’s also a further appreciation for vintage and antique pieces which are gaining more popularity in interiors.

What’s the reasoning behind this trend? Adriana tells us, “Being stuck inside during Covid-19 has allowed people to reconnect with nature, which means bringing those colours into their home to create calm and tranquil spaces.” We wholeheartedly agree.

The Real You: Photography

When it comes to photography trends for 2021, authenticity is key.

The people want the truth. Warts and all (even literally). Authentic portraiture is on the rise and this includes having diverse representation. Search terms such as “non-binary portraits” have increased as people source imagery to better represent minorities and the whole human spectrum.

It seems we no longer have interest in photoshopped perfection. Perhaps because it doesn’t have a place in this particularly flawed time in history. An unblemished face is at odds with our day-to-day and to be honest, after wearing the same tracksuit four days in a row with unwashed hair, is perfection really an accurate reflection?

“As a designer portraying diversity is the way we can do our part for a better and more inclusive future. By portraying diversity, we inspire & encourage people of all backgrounds on their journeys and that’s such a needed and positive change.” — Fe Melo, Top Level designer at 99designs

Authentic Exposures-beauty of Differences

Getting Personal: Interior Design

As consumers, we want to express ourselves (it’s the TikTok era after all). And our interiors allow us to do this with flair.

We talked to Romy from Homeroom Studio about her insider design predictions. Specialising in residential properties, Romy and her team at Homeroom Studio have a committed base of clients whose loyalty is a reflection of the highest standards being met.

Their design trend prediction? Stone plinths.

Specifically being used in residential spaces in a way to spark interest and add form and function. Romy’s noticed that clients are wanting to create more personalised spaces and this element creates a beautiful point of interest — for example sitting signature cabinetry or bars on feature plinths.

Stay ahead of the trend and lean into personal touches.


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Back to the Retro Future: Graphic Design

Retro futurism is the forward-thinking nostalgia for what we used to think the future would look like, including hoverboards, bubble cities and friendly robots. Instead we have air fryers.

Cynicism aside, retro futurism is a visual style that uses bold imagination and evokes a sense of optimism. Retro futurists believe in human progress and combine elements of technology with pop culture and a playful science-fiction aesthetic.

It’s fun and we’re here for it.

MPENSI Logo in Retro Futuristic Design

Keen to hear about design trends before they hit the mainstream? Follow our friends at Newline Cushions and Homeroom for more interior inspiration, and don’t forget to follow us for more design tips.

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