Interior Design

Trending and Smart Apartment Design Ideas to Keep an Eye on in 2021

2021 apartment design

After an unprecedented start to the decade, 2021 couldn’t get here fast enough for most of us. With a new year comes a new outlook and new opportunities. And the change often begins at home. If you’re looking to start the year fresh with a redesign project, of if you’re simply looking for inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at some of the most trending apartment design ideas to start your 2021 with a statement.


industrial 2021 design

The sparse, functional feel of an industrial abode is becoming an increasingly popular look. This is especially true in a society that wants to curb its consumption and make more out of less. Some key features of the industrial design include exposed ceiling beams and pipes, bold fixtures, knobs and handrails, along with concrete or tile flooring, walls and backsplash. This spartan design plays exceptionally well for apartment living, where space is at a premium.

Creative Storage

Continuing the theme of making more out of less, remember that there is no “storage for the sake of storage” in an apartment. Finding storage workarounds using other functional aspects of the apartment will continue to be a priority in 2021. For example, do not hide china and cookware in bulky closed cabinets. Rather, keep it on open shelves to let them serve as décor. Have ornamental hooks and pegboards that can be decorative when not in use, or choose furniture that comes with secret drawers and hidden shelves. There is no shortage of options!

Cozy but Spacious

Although apartment living is snug, it should never feel cramped. Use these tricks to make the space feel open and inviting. Large windows will allow natural light to flow through the apartment, making the space feel airy. Stools in place of cumbersome dining room chairs will both save you space and lend the apartment a modern look. If you’re feeling bold, customizable glass partition walls are a great idea to keep the apartment separate but together, and allow light to travel freely.

These are all great ways to creatively manipulate your apartment to give off a spacious feel. Further, exploring crown molding and shiplap wall ideas can also reveal some interesting optical effects to make the apartment feel bigger.

A Day at the Office

kitchen office setup 2021

Apartment-dwelling remote professionals have unique challenges in the COVID-19 era. After all, turning the guest bedroom into an office is likely not an option for those of us who are renting, especially in larger cities. As such, interior design with remote work in mind will be a high priority for landlords and renters in 2021.

A great way to accomplish this is through the coffee shop-style kitchen. With high stools and light-colored kitchen counters, apartment dwellers can just as easily be finalizing their end-of-quarter report as taking their afternoon lunch break. All without ever leaving the house!

Mirror, Mirror

There are many functional benefits of mirrors that will make looking-glass apartments a hit in 2021. In addition to reflecting natural light, they help illuminate dark corners. Mirrors in various places around the house are also quite decorative, with tall mirrors even having the ability to make the ceiling feel higher.

Hang the Clutter

personal gallery apartment design

Boxes of old knick-knacks never play well and can quickly turn a quaint apartment into a storage unit. To avoid this, siphon through the collection and determine what you cannot live without. Use the remaining pictures, letters and art projects to create a display to decorate a bare wall of the apartment and adding depth and a focal point to the space.

No Walls, No Worries

The open floor concept is one of the most universally accepted design trends of the new decade. All buildings, from commercial offices to residential homes to multi-family units, are utilizing as few walls as possible to nurture natural light flow and increase the sense of togetherness in a building.

Nonetheless, there will still be times when privacy is needed and you want delimitation between areas. In addition to modular glass partitions, decorative area rugs, laminate or engineered hardwood flooring make for a creative way to visually separate adjoining areas of open space.

Find a Focus

apartment design focus 2021

Choosing a theme for your apartment has never been more important than in 2021 since we now spend more time inside. To have an apartment fall in line with this trend, it is important to make a statement with the décor choice in the main greeting area.

Whether it be a photo montage of friends and family above the television or musical instruments on display at the ends of the sofa, visitors should get a glimpse of what the apartment is “about” within seconds of their entrance.

Colors that Calm

It is no secret that we are more connected to our devices than ever moving into 2021, and that trend is unlikely to dissipate with the increasing shift to remote work. Therefore, it is important to design the apartment as a Zen space in which to unplug and unwind from the fast-paced bustle. Colors can help achieve that! With soft blues, pinks and beiges being popular choices this year, you should be looking for base colors that can have a calming effect. Pair that with pops of bold colors as accents to create a bit of dynamism and depth in your space.

After a challenging 2020, surely we are all eager to get a fresh start in 2021. With new found inspiration from the trendy design ideas listed above, there is no doubt that we can get the New Year off to a stunning start.

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About the author

Mihaela Buzec

Mihaela is an online content developer for RENTCafé. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Current Linguistics. She is a passionate reader, writer, and researcher, with a background in academic writing. You can get in touch with Mihaela at

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