In the past, home décor trend roundups focused on the hottest shapes, colors, and motifs. But these are extraordinary times. With the rise of working from home, virtual schooling, and sheltering in place, people are interacting with their spaces in new ways. To that end, it’s crucial furniture and accessories support these new tasks – and, of course, look great.

Here are some of the noteworthy directions we see décor taking in the coming year.

The Home Office Gets a Serious Upgrade

Whether you’re prepping a pitch deck or helping a youngster with long division, the home office has become a major hub in the home. And as more companies like Microsoft and Facebook announced they are moving to virtual operations for the foreseeable future, it’s no surprise that buyers are looking for houses and apartments that offer room for a dedicated office.

Sure, there’s a lot to be said for having a professional-looking space for video conferences, but a home office is so much more than a Zoom with a view. They’re a way to have everything you need within easy reach, to incorporate ergonomics into your setup, and – perhaps most importantly as the line between work-life and homelife has blurred -- to shut down, close the door, and truly get into your family time.

Function in the Works

Smaller-scale desks or writing tables that blend with your furnishings will help your workspace feel like a natural fit. Smart features like cable-management systems, movable filing cabinets, and hidden keyboard drawers enhance efficiency while also keeping odds and ends in order.

But even if you don’t have a spare room to turn into an office, it is possible to set up shop in other areas of the home. Taking the doors off a closet or pantry is one way to carve out a nook. Wide hallways and other transitional spaces are often underutilized, making them prime contenders as well. Or corners of your living room and kitchen can transition into your office HQ during the day, but still be used for family time at night.

The Family Room is More Important Than Ever

Playtime and entertaining look a world different these days. Social outings like movies, concerts, and sporting events are largely off-limits, which means we’re getting together in the house with our very nearest and dearest for game nights and movie marathons.

For many consumers, this has been the perfect excuse to splurge on large-screen smart TVs, projectors, and gaming units. Smartly designed media cabinets protect that investment by providing the perfect housing for each device, keeping electronics cool and interior devices functioning for the long haul.

Free Flowing

For families spending more time at home, entertainment systems that feature mesh-screened or laser-cut doors allow sound waves as well as remote-control signals to flow-through while keeping entertainment systems stylishly out of sight.

Seating has also seen an upgrade, with a new focus on comfort, stain-resistance, and wearability. Sectional sofas allow endless configurations for the perfect seating arrangement—pull everyone together for a board game or spread out and get comfortable for the latest Netflix series.

Storage Solutions Marry Polish with Practicality

With more time spent in the home, it’s more important than ever to get organized and maximize your home’s square footage. Not only will your spaces look better, but research shows that eliminating clutter can decrease stress and anxiety.

In the home office, this can mean choosing desks with storage drawers, cable-management systems, and coordinating filing cabinets. Additional shelving makes it easy to display your favorite books, photos, and mementos.

Little Black Dresser

Investing in furniture with adequate storage allows you to organize your spaces and keep top surfaces clutter-free.

Elsewhere in the home, multifunctional pieces can provide storage as well as attractive display surfaces. For example, a sideboard can stand as a serving station for cocktail mixers and hors d’oeuvres, while storing platters, appetizer plates, and napkins when not in use. A credenza in the foyer welcomes visitors with seasonal displays while keeping out-of-season pieces tucked away.

Keeping it Clean Matters More Than Ever

After six months spent stockpiling antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, it’s safe to say cleanliness will remain top of mind. This will extend to materials and surfaces we choose for our furniture.

Clean Slate

BDI’s tempered glass undergoes a special process making it extremely durable and a cleaner surface that remains smudge and finger-proof resistant.

Surfaces made from non-porous materials such as metal, plastic, porcelain, and glass mean bacteria and viruses can’t “hide.” And as an added bonus, these materials are often more durable and able to withstand continued use, making them a good investment.

Don’t Discount the Softer Side

At the end of the day, your home is more so much more than a place to take care of business. It’s a sanctuary. Sumptuous textures – think nubby upholstery, high-pile rugs, pillows made from velvet and faux fur, and cashmere throws – add variation and visual depth to arrangements otherwise dominated by 2-D designs. Even for hard surfaces, texture will play an important role in 2021, giving dimension to case goods, accessories, and occasional pieces that can bring an artistic nuance to a space.

Against the Grain

Texture will be more prevalent in home furnishings this coming year, with décor items and even furniture boasting more tactile surfaces.

By rethinking and even investing in your home spaces in 2021, we can give ourselves a fresh start to the year, and most importantly, remind ourselves that better days are ahead.