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Rethinking The "Open Concept" Layout

As people rethink how they use their homes, some design trends that were popular in recent years are quickly fading. For example, the open layout is becoming less trendy as homeowners favor more privacy. Apartment Therapy recently asked designers to chime in on which home decorating trends they think will fall out of style in the new year.

The open concept. Open floor plans have long been all the rage, but as more people hunker down at home, they want more walls for greater privacy. “This past year, we’ve been confined to our homes for work, play, and relaxation, and people have learned it’s tough for a home to play so many different roles with no physical division of space,” Mary Catherine Murray and Amanda Khouri, co-owners of Murray Khouri Interior Design, told Apartment Therapy. “If your workspace is also your relaxation space and your cooking space, you might find it difficult to shift from one mindset to the next.” More designers are using room dividers, area rugs, and curtains to add greater division in an open layout.

Open shelving. Open shelving has been a popular storage system, but homeowners are now looking to have less of their stuff on display. “Because 2020 has made so many of us realize that we’re massively disorganized and have way too much clutter, we’re craving streamlined spaces with seamless—and unseen—organization,” Karina Lameraner, creative stylist at Modsy, told Apartment Therapy. “As a result, open storage options will start to be replaced with furniture options that include closed storage within them, such as the storage coffee table.”

Sterilized spaces. Mid-century modern design has ushered in a more standardized style that is now feeling sterile and lacking warmth, designers say. “I also think that homes will start to lose some of their universality,” designer Robert McKinley told Apartment Therapy. “I expect that we will see design that is more regional and place-based than ever—design focused on thoughtful, one-of-a-kind objects.” Designers say the trend will gravitate toward mixing and matching colors and finishes for a more unique and memorable design.


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