Small Space Trends

Create spot on glamping spaces with advice from designer Nikkita Palmer, by embracing changes to the way we look at the world post pandemic.

Model of deckingAs many of you get ready for another busy season, I’ve put together a guide to creating the best and most on trend indoor and outdoor spaces for your guests in 2021. With glamping and UK holidays once again filling the travel gap of trips abroad due to the pandemic, many have, or are looking to, book a trip more local to home.

With many of these getaways set in secluded areas within nature and away from crowded cities, guests are looking to book spaces which give a sense of freedom, privacy, safety and adventure. Capturing those who would usually holiday abroad, it’s now even more important to take care of the smaller details in order to create a sense of escape and to engage with the needs people are craving after a year of uncertainty.

Outdoor social spaces
Biophilic design (incorporating nature into spaces by bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out) is something which has been on the trend map for a few years now. As we all continue to spend more time at home, and with nature being our only escape, many have begun and will continue to embrace it when designing their spaces. 2021 will see a huge rise in the need for bringing the indoors out and glamping sites offering these options will be high on the list of family and friends who choose to gather as one this year.

Across industries there is an increase in the desire for social spaces, with low level picnic style seating areas becoming hugely popular as well as wooden sofa lounge spaces, rattan furniture, outdoor kitchens and more. Embrace this trend by creating spaces in which guests can socialise together as we continue to crave spending more time with our loved ones. With the safety of the outdoors we’ve come to rely on over the last year, and many more feeling a huge connection to nature, we’ve come to realise the benefits the natural environment has on our health, not to mention the comfort guests will get from the reduced risk of infection from open air spaces.

As the glamping season continues to get longer, many won’t want to keep their holidays just to the summer season. Over the last year, as many longed for time outside, people found ways to enjoy the outdoors in all seasons. Extend the use of outdoor spaces with rustic wooden pergolas, fire pits and outdoor heaters. Accessorise with outdoor rugs, solar lights, cosy throws and luxuries. Consider elements like hot chocolate stations, pizza ovens and hot tubs to add to the luxury of your offering. 2020 saw a huge increase in booking for sites which provided these extra elements and 2021 is sure to be the same.

As working from home becomes the norm, time becomes more flexible, creating an increase in more frequent but shorter breaks and check in days no longer needing to be on a Saturday.

DIY chairThe smaller details
Indoor spaces are just as important to get right. With the ‘Stay at Home’ message we’ve been used to, many now feel less need to be so ‘busy’. Families, couples and groups with new found passions and hobbies will continue to focus on memory making through reading, games and time together. The need to head out to the nearest attraction, while maybe still there, will be less severe as we’ve all lived through a year of the reduced need to spend excess time and money to feel fulfilled.

Make your spaces a home from home by incorporating on trend elements that will have your guests (and their friends) coming back each year. With another nod to biophilic design, nature is again playing a huge part in interior trends for 2021/22.

Japandi, a mix of Japanese minimalist paired with a cool, Scandi vibe is one you will have seen on your Instagram and Pinterest feeds recently. Capture this need for comfort with earthy tones such as Dulux’s Colour Of The Year ‘Brave Ground’, pulling us back to nature, providing a sense of stability, growth and potential.

Natural materials continue to be popular; mixes of linens, wools and reclaimed wood, creating texture, layers and an imperfectly perfect combination as we continue to embrace a sense of ‘Wabi-Sabi’ (appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”).

Build interest into the space by accessorising with colour and pattern within cushions, throws and decor. Something which can be swapped easily with changing seasons and times. Dried florals continue to boom (bought or created) in interesting vases and pots, either bought second hand or crafted by yourself or locally.

Whatever the space, trend or vibe, comfort is key – a sense of cocooning, safety and slowness.

After a year of heavy sanitising, privacy and the removal of shared spaces within society, traditional elements of a campsite such as shared toilet, showering and washing facilities may leave some ditching the idea of holidaying within the industry this year.

While many glampsites invest or pride themselves on private facilities, for some, the idea is unachievable. It’s important to make your guests feel comfortable and turning an area often forgotten about into a space of luxury is something worth investing in this year. Add small touches to your bathroom facilities to make them feel more welcoming, comfortable and, most importantly, fresh!

Include well designed signage, nice soaps, fresh paintwork and small touches to bring the space to life and fit within the atmosphere and feel of the rest of the site. While public toilets may be the enemy for some, it’s especially important this year to change how these spaces look, feel and work!

Sustainable bowlSustainability
We all know by now that we have a commitment to be kinder to our planet. And while it’s important for the environment to play a role in lots of elements within your business, there are also really fun, creative and decor inspired ways to incorporate it too. When we think of sustainability, many jump to topics such as plastic bottles, but there are other ways to give a gentle nod to your eco-friendly ways without spending huge amounts of money or time.

With the trend for upcycling, reusing and reinventing on the rise, use the opportunity to get creative by sourcing second hand when it comes to furniture. With so many amazing products now readily available on the market, an afternoon with a decent paint brush and some chalk paint will have you feeling creatively fulfilled and getting the look you want. This also adds personality to the space as well as more character and sense of nostalgia, a key word when it comes to 2021 interiors.

If creativity isn’t your thing, look for local crafts people to design and create furniture and accessories to fit within your space and theme. Running a reclaimed furniture making business ourselves, we have seen a huge increase in people wanting timeless, handcrafted and sustainable pieces; the desire to buy less but more sustainably.

Fur babies
In 2020 alone, dog-friendly was the fifth most popular search requirement when it came to searching glamping sites in the UK. With a rising number of people having extended their family to a furry friend in 2020, this year is sure to see another rise in breaks tailored to all members of the family.

Pet products now come in a whole range of ‘designer’ and while we aren’t suggesting you spend your entire decor budget on gourmet treat boxes, it’s important to consider your guests’ pooches for extra brownie points! Consider adding in dog treats to your welcome hampers, addressing them in notes and having spaces for them to sleep to match the other decor. Small touches such as extra poop bags, walk recommendations or a list of dog friendly pubs makes your guest feel confident and comfortable to bring their dog on holiday with them. And while not everyone is a crazy dog lady, it will be noticed and appreciated.

Let your customers do the talking
As well as on trend styling, it’s important to add character and personality to your space, to build a brand around your offering which reflects your morals and goals as a business. An online presence is key for any business now and you should be encouraging your guests to share their experiences at your site through clever use of design and decor.

Whether inside or out, while considering trends, the more thought you put into the smaller details, the more your customers are going to do your advertising for you, for free! Use signage and photo opportunities to encourage social media sharing because whether you’re for it or not, the modern guest will want to show off their Insta-worthy shot to the world!


About the Author
Design graduate Nikkita Palmer runs her own design company alongside her partner Billy. Nikkita is an expert in the trend of small spaces and is passionate about ‘slow design’, reconnecting with nature, the importance of community, and the trend of experiences rather than things.

Look out for Nikkita’s book Pallet Style, which includes 20 creative projects using recycled wooden pallets, and catch up with her on Facebook and instagram @nikkitapdesigns or via

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