Donna Mathis with Haven Design Works 2021 Design Trends

Owner and CEO of Haven Design Works Donna Mathis is in the studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses several hot 2021 design trends, as well as recent and upcoming projects from Haven Desing Works on this All About Real Estate segment of Radio.

Mathis spent her entire career in the design industry so far, working alongside builders the whole time. After studying interior design at the University of South Carolina and the American Intercontinental University, Mathis began working with a large national model merchandising firm. After several years of learning the trade and gaining experience in the industry, she launched DMD Studios. This company later grew to become a national, award-winning firm. In 2013, Mathis joined forces with fellow designer, Lisa Giles. The two created Haven Design Works.

“I love design, and I love the possibilities that design brings to builders to help them tell their story,” said Mathis.

Located in Suwanee, Georgia, Haven Design Works has been in business for eight years and works with several clients up and down the East Coast. Working in every major city along the coast, Haven Design Works collaborates with builders and developers across a wide range of projects, including master-planned communities, community clubhouses, model homes, model parks, amenity centers and more.

Haven Design Works Biggest 2021 Design Trends

In 2020, Haven Design Works earned several awards at the Annual OBIE Award ceremony.  The OBIE Awards, presented by the Atlanta Sales and Marketing Council (SMC) on behalf of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (HBA), recognize outstanding achievements within the homebuilding industry and serve as the premier awards given in the Atlanta new home construction industry. Haven Design Works won the following awards at the 40th Annual OBIE Awards:

  • Community of the Year and Best Amenity Package – Gold Winner
  • Single-Family Builder, Detached $1 to $1.2 Million – Gold Winner
  • Best Interior Merchandising, Detached $300,000 to $399,000 – Gold Winner
  • Best Interior Merchandising, Attached, $299,000 and Under – Gold Winner
  • Best Interior Merchandising, Attached, $299,000 and Under – Silver Winner

Haven Design Works partnered with Jim Chapman Communities, Chathambilt Homes, Traditions of Braselton and Paran Homes to sweep the board, winning awards for merchandising model homes and amenity centers.

Mathis does not have a specific type of client she looks for when taking on new design work. From small builders to master-planned community amenity centers, Haven Design Works has the skilled team and wide-spread portfolio experience to take on a variety of project types. For Mathis, the perfect client is someone who has a vision she can help bring to life.

“I call it the special sauce,” said Mathis. “To me, the special sauce is when you can partner with your builder and you help them tell their story and help them sell their product in a way that buyers can get and relate to.”

Looking forward, Mathis anticipates a big trend for 2021 to include joy. This feeling is something that was scarcely lacking in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Looking for patterns, colors and pieces that reflect joy and happiness, Mathis plans to incorporate a variety of design elements into her work in 2021 that reflect the feeling of joy. From soft circular shapes to bright delightful hues, Haven Design Works has a goal of bringing joy and happiness to projects in the 2021.

Haven Design Works 2021 Design Trends

Another hot trend Mathis predicts for the upcoming year is the purging of formal spaces! The alternative to these formal areas are relaxed, cozy areas within a home or living space. Signifying a state-of-mind, this design trend reflects the shift in at-home life due to the pandemic. Mathis predicts a change from mid-century furniture and style that incorporates clean and elegant lines, to more relaxed living with softer textures and colors.

Multifunctional homes and spaces are another trend to spur from the pandemic. It no longer makes sense to isolate one room to a specific purpose. With many people taking on multiple roles within the home, including teacher, chef, employee, entertainer and more, a house must adapt to fill the new needs of families spending an increasing amount of time at home. Bedrooms transition to offices during work hours, children’s playrooms adapt to be school rooms for learning and cozy breakfast nooks turn into the perfect place for finishing homework.

“We’re finding ways to make our spaces more functional and more multifunctional,” said Mathis. “The home office is coming back! We can no longer sit in the living room with the TV on and our laptops in our lap. We have to get down to business.”

The final trend Mathis predicts for the upcoming year centers around keeping it natural. Terracotta vases, marble coffee tables, wicker accents and hand-crafted furniture are all aspects of a natural trend that is provoked from an increased sense of grounding in families and buyers everywhere. Natural elements that help bring a relaxed vibe to a home is going to be big in 2021!

To learn more about the services available from Haven Design Works, visit Also, be sure to listen to the full interview above to hear more from Donna Mathis and learn all about the hottest 2021 design trends.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Haven Design Works are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (February/2021)

New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit

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The Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio “All About Real Estate” segment, presented by Denim Marketing, highlights the movers and shakers in the Atlanta real estate industry – the home builders, developers, Realtors and suppliers working to provide the American dream for Atlantans. For more information on how you can be featured as a guest, contact Denim Marketing at 770-383-3360 or fill out the Atlanta Real Estate Forum contact form. Subscribe to the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast on iTunes, and if you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it.

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