Interior Designer and Tastemaker Shares 2021 Home Design Predictions

Brian Patrick Flynn didn’t go to design school, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most sought after design professionals on the market. After years of writing, producing and directing news programs and home improvement shows, Flynn tried his hand at renovating residential interiors, quickly earning the respect of his peers and magazine editors.

HGTV fans may know Flynn as the mind behind many fan-favorite Dream Homes. His new show, Mind for Design, will be part of Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Network, with a sneak peek episode now available on the Discovery+ streaming service. Along with his team of skilled designers, Flynn creates breathtaking spaces and tackles decorating projects on various budgets, all with unique designs and personalities. 

Think Wood recently sat down with Flynn to get his perspective on the top residential design trends of 2021, including budget-friendly reno ideas and his personal favorite remodeling project. Read his predictions below, and see more of Flynn’s design inspiration on Instagram.

Think Wood: What interior design trends are you seeing emerge for 2021? 


Brian Patrick Flynn: Embracing “stuff” is a huge trend for 2021. With so many people spending more time at home than ever, being surrounded by things that are personal and that make them happy is replacing the need to have less, and live minimalistically and clutter-free. I think maximalism will have a huge resurgence — mixing patterns, adding more layers, bringing in window treatments instead of bare windows — all of these will become very visible. I also think we are going to see mauve reinvented in a very fresh way. Not the skin tone mauves of the 1980s, but much more white shades of mauve with slight lavender undertones. I see this with upholstery and wall colors.

Photo credit: Robert Peterson, Flynnside Out

TW: And remodeling projects?

BPF: Indoor-outdoor remodeling is in high demand. Anywhere someone can swap a window for French doors and add a deck to make an interior space feel larger, or be able to work from home or learn remotely out in fresh air, it’s gonna be worth its weight in gold and become a priority. I also think when it comes to remodeling, people are way less concerned about ROI and resale value since so many are learning to work and teach from home. The idea of temporary decor for the sake of not over-investing is fading. Spending reno budget on things that individualize and personalize a house will become more common. Not just all white kitchens and taupe bathrooms.


TW: Tell us more about outdoor living. What’s in demand as we head into spring?

BPF: The most in-demand outdoor living designs right now include covered spaces. With kids doing school online and adults working full-time, being able to take conference calls or tend to emails outside when a packed house becomes stressful — it’s priceless to be able to step outside even if it’s raining and have some alone time. I also think outdoor spaces are going to place a lot of importance on lighting. Whether it’s LED bistro lights with pure white daylight illumination or investing in really beautiful outdoor pendants, using outdoor spaces after dark is going to become more and more important as people learn to stay home more often on the weekends.

Photo credit: Robert Peterson, Flynnside Out

TW: If you had to pick one or two budget-friendly home updates that can make the most impact for homeowners, what would they be?

BPF: I am notorious for adding decks everywhere. When a house has bedrooms that are cramped, I am quick to change windows out for French doors and add a simple 12×10 deck so the space feels more connected with nature and breathes more. Windows are also super important to me, and if I am going to invest in them, I want huge windows to let tons of light in and also bridge the gap between indoors and outdoors.


TW: What’s different about remodeling and design in 2021? How do you see the experience of quarantine and a pandemic impacting design now and in the future?

BPF: I think remodeling and design in 2021 is all about pivoting existing spaces for new purposes, and adjusting to being able to do more at home, nonstop. So, perhaps that guest bedroom that no longer has guests becomes a homeschooling room or a full-fledged office. I even think things like carports will be imagined as open air dining rooms so families can see each other without being gathered indoors together. For the last decade or so, white and neutral spaces have dominated the interior design world, but I think bold, cheerful colors will be super popular in 2021. In addition to being a nice contrast to a not-so-great year, bold colors used against warm woods strike a beautiful balance.

Photo credit: Robert Peterson, Flynnside Out

TW: What’s your favorite personal remodeling project this year?

BPF: My favorite recent project is a brand new deck I built that is attached to my master bedroom. I love the idea of making a bedroom feel twice as large by adding an attached outdoor living space, even if it’s small in stature. It has a tree growing through it, something I’ve always wanted to do since designing spaces around nature brings me a feeling of peacefulness and tranquility. I stained the deck ebony and added super comfortable chairs so I can escape each morning and check my emails out in fresh air. At night I have bistro lights strung above so I can wind down outside among the trees.

Photo credit: Robert Peterson, Flynnside Out
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