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Shapes and Squiggles: Design Trend 2021

Last modified: 2022-07-11 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Christime Simard

When scrolling Pinterest or Instagram, it’s easy to quickly notice changes in interior design trends. Usually, your feed is curated according to what you enjoy looking at but sure enough, one stray post can catch your attention and soon send you down the rabbit hole of new decor styles and trends for the year.

There’s one thing we can be sure of for 2021: expect soft colours, organic shapes and wavy designs to be in the spotlight. So, what are we talking about exactly? Squiggles! Not really convinced? Here, let me introduce you to a side of design you might not have seen just yet.

Design trends in 2021

Introducing organic shapes and movements in interior design 

We recently talked about the phenomenon of biophilic design and how it highlights the connection between humans and nature. This is achieved by using organic shapes and designs that remind us of the outdoors, giving us some feel-good vibes from indoors!

After spending a significant amount of last year stuck at home, people are now looking for spaces that evoke comfort and in which we can escape, somewhere we can truly call home and enjoy spending time in. 

Both phenomenons coinciding together brought us the need for lived-in spaces, favoured over the mid-century modern fever. Our usual minimalistic and neutral interiors, once reigning the design world (sorry Marie Kondo, we still love you) will be swapped for bright and colourful decors, adorned with inviting shapes like squiggles and blobs.

blobs and shapes and squiggles_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Gustaf Westman & @bougiewoogie____ on Instagram

A bit of background on the squiggle trend

The use of undulating shapes in decorative objects isn’t new and has been seen in things like mugs, vases, rugs, and lamps way before the pandemic lockdown, but the aesthetic’s popularity skyrocketed in the past few years. 

In Vogue’s article on the subject, the author mentions: 

“Although this repurposed wave of interior design feels new, it would not exist without Italian Radicalism and Postmodernism. Specifically, it would not exist without creative architects like Ettorre Sottsass, founder of the Memphis Milano Group, who shaped what was also known as the era of “bad taste”.

By calling it repurposed, the author makes us think of specific trends like Memphis design, a bright, colourful and maximalist style that sent shockwaves through the modernist 1980s, first introduced by the Memphis group. 

As mentioned, the design collective was originally founded by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass who, coincidentally, is also the creator of the Ultrafragola mirror, our pièce de résistance that played a massive part in our current obsession with squiggles.

This piece in itself has been around for quite a few decades, making its debut in 1970 at the Eurodomus 3 in Milan. Although it’s been spotted around here and there through the years, 2019 is when it found a new resurgence, with celebrities and influencers flashing the mirror (quite literally, the mirror lights up) in their decor on their Instagram feed.

Ultrafragola Mirror by Ettore Sottsass__Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Replicas of the Ultrafragola mirror by Ettore Sottsass

Source: Domino & Architectural Digest

From then on, squiggles and colourful accents started slowly popping up more and more in people’s spaces and mood boards, bringing us to today where lockdowns and isolation blew up the need for this trend to come back, allowing us to feel happy and comfortable at home. 

Where to start with Memphis design, without falling down an eclectic rabbit hole

There's an easy and affordable way of getting this certain aesthetic without automatically drowning your decor in bright colours and intense maximalist furniture. Here are a few tricks and ideas for you to easily achieve this aesthetic!

Concentrating on your accessories

Here are some great mirror designs that will add a touch of originality and a pop of colour to any room where you choose to hang them! What’s interesting about these mirrors is that a good amount of their designs can be easily DIY’d. 

squiggly mirrors interior design_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: LayeredInterior, Pinterest & LottaBlobs

If you already have enough mirrors, try going out to thrift stores to spot some interesting vases or lamps or any interesting pieces of decor you can find that catch the eye. Anything that reminds us of the 80s art deco aesthetic is a good start! Remember: pastel colours and shapes are best!

Rugs are also your best friends. By opting for a nice rug with an interesting design, your whole decor will feel complete, especially if it's colourful and lively.

rug shapes squiggles interior design_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: SightUnseen, ComingSoonNewYork & 2LGstudio

pastel and squiggle decor_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Stealthelook, Savoirflair, Pinterest & Heyhousecart

Pick furniture designs that follow biophilic principles

Ready to commit on a larger scale? You can achieve this aesthetic by choosing specific furniture pieces of various forms, shapes and designs that, even if mismatched, will end up coming together through styling and thoughtful coordination.

furniture wavy design_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Apartment Therapy, @Camillelenore, Thisisfabulous, Lisasaysgah & Vogue Australia

On a smaller budget? Paint samples are here for you

For as low as $4.99, most hardware stores or paint shops can offer you a paint sample of the colour of your choice.  From experience, I can say that they're often a decent amount! 

With paint, you can unleash your inner artist and have some fun with different projects, painting blobs and waves around door frames or arches as an accent behind a specific piece of furniture. Possibilities are infinite! 

paint around door frames squiggles_Tendances design 2021 : formes et squiggles_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Dezeen, Domino & Casayjardim

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