13 Trends We’re Happy To Leave Behind in 2021

It’s time to move on from the old and usher in the new. Few trends stand the test of time and we’re ready to leave these fads in the dust.

By Rachel Brougham | Published Dec 29, 2021 12:09 PM

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

At some point, most trends fall to the wayside. Think about the orange shag carpet of the 1970s or the wood paneling that once graced family rooms and basements. Trends may come and go and then come back again (hello baggy, high-waist jeans), but when 2021 comes to a close, many of us may be more than happy to say goodbye to the following 13 trends.

1. Where’s My Order?

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you didn’t experience shipping delays in 2021, consider yourself lucky. If you ordered furniture, you likely spent weeks wondering when your new couch or chair would arrive—perhaps you’re still wondering.

Delays when it comes to furniture stem from a number of issues, including a foam shortage, COVID-related issues, backed up ports, a shortage of truck drivers, and an increased demand for home furnishings. The bad news? Experts tell CNBC these delays may linger well into 2022!

2. Minimalism Goes Maximalism

Goodbye 2021

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Less isn’t more—at least anymore. That streamlined minimalist look that has been all the rage is likely on its way out, giving way to a complete opposite look known as maximalism. Think layered, eclectic spaces with plenty of color, textures, and patterns.

Those all-white minimalist interiors with ultra-sleek design that have become familiar over the last few years can prove hard to maintain. The ease of maximalism with all its imperfections makes the idea something to look forward to in 2022.

3. The Headaches of Distance Learning

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

Parents of school-age children can attest that distance learning has been challenging. And while parents of children say they are largely satisfied with steps taken to prevent coronavirus spread, they worry about their children falling behind when it comes to distance learning.

A Pew Research Center study found most parents of K-12 students report that someone else in their household is providing additional instruction beyond what schools provide. The majority of parents are also more concerned now than before the pandemic about screen time, social connections, and emotional well-being. Who knows when our children will be back in school 100 percent of the time, but it’s safe to say we’re probably over the headaches of distance learning.

4. Closing the Door on Open Floor Plans

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you’ve watched nearly any home improvement show in the last decade you’re likely familiar with the desire for open floor plans. However, the pandemic has changed the way many of us work and attend school, proving open floor plans aren’t always conducive to having all of us working from home. As we move into 2022, we’ll likely see more of a desire for separate areas of the home where we can work on our own away from the rest of the family and free from distractions.

5. Shiplap to Set Sail

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

Shiplap and distressed wood may be the star of television home makeover shows, but we’re ready for this trend to set sail. While shiplap planks were once used to waterproof boats, when used as part of an interior design they are nearly impossible to keep clean.

If you’re looking to add texture to a wall, more emerging trends such as tile and even statement wallpaper may be an easier-to-maintain option. As we say goodbye to 2021, it may be safe to leave the shiplap and other distressed wood trends out to dry.

6. What Do You Mean It’s Out of Stock?

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

From toilet paper and yeast to toys and game consoles, chances are you went to buy something recently and discovered that it’s out of stock. Products were out-of-stock online 24 percent more of the time in August of 2021 from a year earlier across nearly 20 product categories tracked by Adobe Analytics. And when compared with January of 2020, the jump in August 2021 was 172 percent!

Top product categories that are seeing shortages include clothing, sporting goods, electronics, pet products, and baby products. The reason? You guessed it. It’s largely due to supply chain difficulties.

7. No More Faking It

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

By now we all know plants not only add color and texture to our living areas, plants also improve air quality. So push those faux plants and flowers to the side for some living plants.

For those without a green thumb, know there are plenty of options out there that need just minimal maintenance, such as succulents, spider plants, and pothos vines. And if you want to add vibrant color, preserved flowers are a great option since they look fresh but last for several months.

8. Wait, How Much Does That Home Cost?

Goodbye 2021

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Consider this: Home prices are now rising faster than our incomes, which means would-be buyers are being left out of the housing market. Over the last decade, the median home price jumped about 30 percent. By comparison, incomes rose just 11 percent over the same period, according to a Bankrate study.

When you look at America’s 50 most populated cities, just six had what experts call a “healthy” price-to-income ratio. And with these historically high home prices, it makes it harder to close the generational wealth gap.

9. Mask Acne

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

There’s nothing like taking off that face mask after a long day and finding another pimple or rash. Who knows if the cause is the material of the mask, that we aren’t washing our masks enough, or the fact we’re trapping sweat and face oil that’s causing our pores to get clogged and our skin to get irritated and break out.

Whichever the reason, many of us would like to say so long to mask-induced acne in 2022. To avoid this problem, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends avoiding masks made from synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, and rayon.

10. Bye-Bye Generic Signage

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

You know the ones—those generic signs with words such as “Blessed” or “Eat” or “Live, Laugh, Love.” There comes a time when the mass produced signage has to go, and we’re hoping that’s 2022.

Sure, the farmhouse look is still going strong among many home designers, but there surely must be a better way—one that’s not so cliche—to show off the style. Go ahead, keep that farmhouse vibe going, but try some pottery, landscape paintings, and items without that handwritten font that just says “Family” or “Gather.”

11. Virtual (Un)happy Hours

Goodbye 2021

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Sure, virtual meetings and hangouts were fun, at first. We could wear pajama pants and nobody would know. But nearly 2 years into the pandemic, these virtual happy hours aren’t always happy.

Socializing through the screen with friends, coworkers, and loved ones is a great way to stay connected when we’re not able to see each other in person. However, these virtual happy hours can also feel like a real burden. The term “Zoom fatigue” even has its own Wikipedia page.

12. Attention-Hog Gardens

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

Who has time for a garden that needs nonstop attention and maintenance? Plants such as roses and hydrangeas need lots of watering and pruning, and can become a real time-suck, not to mention a drain on natural resources. Instead, try native plants which require less attention.

Native plants help pollinator populations and they can handle drought much better than high-maintenance plant varieties. Plus, native plants don’t need fertilizers and they require less water than lawns, so there’s more free time and less time tending to the garden!

13. Sweatpants Fatigue

Goodbye 2021

Photo: istockphoto.com

There may have come a time during the pandemic in which you struggled to remember the last time you wore real pants. You know, the kind with a button and a zipper. Yeah, those sweatpants, pajama pants, lounge pants, or whatever you want to call them were great for a while, but sometimes you just have to put more structured clothing on. While we may be ready to leave our sweatpants as everyday wear behind in 2021, many of us aren’t ready to toss them out altogether just yet.