Toronto is a renowned leader in multiple industries, from aerospace to education and finance to technology. Among its many fortes, it’s also a recognized leader in the realm of design, employing the largest design workforce in Canada. Its famous events like the DesignTO Festival and the Interior Design Show keep it at the forefront of top home design trends. So what’s in store for 2021? Let’s take a look.
Open floor plans have been “in” for several years now, but the architecture of 2021 is taking a bolder step toward transparency. This means opening barriers between much-used spaces like the living room, kitchen, and dining room, and in some cases, the flow may extend beyond these rooms to incorporate hallways, wine cellars, etc. In addition to visually expanding square footage, this trend allows homeowners to maximize natural light.
Open floor plans also reflect a shift in lifestyle, since spending work and leisure time at home has made rooms even more multifunctional. Now we might work at the kitchen counter, take a mid-morning break for an in-home workout, or skip lunch in favour of a rejuvenating bath. Living life fully at home has driven a trend toward more multi-functional rooms.
Transitions between rooms used to signify permission to transition decorating styles or, at the very least, flooring materials. Once opening the heart of the home became the norm, however, flooring materials became uniform throughout open spaces to lend cohesion. Now, homeowners are experimenting more with unique combinations like warm hardwoods adjacent to patterned tiles within the same spaces.
Of course, this new level of openness presents new architectural challenges. Now, designers must find creative and non-disruptive ways to incorporate enough storage space since losing walls means losing room for closets and cabinetry. Talented architects are able to plan ahead to incorporate plenty of storage space that’s in plain sight while not disrupting the home visually.
One such solution that’s becoming increasingly common is the hidden TV, which may fold out from a wall or hinge invisibly into the ceiling. Again, this requires forethought and precision in planning.
6. Stairways with Glass Railing
One particular trend that’s emblematic of this move toward open, multi-functional spaces is glass railings on stairways. Previously, stairways were always hidden behind solid walls and often gated by doors. Now, homeowners are appreciating the architectural beauty of exposed steps that seemingly float behind glass railings or walls.
Perhaps in an effort to soften the visual noise of combining multiple spaces in the home, we’ve seen a preference for long stretches of neutrals and hints of subdued pastels.
That said, 2021 is the year where personal preferences are more at play than ever when it comes to design, so we’re also seeing a freedom to experiment with bold and unrestrained color.
Perhaps the perfect example of this marriage of opposites is to be found in the pantone color of the year - ultimate gray and illuminating. The restrained strength of the solid gray combined with the light-hearted playfulness of the sunny yellow perfectly represents the interior design color combinations we’re seeing in the new year.
Super large sofas are also in, partly because they help fill the large open space created by combining multiple rooms, and partly because - let’s be honest - who doesn’t want a super large sofa on which to lounge?
One of the trends highlighted in Toronto’s 2020 Interior Design Show was LED light fixtures embedded in sculptured geometrics made from wood, metal, and other interesting materials. Dispersing the source of the light throughout the entire fixture means that the light emitted is softer and less intense. This trend continues today.
Perhaps because Canada is known for its timber, it has become popular to showcase this natural material throughout the home, be that in furniture or other architectural features like stretches of timber ceiling. See more examples of creative uses of timber in the home here.
Bathrooms are transforming into high-end spas where we can rejuvenate at the day’s end as well as prepare for the day ahead.
In the kitchen, long stretches of full-wall cabinetry are gaining prevalence as they create plenty of storage while maintaining visual minimalism.
The elegance, solidity, and understated grandeur of marble countertops have made them a popular choice for a long time, and they’re not going away this year.
Part of sheltering at home means finding creative ways to bring the activities you love into your immediate vicinity. Because of this, outdoor entertainment areas are becoming an increasingly indispensable home improvement project.
Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention the need to make space in the home for remote work. Office Ou’s inspiring project serves as the perfect example of what’s possible.
Custom homes in Toronto are being built with an emphasis on nature. This has many manifestations, from light touches like wilderness wallpapers to structural decisions that celebrate natural materials.
As we become more attuned to nature, we’ve become more collectively conscious of using recyclable materials and green renovation practices that are architecturally sustainable.
Often, this goes hand-in-hand with the incorporation of smart tech like programmable thermostats that help reduce consumption while also saving money.
Glass walls are popular everywhere, from interior divisions between rooms to exterior walls that combine glass and stone to create a strong yet stunningly delicate facade.
For the most part, we’re seeing a preference toward minimalistic and straight architectural lines, though curved lines are also being sparingly and intentionally introduced to add variety.