Interior Design Inspiration: Color in Nature 2021

Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

The end of the year signals the completion of a cycle. It’s the perfect time to take stock of our lives – and our homes. Much like nature, the old gives way to the new. When we reinvent our bedroom, transform a work area, or even revamp the bathroom, we invite reignited vigor within our dwelling.

You can use color effectively if you incorporate some basic principles. For instance, how to maximize its possibilities, its psychological impact, and how to combine them both.

This time around, Mother Earth offers us renewed inspiration, too. Let’s take a look at some of the interior design trends for 2021, imbued by nature’s exquisite color palette.

color in nature

Cue the Cottagecore

Cottagecore is a popular trend that exploded onto the mainstream in recent months. It encapsulates the nostalgia of simple country life with gardening, baking, sewing, and animals.

While it’s nothing new, social media influencers have turned cottagecore into a global phenomenon with more than 700,000 posts of quaint cottages, flower fields, and DIY videos.

However, it’s also managed to inspire emerging decor trends thanks to its inherent rustic aesthetic. Think warm, earthy, and muted hues, textured finishes (as opposed to polished ones), and vintage motifs and prints.

It’s an ideal theme for spaces that already have character with unique features such as original floorboards, exposed beams, or paneled walls. That said, you can incorporate cottagecore into more modern areas, too. Think rich browns for shaker kitchen cabinets, pastel shades for the living room, or grass-green for a bold finish.

brown black gramophone

Bring the Beach Home

When you think of a tropical beach, imagery of white sand, tumbling blue waves, and vibrant greenery come to mind. Bright florals, subtle monotones, and soft fruity colors also feature in this theme. It embodies a sense of serenity and relaxation – perfect for living spaces where you recharge after a long day.

With a contemporary twist on a Hawaii-inspired tropical palette, you can bring the tranquility of the beach into your home. Think contrasting shades of inky and aqua blues for the bedroom and design elements in vivid coral reef colors.

Indoor plants are making a comeback, too. They’re an exotic addition and the perfect feature to liven up a dull corner in any room. Plus, there are countless kinds in all shapes and colors to choose from.

Tropical foliage plants like the lush Fishtail Palm, the bushy Natal Mahogany, or the glossy Split Leaf are fantastic options that provide a gorgeous finishing touch. What’s more, these and other indoor plants come with numerous science-backed health benefits.

Create Comfort

The next trend we’re seeing is inspired by the comforting, vivid, and warm tones we find in nature. Get ready for contemporary 2021 paint ranges to center around an earthy palette personified by texture, ambiance, and depth.

Rust, bronze, and gold colors are ideal for luxe elements or accentuation. Meanwhile, rich shades of red and brown turn a room into a warm and inviting space. Deep greens and subtle sepias can also help create a welcoming atmosphere.

Vividly-colored or printed throws and cushions offer that “wow” factor, but standalone lampshades, tables, or vases can, too. This nature-inspired palette also complements rugs, sofas, and repurposed furniture beautifully. With this theme, just about anything goes – as long as you balance out the muted shades with the more intense ones.

Related: What color walls go best with brown sofa?

Light Colored Wood Is In

cozy sofa with red pillows

Many interior design firms use wood because it’s sturdy and versatile. Adding the natural substance to the inside of your home gives it a rustic look.

We’re now seeing that many users prefer such materials in a lighter tone to medium and darker shades. The color is uplifting and gives the impression of spaciousness because the hues produce the illusion of a larger area.

As it’s easy to work with, you can make light-colored wood create a modern or rustic feel in your home. Furniture and accessories made of bamboo and wicker cane can bring your room to life.


Go Green With Houseplants

wooden bench with houseplant

Houseplants were fashionable until the 1990s, but now they’re trendy again. They’re beautiful, and if you know how to arrange them, you can accentuate the look of any room.

Introducing plants indoors will help you achieve the same sort of feeling that their vibrant colors exude in gardens. Their attractiveness will enhance the ambiance of any room.

Besides adding a visual appeal to your home, greens can make you feel at ease, improve your mood, and reduce stress. Other benefits include contributing to better air quality by replacing the toxins with oxygen.

The types of plants you choose will create a very aesthetic space. If you have dark corners or rooms with low lighting, shade-tolerant flora can brighten them. Spider Plant and Calathea are excellent choices.

Utilize Tillandsia, Rex Begonia, or Croton to highlight focal points, as they have unique shapes and colors.

Tropical Landscapes

tropical garden

2020 was a year in which many people had to cancel their travel plans and couldn’t leave their homes. If you love tropical getaways, you can bring the experience into your abode and create a living space that’s calm and relaxed.

A great way to bring the island indoors is to use tropical leaves and florals. You can get digital prints that work with complementary color palettes to design your unique Tahitian landscape.

One hue that’s trending this year is ocean blues. You can select varying shades to create a tranquil ambiance in your house.

Earthy Tones

old fashioned dresser

From trending in 2020, it appears that earth tones are here to stay as more interior designers are incorporating them in their projects.

Neutral colors may be considered dull by some people, but using warm, earthy hues can make your room feel inviting. Nature-inspired paints can create a cozy space.

One suggestion is to pick palettes that resemble the outdoors. They’ll produce a soothing ambiance. Beige tints with a hint of gray make for an excellent cheerful backdrop.

If you’re interested in using earthy colors but have difficulty matching your décor, choose textures that you’ll find in nature. Warm wooden accents produce striking contrasts.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised that earth-toned paints can work in a bright and white interior. A woody shade can complement a light-colored space and give it an intimate feel.

For a warm area, go for smoky hues. You can use terracotta, tan, and beige for your furniture. How about a brown wallpaper to create the ideal living room?

Be adventurous and work with black tones. You can mix surface texture with exciting contours to play up the depth and sensory effect.

You may think that red seems like a daunting color to work with, but it needn’t be. You can make a room feel organic and down-to-earth using different tones of the hue.

Back to Basics

Nature is replete with a seemingly endless spectrum of colors. It serves as a well of continuous inspiration for our homes, and 2021 is no exception. We’re seeing a resurgence of the quiet yet warm, intense yet tranquil shades synonymous with our planet.

From countryside cottagecore to bringing the beach home, creating comfort, calm, and serenity with earth-inspired hues is the biggest trend of all.