How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Interior Design
The pandemic has caused a sea change in how we live, work, and recreate—TWO YEARS later, here’s how that’s impacted our homes.
The greatest change COVID-19 pandemic has brought about is the way we live in our homes. It has fundamentally transformed our relationship to home.
Last several months, we have been asking designers how the pandemic has reshaped our interiors so far. What are clients prioritizing, and what new trends are emerging as a result? What’s becoming clear is that 2022 has brought a renewed focus on function and flexibility on top of aesthetics as we navigate a new normal.
1. Heavy-Duty Home Offices
For many, working from home has gone from a rare perk to a company mandate as traditional offices remain closed. As our Founder, Manjari Sharma says, “Our company has been designing home offices for decades, but who ever thought our clients would actually work there—I mean really, really work there, five days a week, week after week, month after month?”
Previously most clients looking for a home office wanted a casual space to pay bills, check emails, or look up a recipe. Now, home offices are souped up with large work surfaces, comfortable chairs, and expanded storage space to support heavy usage.
2. Remote-Learning Spaces
With school transitioning to Zoom as well, having multiple designated workspaces at home is becoming essential to reduce distraction. Whether it be a room converted to a home office or a remote-learning nook within a larger area, clients need separate workspaces for everyone in the household.
3. A New Focus on the Foyer
Entryways & halls are getting extra attention these days as people become aware of maintaining sanitary areas and clear divisions between outdoors and inside.
These spaces will grow and become much more functional. And the awkward request for a guest to remove their shoes will no longer be awkward…it will just be the accepted norm. So, think comfortable chairs, mats, bins for masks, space for sanitisers etc.
4. Bringing the outdoors inside
From large windows and sliding doors that bring the outside in, to nature-inspired colors, design that enhances our connection to the environment will be key to boosting mental and physical wellness as we hunker down in our homes. Our designer Shubham Khandelia says “For homes to be places of refuge and safety, we should choose colors that promote peace, wellbeing, and this connection to nature as well as textures that are less about display and more about comfort and performance.“
5. Hotel-Inspired Amenities
Since travel is still largely on hold, homeowners are looking for ways to make home feel like a retreat, prioritizing spa-like bathrooms and places for relaxation that take cues from hospitality design. Think big & stylish bedrooms, fancy dining rooms, gyms, play rooms etc.
6. Creative Partitions
With most of our daily lives confined to the home, the importance of having separate spaces for different activities has created a need for screens, partitions and other dividers to help define spaces for flexible use.
7. Multi Use Bonus Rooms
Homeowners are taking advantage of underutilized basements, bedrooms, and garages, recasting them as bonus spaces for working out, watching movies, and other activities that keep the family entertained during a pandemic.
8. Outdoor Entertainment Areas
With restaurants, bars, and other venues becoming tricky to navigate—if not shut down entirely—our homes and backyards have become community hubs for loved ones to hang out at a responsible social distance.
Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention, and the pandemic’s impact on interior design can be best summed up as a deepened focus on well delineated, adaptable spaces.
It’s forced us all to rethink the importance of home. It was always somewhere we lived, but in recent times we’d lost connection to what it always used to do: sheltered us, protected us. Homes had become possessions to show off, or bases to spend our times elsewhere. That all changed this year. All of this underscores the profound importance of design that’s not just about the surface, but the function and the meaning.”