Etsy Journal

Explore ideas and inspiration for creative living

5 Bright Ideas for a Fresh Start in the New Year

by Jackie Buddie

Dec 23, 2020

Get ready to start 2021 on a positive note with these inspiring everyday accents, super-smart furnishings, and mood-boosting hues.

Closeup of a woman holding a blue teacup from Odaka in the palms of her hands.
Photo by: Odaka

Raise your hand if you’re ready for 2021! We’re right there with you—and we’ve got a plan. After a year unlike any other, we’re looking forward to bluer skies, more inspiring home setups, and seeing our universe with a little childlike wonder again. “The theme of reconnecting with our joy is going to be huge next year across the board,” explains Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson, “from the relationships we have with our spaces, to the bonds we share with our pets, to the items we choose to surround ourselves with—and the talented people who create them.” To help you stock up on feel-good vibes for the days ahead, here’s a sneak peek at five ideas we predict will get your new year off to a bright start.

Sky blue hues

A collage of sky blue items available on Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Linen tablecloth from notPERFECTLINEN, from $72; baseball cap with tree patch from Ello There, $22; asymmetrical mobile earrings from TSUNJA, $60; linen pillow from Magic Linen, $20; leather oxford shoes from Katz and Birdz, $299; long-sleeved linen babydoll dress from LeMuse, $138; ceramic mug from Ingrid Debar Ceramics, $40; printed floral bandana from maryink, $20

“After a challenging year, Etsy’s 2021 Color of the Year is a refreshing sign that hope is on the horizon,” Dayna says. Tranquil with a clear (and cloudless) connection to nature, sky blue offers up a sense of optimism and renewal. To make the most of this serene shade, layer in touches wherever you’re likely to enjoy its soothing effects. Maybe a breezy babydoll dress becomes the star of your capsule wardrobe, or you blanket your bed in a super-soft set of dreamy linens. It could even be something as simple as sipping your morning cup o’ joe from a cerulean ceramic mug—your own little reminder that a new day is always just a sunrise away.

Reimagined living spaces

A collage of smart furnishings for small spaces available on Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Rocking desk chair from Muista, $379; adjustable fold-out wooden desk from High Five Creations LLC, $160; tile balcony shelf from NIMIO, $152; folding portable leather camp stool from Peg & Awl, $240; personalized kids' fold-out desk from Design by Twelve, $276; large fiber art room dividers from HOMELAND by Sheeba, $1,640; collapsible folding stool or side table from Timber Dimensions, $304; mid-century bamboo and rattan room divider from Vintage Wanders, $830

This past year, when our homes suddenly became our hubs for everything, it was all about just making it work. “We added office spaces in our living rooms, classrooms in our kitchens, and gyms in our bedrooms,” Dayna says. But as we hunker down again for the months ahead, we’re getting more intentional and creative with our approach. “On Etsy, there are so many smart, space-saving solutions to help you multi-purpose like a pro,” Dayna says. Use functional furnishings like folding desks and room dividers to set boundaries between work and play, and restore balance by tucking files and tech away in cubbies and drawers during off-hours. And for those of us who want to continue communing with nature, compact, portable pieces like collapsible stools and balcony shelves will help create gathering areas in our own backyards. 

Casual-chic styles

A collage of casual-chic clothes and accessories available on Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Detachable statement collar from noemiah, $72; hand-painted gem sweater from We Are Hairy People, $53; vintage denim embroidered 2-piece set from Threads of Habit, $45; patchwork jacket sewing pattern from Lysimaque Sew, $14; pom-pom sweater from mantaikotai, $203; wide-leg thistle print pants from Thief and Bandit, $152; confetti tie-dye sweatsuit from Masha Apparel, $135; luxe braided velvet headband from Bardot Bow Gallery, $25

The moment WFH became the norm for many of us, we were all too happy to embrace a “business-on-the-top, pajamas-on-the-bottom” uniform for our video calls. “In 2021, comfy clothing isn’t going anywhere,” Dayna says, “but we’re dialing our stay-at-home style up a notch.” To inject a little bit of fun and fancy into our laid-back fashion, we’re combining the best of both worlds, and complementing our cozy threads with bold, above-the-neck accessories. Think coordinated tie-dye sweats and relaxed slacks mixed with playfully embellished tops and patchwork jackets. Top it all off with eye-catching accents—like detachable collars and velvet headbands—and call the look virtual meeting-chic.

Out-of-this-world kids’ picks 

A collage of outer space themed items for kids available on Etsy
SHOP (top to bottom, left to right): Retro spaceship coat rack from Eina Design, $25; solar system sweatshirt from Mid Best Threads, $30; felt spaceship hair clips from doodliedoo, $15; personalized acrylic space exploration nightlight from Stamp Nouveau, $30; space mural wallpaper from AccentuWall, from $136 for set of 2 sheets; astronaut notebook from Copper and Brass Paper, $16; personalized constellation pillow from Emma's Story, $39; space rocket playmat from SO handmade, $35; planet sidewalk chalk from Twee Made, $40

“Kids have been through a lot lately—from online classrooms to limited playdates—and space-themed accents and activities are a really sweet way to give them a much-needed escape,” Dayna says. For a daytime diversion, send their young minds soaring up, up and away with rocket ship playmats and astronaut notebooks. At night, blast them off to big dreams with custom constellation pillows beneath the soft glow of a futuristic etched acrylic nightlight. And if you really want to spark their inner space explorer? “Wallpaper their worlds with colorful solar systems!” Dayna suggests.

Pet investment pieces

A collage of pet accessories available on Etsy.
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Gemstone pet bed from Janery Pet Beds, $59; twinning sweaters for human and dog from Get Match It, $165; cloud dog bed from Hunting Pony, $125; custom cat bowl from Susabellas, $47; terrazzo dog bed from Laylo Pets, from $75 for cover only; coffee table cat bed from LABBVENN, $505; custom ceramic dog or cat bowl from Megan Louise Ceramics, from $29; dog kennel from Original Dog Furniture, $449

Whether you welcomed a new pup or kitten to the fam this year or were just really tempted to, the new-pet boom of 2020 was real. “Now that these little rascals are a bit older and wiser, and won’t tear everything to shreds, we’re really starting to spoil them with nice accessories,” Dayna says. And of course, our longtime companions deserve a special something too. Our picks? Plush dog beds perfect for hours of lazy indoor lounging, custom food bowls styled after their favorite treats, and sleek feline furniture that's easy on the eyes. And for those extra-devoted paw-rents who want to make sure their special connection with Fluffy or Fido is unmistakable, it’s all about the coordinated outfits. From twinning cozy sweaters to patterned mask and bandana combos, these synchronized sets are as aww-inducing as they come.

Shop Etsy's 2021 trend predictions

Jackie Buddie

Jackie Buddie is a writer and wilderness explorer working full-time as a content producer at Etsy HQ in Brooklyn.