2021 – an interior designer’s perspective
There will be a lot of media reflection on the year that was 2021. It started promisingly enough after 2020 when we had to deal with COVID and life with a global pandemic. But it turned out to be less hopeful than we wanted or perhaps needed. As a new variant of the virus meant 2021 was similar or worse to 2020. So here is an interior designer’s perspective on the big interior design questions clients asked in 2021.
Changes to our home life
There were a few factors that significantly impacted our home lives in 2021. Firstly, we were simply spending more time at home and secondly, we were actually working from home. From my perspective this meant that people didn’t want to live, work and play in a home that wasn’t both functional and beautiful.
When we were working from the office and spending a few hours a day at home the flaws in our homes weren’t a priority. Moreover, coming home from work and getting on with family life meant that people were too tired to care about the big or small home improvement projects that were kept on the back burner. Hoping, wanting that one day they’ll get to it.
The key issue people wanted to address working from home was the background to their Zoom meetings. People didn’t want their colleagues, clients, and bosses to see a plain white wall. For some clients this meant adding art, painting a feature wall, or adding plants to their background.
Another issue that came up with working from home is the comfort or ergonomic factor. Previously we didn’t care if our desk at home wasn’t ergonomic. Mainly, because we didn’t spend too much time there. So, getting the right desk, and desk chair with the right heights was important to prevent back, neck and shoulder pain.
The next big issue that my clients wanted help with was multiple people working from the same desk or office space in the home, especially with home schooling. This was important from a privacy, and background sound perspective. So additional space or even more multi-fuctional spaces became important.
A fondness for the colour green
Coming out of lock down I had a few clients requesting various shades of green for their spaces. The style didn’t matter, green was the preference.
I had one client who wanted a Moroccan styled bathroom with a turquoise feature wall. But not just a simple turquoise, the client wanted a tile with variations in colour and brass hardware.
Then there was an eclectic client who loved teal and wanted this colour in her kitchen. Either in the cabinetry or in the splashback.
Another client whose inspiration for their formal living area was a luxurious Indian hotel, wanted peacock as part of the colour scheme.
I reflected on this and thought it had to be more than a coincidence. I also spoke to a few suppliers to ask if they noticed the same thing, which they did. The conclusion I came to, was the connection between green and nature and rejuvenation. Perhaps subconsciously people wanted green in their spaces post lock down as a way of expressing a need for rejuvenation, calmness, and nature.
Kitchens are the true hub of the home
We know that kitchens are the heart of the home, and this was highlighted during a year of lock down. After all the kitchen is where the food is and where people gather. So, in a lock down situation food provided comfort and people provided connection.
But the kitchen was also the birthplace, for a newfound love of cooking or baking. For example, many people mastered bread. Personally, I preserved lemons.
We also bought coffee machines, juicers, and other gadgets to encourage us to spend more time in the kitchen but also to replicate what we would normally get from a café on our way to work.
So, the kitchen had to work. Some of my kitchen projects dealt with problems such as not enough counter space, not enough storage (for all the new appliances), poor lighting, no breakfast counter and so on.
Space, sound, multifunctional
I also had a lot of one-off consultations. Especially from people wanting to maximise their home and increase the multi-functional aspects. People wanted more space and couldn’t think of how to make the most of their existing designated rooms.
To find a solution for my clients, I would ask my clients how they use each space in the house, and what times of the day to find a creative solution to creating multi-functional spaces.
Moving forward I think that working from home will remain. So, our homes will need a rethink to ensure all our functional and aesthetic needs are met.
But for now let’s look forward to Christmas. Time with our families, time away from work or perhaps a holiday and really tap into the hope that this time of year can bring. Hope for a more ‘normal’ 2022 and return to all the things we love.
So that somes up an interior designer’s pespective on 2021 and finally, if you’re stuck on gift ideas, check out my gift guide for discerning interior lovers.