Top Portland Home Design Trends of 2021

portland wallpaper design trends

The pandemic has provided some with the perfect opportunity to rethink their home space. We combed all the best Portland home design blogs and Instagram accounts to bring you this trendsetting city’s seven biggest decor influences for 2020 and into 2021.

1. Lighting gets specific. “We have all been in that Zoom meeting where someone has terrible lighting and they look like that are giving an anonymous witness testimony or live in a yellow covered world,” says Portland designer Kevin Twitty. Let 2020 be the year you perfect your home’s lighting situation (start by learning the difference between watts, lumens and Kelvins). LED is the best, and they cost one-fifth of what they did seven years ago. LED bulbs can mimic any look from traditional bright white incandescent to the vintage glow of an Edison bulb. Tiny LEDs are also going inside everything, from bathroom faucets to cabinets, to starry-sky effect ceilings.

2. Down with Round. The hot 2020 trend of “neotenic” furnishings and accessories is all about being chunky, round and whimsical. If stools and tables with fat legs and teddy-bear couches feel like a throwback to the 80’s, with its casual and spontaneous approach to design, there’s a reason for that. In 2020, a hint of playfulness and an extra dose of comfort seem to be what the doctor ordered.

80’s fashion is the new mid-century modern

3. Wallpaper? Yes! Wallpaper is big now. Artsy and adventurous prints have been embraced by millennials bored of neutral paints and minimalist style. And wallpaper technology has come a long way since the 70’s — it’s easier to apply and can be easily removed later without leaving a residue. “If you are nervous about decorating with wallpaper then consider using it on an accent wall to get started,” says major design firm Garrison Hullinger of Portland.

4. Cabinets are making a statement. In kitchen and bathroom cabinets, beaded textures are “subtle but impactful,” reports Portland-based designer Townsend Interiors. To compliment 2020’s sleek cabinet look, minimalist integrated pulls are also in. Check out three clever ways to get the look on your existing cabinets from Architectural Digest, then head over to our blog post on DIY cabinet facelifts.

5. Bold Monochrome > Grey. The 2010’s were all about grey-on-grey, reports Elle Decor, but darker, bold colors are making a show in design-forward homes in 2020. “ I see saturated jewel tones in the purple and red family and hot accents of ochre yellow coming into trend,” says top Portland designer Angela Todd. Too much? Neutrals can still be cool, but keep them warm, and save the grey for the exterior of the home. 

6. Flexible office space. A home office is the new essential in 2020 and into 2021, as work-from-homers with an eye for design are recognizing that the space need not be an exclusive one. A flexible home office can make room for multiple users and double as a living area in off-hours. If all else fails, a decorative curtain can hide the mess in an instant. 

7. Virtual design. Getting home design advice from the internet is a little like Googling your health symptoms and hoping for a successful diagnosis and treatment plan. A little help from an expert can go a long way, and at least one Portland designer, Garrison Hullinger, is setting the trend in remote design consulting. Clients submit photos and measurements of their rooms, and the designers send back an idea book with links to suggested products. Is remote design the future of home decorating, or just a fad? Only time will tell. 

October 2, 2020

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.