Nature Naturally Leads 2021 Top Design Trends

Our project for Deloitte features indoor plants as design elements. Photo: Jim Mumford
This Good Earth Plant Company project for a San Diego business features several of the top design trends for 2021. Photo: Jim Mumford Mumford 2021 top trends

This Good Earth Plant Company project for a San Diego business features several of the top design trends for 2021. Photo: Jim Mumford

Nature lets us know it’s the start of a new year, even without a paper calendar. Our journey toward spring begins as the days slowly grow longer and warmer, although it’s a pretty subtle change at our home base in San Diego. It only makes you look a little harder and become more aware.

It also means it’s time for the Eco Warriors at Good Earth Plant Company to predict the 2021 top trends in plant styling and biophilic design trends for the year ahead. But this year isn’t like any other year. We are still reeling from a year like no other we’ve experienced going into our 44th (WOW!) year in business.


The coronavirus pandemic changed the way we work, but not the reasons WHY we work. Our mission to enrich peoples’ lives with plants has become more important than ever. The need for nature is driving the concepts we see ahead for 2021, based on our conversations with colleagues and clients.

How will our homes look in 2021? How will our workplaces look when we finally return? A lot like they did when we first opened in 1977. Yes, the 1970s are back!

We have seen individual elements of 1970s design pop up in recent years. We are still scratching our heads over the staying power of macramé.

Now the time for millennial pink and the farmhouse white and gray minimalism is over. Nature is HOT for 2021! We say it always was.

According to 600 interior designers surveyed by the website 1st Dibs, design trends embrace bringing the outdoor world inside. The coronavirus pandemic is driving this. As people started spending more time inside their homes, they felt the need for nature. This is the underlying principle of biophilia, the science that studies the human connection to nature. When indoor plants started flying off the shelves like toilet paper, this is biophilia in action.

How will these trends look in 2021?

Earth Tone Colors

Earth tones in rich greens and golds are back in style. Photo: Egin Akyurt

Cozy, natural earth tones in rich greens and golds are back in style. Photo: Egin Akyurt

Our Good Earth company logo is right on-trend. Remember your mom or grandmother’s gold kitchen appliances? The 2021 version is a little bolder and brighter. All versions of green and an array of citrus colors from tangerine to lemon to blood orange are warming up interior spaces.  If it’s too much of a flashback for you, mix them with the white and gray you might already have for a fresh approach.

Nature-Inspired  Materials

Natural materials like bamboo and rattan are popular for 2021. Photo: Charlotte May

Natural materials like bamboo and rattan are popular design elements for 2021. Photo: Charlotte May

Forget the synthetics, the steel, and the plastics and kick their toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to the curb. You’ll be happier and healthier. According to the American Lung Association, breathing bad VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and damage the central nervous system and other organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer. This gets way beyond a trend. Wood, rattan, bamboo, linen, and cotton are all healthier, and they are all renewable materials. Natural stone and quartz can be responsibly sourced and also upcycled. 


Murals are moving to inside walls with colorful designs inspired by nature.

We encourage people to embrace indoor plants, but Good Earth Plant Company sometimes recommends replica plants in areas where low light conditions make it impossible. Another way to incorporate plants and natural elements is murals. People channel the kid who used crayons to draw on the walls (before Mom stopped you) and painting nature scenes or nature-inspired patterns right on the walls. If you get tired of it, or want to change it up, all you have to do is paint over it! Genius!

Vertical Gardens


Good Earth Plant Company recently rehabilitated this living wall for a residential sunroom and porch. Photo: Joe Benedetti

If you lack surface or floor space, or you’ve already filled it up with indoor plants, or even if you don’t like too much clutter, vertical gardens are hotter than ever. Good Earth Plant Company has been busy installing living walls, moss walls, and replica walls in homes and businesses over the last year, both indoor and outdoor. Yes, even during the pandemic! We have various systems, and we love working with clients to come up with creative ideas and find the best solution for their vision.

Recycling and Repurposing

Reclaimed wood has been popular for many years, and it’s led the way toward using more repurposed materials. Photo: Magda Ehlers

The Japanese philosophy of “wabi sabi” finds beauty in imperfection and values things with history and don’t hide their age. Think old, weathered, natural, original finish, no stains or color. Instead of covering it up, these items show off their original form. Creative ways to repurpose and recycle items instead of tossing them out or covering them up is more desirable than shiny fresh polish with no soul. Good Earth Plant Company loves using reclaimed wood for planters, and many designers love it for flooring and furniture.

Let’s admit it, 2020 was a pretty rough year. So were the 1970s in many ways. We had a war overseas and political turmoil at home. There were civil rights protests, an energy crisis causing economic damage, and the environmental movement gained speed. Sound familiar?

So no wonder we’re counting on Mother Nature to comfort us and make us feel better. We might not be able to completely redesign our homes, but we can change white walls to cheerful yellow or light green, hang a floral piece of art, and add more indoor plants.

If you really, really want the macramé too, we won’t judge you.

Good Earth Plant Company has a little secret to share: bringing elements of the natural world indoors is ALWAYS on-trend. Using natural materials, artwork, prints, bright colors, and textures are ways to visually integrate nature alongside plants and natural light. Plants are one of the least expensive décor items you can add to your space.

Our team of Eco-Warriors at Good Earth Plant Company is ready to enrich your life with plants and make 2021 the best biophilic year of your life. Give us a call at 858-576-9300 or email me at We can’t wait to hear from you.

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