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Lagom: Dunn-Edwards 2021 Color + Design Trends

Design Trends

Lagom: a Swedish term that signifies the right amount or balanced perfection. Not too little, not too much — just right. Lagom is easygoing, unplugging, connecting with others in real life and disengaging from social media. It's about taking time for yourself, doing something with your own hands, and giving back.

Lagom challenges the notion of classical form, while praising timeless qualities of design. Finding the ideal balance of old and new. Reaching out for ageless points of inspiration, designers and artists channel archetypal historical references to build new visions of enduring purpose. Essential design with artistic touch. Lagom speaks to the spirit of storytelling, decoding the past and reframing the future.


The individual and collective narratives are told theatrically in an opulent aesthetic. We cultivate mystery by blurring couture, bourgeois, rock or neo-cyborg references. Important, classics are revived in a glam, dressy
version. The ornamental baroque style imposes itself; colors are darker, and forms are distorted.


Lagom seeks to rebalance the notion of old traditions, creating fresh legacies in design and art, as well as a resurrecting the beauty of craftsmanship. Rethinking past designs reveal innovative layers for today. Sharing, inclusive designs reveal a new balance. Asking oneself what heritage means in using depths of emotion to
create novel and meaningful classics. Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, enchanted design, and architectural styles of years past come full circle, as the need for escape and timeworn beauty are everywhere.



Learning to rewrite history with a more inclusive approach provides opportunities to grow and re-allocate value to newer ideals of design and art, rethinking splendor and timeless aesthetics. This synthesis to the
design process provides hope and meaning to products. The individual and collective narratives are told theatrically in a picturesque aesthetic.



Key highlights to Lagom include heirloom-quality designs transformed by fresh symbolism, as well as classically tweaked designs layered with refined and subtle embellishments. Melding ancient and modern techniques, perfecting the process of design is essential, taking the time to reveal what’s beneath the surface.


The story of neutrals through layers of time, antique hues with a touch of decadence and romance. A global archaic influence peaks through as grays are softened and touches of flesh pink and deep rust red infuse the
palette with the spirit of art.


This mineral-inspired palette layers shades of marble, granite and concrete, while overlaying a veil of sand and fragile fresco hues. Nature’s influence is displayed through modern blues and plant-based greens.

Color Palette


Material and Texture

Lagom is design with purpose, and a fundamental attention to the process. Repurposed heirlooms, classical mashups and superior craftsmanship are foundations for ideally equal scheme. Add light, decadent accents for a luxurious touch to finalize a storybook setting. Other key design details, materials and texture highlights include:

  • The idea of subtle movement and motion — channeling caryatids or ancient Greek pleating — supple textiles, sculptured stone with texturized folding and fluid draping, cool sensuality, a study in the anatomy of design.
  • Artisan made — crafted vegetable-tanned hides, repurposed composite, craftsperson-made goods, resin, brass, dried floral arrangements and other Art Nouveau floral interpretations. Vibrant damask, delicate velvets and toile are finely crafted. Other materials of note include walnut wood, Italian marble, gas-fired clay, shearling wool, smooth leather, antique bronze, alabaster and colored glass.


  • Mythology reborn — arrows, goblets, chalices, thrones, columns. Modernized ancient references drawn from Greco-Roman epic poetry and mythology. Paying tribute to classical imagery tinged with modernity through typographical treatments in art installations with a nude color palette.


Surface pattern highlights include opulent textures, aggressive distressing and molded impressions, with darkly hued walls and Rococo details adding romance. Pattern and graphics commemorate ancestry, while
complex geometrics and typography intensify playful, strong messaging for updated twists to tradition. Other key details include pear motifs, dainty floral-patterned wallcovering, romantic curves, hand-painted foliage, micro-tiles, carved woodwork and inlayed patterns.

Other key design details embody the following characteristics:

  • Lines drawings — delicate graphics, networks and grids for decoration or in wiry structures, for outlining, articulating or surrounding voids



  • Revamped brutalism — as noted in our Solibre Trend story, brutalism has returned. With Lagom, the focus is on forged metal, coffered concrete, retracted enamel, and roughness that retains traces of the mold or tool. Material scarification and scoring — primal minimalism. Raw concrete and pale marble overlaid with traces of frescoes and architectural sketches feature elegant contrasts. Add comforting textiles to soften these neo-industrial spaces.


  • Ancient languages –– calligraphy and hieroglyphics gathered over the course of time add unique decoration through repeating cross-hatched geometrics, allegorical scenes, signs to decipher, and engraved or stamped designs.


To learn more about our 2021 color + design trends report, click here. And to view the full 2021 color palette, visit us here.