Style at Home: Fall trends 2021: polka dots and pampas


With each season comes new fashions at our favorite boutiques, new menus at our go-to restaurants and new decor trends with which to fill our homes. Everyday decor styles are forever ebbing and flowing in and out of vogue. While New Traditional design stays constant for the most part — it is timeless, after all — certain styles rise in popularity and start to trend. Sometimes trends seem to appear overnight and at other times they seem to reinvent themselves throughout the seasons.

One of the trends carrying over from warmer months: the ever-nostalgic and fun polka dots. They’ve been around a lot longer than the last six months. They were introduced to garment fabrics in 1857. Given that they remain a fan-favorite, it’s easy to see these playful dots are always evolving. We started the summer with oversized polka dots on our pillows and accessories full of whimsy and camp. As we progress through the year, however, they are becoming more delicate and textured.

We are seeing a fine revival of the classic polka dot, and it is stunning. This dotted-swiss version of the beloved pattern is all about texture and inconsistent sizing. If you prefer organic shapes over rigid formality, these spots are now a perfect representation of organized chaos. The new rendition of polka dots doesn’t take away from its light and cheery disposition — if anything, it is enhanced. From upholstery to lamps and tabletop accessories, dots and spots are the most fun thing to add to your home this season.

Another standout for fall 2021 shows us the grass isn’t always greener, and we don’t want it to be. Pampas grass is a stunning (and fluffy) addition to your foliage collection that brings to mind a bountiful harvest and swaying pastoral waves of grain. This light and airy stem pairs wonderfully with the gorgeous neutrals and wicker accents we loved in the spring and summer while still bringing us new texture and energy for the months ahead.

Pampas grass isn’t just for calming neutrals, it also pairs well with trendy colors like millennial pink and dark and mysterious black backdrops. With just enough pomp – or “pamp,” I suppose – to make a statement without overwhelming an arrangement, it is a wonderful splash of the unexpected. We’ve been using it as standalone texture and pairing with our other favorite dried stems and vegetation for stunning displays in almost every room.

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