After a year of stay-at-home and self-isolation, there’s been a newfound appreciation for interior design. Homeowners — many of whom have spent months stuck inside — have rediscovered their creative flair and posted their home improvements on social media. From pop art wall decals to Brutalist-inspired exposed brick, these design trends got everyone talking on Instagram. Here are the best ones.
#1. Wall Decals
With over 148,000 posts on Instagram alone, wall decals have become one of the hottest design trends on social media. These removable stickers, made from thin vinyl, look like an artist painted on your wall. Just peel and stick one of these graphics to any flat surface: A bedroom wall, bathroom tiles, or even cinder blocks.
Wall decals come in almost every design imaginable, from motivational quotes to silhouettes of flowers and trees. Florals and landscapes are the most popular, but pop art-influenced styles — like this giant Marilyn Monroe head on Pinterest — create bold design narratives in contemporary spaces.
A decal is a cheap alternative to traditional wall art and adds a splash of color to the home. Plus, if you change your mind in a few months, you can just peel it off the wall and choose another design.
#2. Modular Sofas
Modular sofas are back in vogue, with almost 20,000 mentions on Instagram. Think of it as a design-your-own sofa, made up of moveable sections for configuring your seating area just the way you like. “Modules,” as designers call them, come in various styles such as chaise and arm pieces, so you can customize your sofa based on your specific requirements. The benefits are endless: Modules are easy to assemble, even easier to move, and you can replace them whenever you like. It’s the flexible sofa built for the modern American home.
Here’s a splendid example of modular furniture on Instagram. This sofa comprises seven modules, but its owner can add several more. Comfortable, stylish, and practical, it has an uber-minimalist design that would complement any modern home.
If you want to upgrade to a modular sofa, check out Home of Cozy, your one-stop-shop for furniture reviews. You’ll also find reviews of traditional sofas and sofa beds.
#3. Industrial Decor
With over 400,000 Instagram mentions, industrial decor is taking social media by storm as homeowners share their interior design creations with the world. Industrial decor is a stripped-back architectural style that blends the vintage with the modern. Think exposed brick walls, metal countertops, and uncovered wood. Then think recycled furnishings and upcycled decorative pieces. The finished product is an aesthetic look that wouldn’t be out of place in a Brooklyn loft.
Industrial decor encompasses various sub-trends such as Industrial Brutalist, with its bare concrete walls, and salvaged materials. Industrial Country incorporates a cozier country-style aesthetic.
Wallpaper has made a comeback since the pandemic, and there are over 13 million Instagram posts about the stuff. Last popular in the ’70s, Wallpaper 2.0 is now more versatile, with fabric-backed vinyl the most durable choice for homeowners. Unlike before, when wallpaper contained florals or geometrics or both, there’s a style that suits every personality, from animal motifs to city panoramas. For the design-minded, there’s even an iPhone app for creating custom wallpaper designs.
Although wallpaper requires more of a commitment than a decal — even the fabric-backed vinyl variety takes a while to remove — it has more of a matte finish, making it a better choice for some homeowners.
#5. Cottage Core
More of a design philosophy than a trend, cottage core celebrates rural life in all its forms. Think checks, stripes, and lots of fabric. Although there’s no correct definition of cottage core, it’s become a highly desirable aesthetic across social media, with over 1.8 million posts on Instagram alone. Search the hashtag #cottagecore on Insta or Twitter, and you’ll find photos of kitchens with floral curtains and farmhouse tables and living spaces with vintage china cups neatly positioned on homemade bookshelves. Keep searching and you’ll discover copper pans, pottery, and pastorals.
Cottage core involves at least some craftmanship on the homeowner’s part. (You can’t replicate this aesthetic at IKEA.) So if crafts aren’t your thing, consider another interior style instead.
Before You Decorate
With vacations on hold and more time at home, Americans spent more money on home furnishings during COVID than before the pandemic. The interior design resurgence has showcased bold new styles on social media, including stripped-back Industrial creations and design-your-own modular sofas. The question is: What home improvements will you make?