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6 positive changes the pandemic is bringing to interior design

in design trends

How is the Covid-19 pandemic going to change interior design? And our lives in general? These are questions everyone’s asking at the moment. And rightly so, since this pandemic will indeed change many aspects of our life for a pretty long time. But this is not necessarily a bad thing…

Today I’d like to focus on 6 interior design changes that have been introduced or accelerated by the pandemic and that are all positive changes.

Huge tree entering an interior from a round opening in the ceiling.
Credit: Six N. Five (via Instagram)

1. mindful living

The lockdown has stripped away all the excess from our lives, leaving us paused in our homes. This imposed stillness has moved our attention to things we were not necessarily seeing before. From clutter to spaces that don’t respond to our needs, we’re realizing what doesn’t work in our homes. Also, quarantine has shrunk the perimeter of our daily lives. So we’ve started giving whole new importance to the little things while questioning what really matters.

Ultimately, we’ve experienced a more intentional way of living. And I’m confident that this will – at least in part — stick with us. In practice, this would translate into a more mindful approach to what we own and the awareness that our spaces do impact our quality of life.

A reading corner furnished with a sculptural chiase longue in front of a big window.
Credit: Lotta Agaton Interiors

2. home as a nurturing space

During quarantine, home has been our safe harbour – literally. Going forward, social distancing will still be important and we might even have to face intermittent lockdown periods. Either way, we are likely to stay home more than before…

With this comes the desire to truly feel good at home. More people are realizing that home could and should be more than a bunch of furniture and décor. Home should be our own shelter, a deeply nurturing space where we can concentrate, be creative, have fun and relax. Embracing biophilic design can respond to this need, creating interiors that support our mental and physical health.

Close-up shot of a sofa in a room full of greenery that overlooks a light patio.
Credit: Firemaize (via Behance)

3. hygiene + sanitation

This pandemic has made us all more concerned with what we bring into our homes, that we want to keep clean and sanitized. This might shine a new light on a room that is often overlooked: the entryway. We’ve discussed in a previous article that the entryway should be an inviting space that welcomes us back, setting the tone for a wellbeing-centered experience at home. On top of that, organizing the entryway can also improve hygiene, providing dedicated spots to leave shoes, bags, parcels and whatever we bring in from the outside. And – pandemic aside – improving home organization is always a good thing.

Top-down shot of an entryway console fully equipped with a stool, baskets and catchalls.
Credit: Homey Oh My

4. flexibility

With social distancing remaining as part of the “new normal”, we’re going to gather less in public spaces, from offices to gyms and pubs. This means our homes will need to serve many purposes and transition between different functions even more than before. Movable partitions, multi-functional furniture and clever designs will support everyday reconfigurations, allowing us to work from home, meditate and workout – all in the same space.

In this scenario, it becomes even more important to design interiors that take care of our minds. Otherwise, we risk ending up with homes that don’t have a purpose anymore; homes where we do plenty of things but none of them properly.

Custom cabinet integrating a seating area.
Credit: Shapeless Studio

5. connection with nature

During quarantine, many people have missed being in nature. And the feeling has become ever worse given how far from nature our interiors are. This is an occasion to let biophilic design inspire us more, incorporating real natural elements, reproducing natural details and evoking a feeling of nature in interiors. Not that a biophilic interior will ever substitute a walk in nature. But for sure it will close that gap between the natural world and the built environment, making our homes more nurturing as a plus.

On the same line, even the smallest balcony has gained exceptional value during the lockdown, turning into a precious escape to take some fresh air. Having to spend more time at home in the future, outdoor spaces are likely to get more attention. From a biophilic perspective, this opens the opportunity to set up our personal view onto nature. And – more in general – to make the outdoor a real continuation of home, creating an indoor-outdoor feel.

Balconies will probably become a must in new buildings. And green roofs may become more popular as a way to retrofit existing buildings and provide a patch of greenery to apartments that don’t have a balcony.

Living area with a terrace full of green.
Credit: The Design Chaser (via Instagram)

6. sustainability

All these pandemic-related thoughts add to the delicate environmental situation we were already facing before. So the attention to sustainability will still be essential in all its aspects: from mindfully using natural resources, to carefully choosing the objects we fill our homes with.

For more on this, head over to riivin; the sustainable interior design platform I curate.

From commuting less to shopping local, the pandemic has also stimulated behaviours that actually benefit the environment. And one could even argue that these will become paradigms of the “new normal”.

Covered patio overlooking greenery.
Credit: David Trubridge

I’ve always believed that from big challenges come big opportunities. And designing interiors that are more intentional, sustainable and wellbeing-oriented is indeed a huge opportunity!

Also, focusing on the opportunity side of things is helping me keep a positive outlook on this situation; hope it can do the same for you.

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