Posted by VELUX Skylights on January 29, 2021

Blast From the Past: Home Decor Trends 2001 vs. 2021


Looking back, the early 2000s may not feel like they were that long ago. But when we look at how our home design and decor trends have evolved, it becomes much more evident how far we've come.


2001: Open Floor Plans

2001 - open floor plan


The open kitchens in modern floor plans have the early 2000s to thank. While homeowners were welcoming a new millennium, they were also saying goodbye to closed off kitchens and living rooms with four walls.


2021: Not-So-Open Floor Plans

2021 - not so open floor plan


It's interesting to think about where this trend would have gone had it not been for the pandemic. As it is, after nearly a year of the whole family simultaneously Zoom-ing in one space, many homeowners are questioning privacy-free open floor plans. While no one seems to be rushing to put actual walls back up, creative solutions for dividing a space, like sliding barn doors or bookshelves, are popping up as creative solutions for dividing a space.


2001: Chocolate Browns

2001 - chocolate brown


After the trendy, hyper-modern gray paints of the 2010s, it may be hard to go back and imagine the chocolate brown walls of the early 2000s. But warm and welcoming, chocolaty brown was perfect for creating a cozy, autumnal space.


2021: Lighter Woods

2021 - light wood furniture


But pivot from the darker browns we have! Whether Scandinavian blonde or a more rustic light oak, lighter-toned wood is taking the place of medium and darker shades. The lighter color is uplifting, easier to design around, and fits in well with a more modern and minimalistic look.


2001: Metal Finishes

2001 - metal finishes


Between the stainless steel kitchen appliances and oil-rubbed bronze faucets, the early 2000s were the age of metal finishes. While this trend is sneaking its way back in small doses, the new millennium was ALL about the metallic look.


2021: Natural Textures

2021 - natural textures


Over the decades though, we've softened metal finishes with natural textures, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. Good news for those of us who still haven't had our fill of seagrass rugs, rattan, wicker, and grass cloth furniture!


2001: A Break from the 80s

2001 - break from 80s


Despite the futuristic trends of the early 2000s, there was an underlying simplicity - and luxury - to the style, a stark contrast from earlier decades. To quote a Floor Trends Magazine article from 2001, "Luxury is back, but not in the guise of the ostentatious looks that characterized the 1980s. Today's look is soft and simple, and emphasizes the use of luxurious fabrics."


2021: Embracing the 80s

2021 - embrace the 80s


Today though, we're embracing the 1980s -- and not just because antiques are a bargain and furniture and decor from the 80s have become easier to obtain. The modern look we saw in the 80s is now coolly retro, and angular shapes, glass and stone materials, and Art Deco are coming back into their heyday.


2001: Themes of Romance

2001 - romantic


The early 2000s also had a flair for the romantic, as evidenced in simple uses of sheer fabrics. This included sensuous materials like silk and satin, for fashion as well as decorating applications. Designers of the early 2000s were also gravitating toward softer colors and rounder shapes to create loftier, more romantic spaces.


2021: Themes of Grandmillennial

2021 - grandmillennial


The grandmillennial style of the 2020s seems like a natural evolution of the romantic style of the 2000s. It combines modern design with the decor you might expect to see in your grandparents' home. It hinges on classical design forms and patterns, leaning into antiques, busy patterns, and preppy elements.


2001: Dark, Oversized Living Rooms

2001 - dark living rooms


Remember movie theaters? Remember complaining about the outrageous concession prices? The ones so outrageous they inspired this early-millennium trend: dark, oversized living rooms. Rather than pay an arm and a leg at the local multiplex, homeowners of the 2000s brought the theater experience home with cozy, dark living rooms centered around the TV.


2021: Abundant Natural Light



Toward the end of the 2010s, we were already seeing a rise in the use of natural light throughout the home. After 2020, homeowners are craving it. As we spend more time indoors, and since many people have switched to working from home, homeowners are finding out more and more about the benefits of natural light - from increasing productivity to boosting the immune system to helping with energy efficiency.


And more than ever, homeowners are opting to enhance the natural light in their homes with skylights! Skylights offer a unique solution for more natural light since they're positioned on the roof. And with a glass facade, solar-powered venting options, and preinstalled blinds, they're more efficient and easier to manage than ever.



What trends are you excited about this year? Any 2001 trends you miss? Tell us about it in the comments! And don't forget to subscribe to our blog so you never miss a post.