Why I Don't Want to Talk About Trends for 2021

Hadley Keller
·3-min read
Photo credit: /Alice Morgan - Getty Images
Photo credit: /Alice Morgan - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Each winter, as December draws to a close and we look to the new year ahead, there's one thing we can always count on. No, not the chilly weather—it's the trusty trend lists. With the approach of each new year comes, it seems, an urgent need to predict what the coming year will bring. What COLORS will be everywhere? What STYLES will be the most popular? What will be THE must-have item of the new year? As an editor who has for many years dutifully reported on (and, admittedly, even assembled my own examples of!) these lists, may I make the humble suggestion that, this year, we skip the trend forecasting?

If there is anything that 2020 taught us, it is that there is much that we cannot predict. Did any of those buzzy roundups of a year ago foretell 2020 as the year of... the sweatsuit you wear seven days a week, the dining table that will become an office (and homework desk and toddler play space and kitchen prep area), the solitary celebration taking the place of more celebratory gatherings? (And, more soberingly, the pain and suffering and loss that would impact so many this year?) Certainly not. What I think 2020 has taught us, however, is not to gallop at a breakneck pace towards what's next. Instead, we've (hopefully) learned to appreciate the moment we are in and the happiness we do have in the present.

No matter the size or style of your home, 2020 has probably given you a newfound appreciation for the confines of those walls. Faced with stay-at-home directives, many have embarked on more DIY projects, furniture rearranging, and crafty hobbies than they ever imagined they would—and many more have come to understand the joy of filling our spaces with the things we love... no matter whether those things are "on trend" or not. Indeed, the importance of finding happiness at home was never more profound than this year.

While we're all eager to leave 2020 in the past and see what's to come in the new one, perhaps we would all benefit from slowing down and reflecting on what we're grateful for now, instead of scrambling to be "right" about 2021 (when we all know by now there's no way to ensure that anyway).

Hopefully, too, this year has made us more cognizant of those who don't have that which we so often take for granted—health, family, and perhaps most poignantly for us at House Beautiful, a home to make our own. We've seen proof of this in the many, many instances of kindness and compassion over the course of a tumultuous year (from designers offering pro bono services to frontline workers to furnishings companies donating to families facing eviction). So, if we must call a "trend" for 2020, make it this: appreciation for the homes we have and commitment to ensuring others have that same security.

Happy new year.

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