Last week we had a meeting that turned into a 2-hour crowdsourcing session on how we at EHD think the pandemic has changed interior design. This isn’t a trend post per se–it’s more a reflection on the lifestyle shifts that have made their way into how we view our home spaces, thus changing how we design and even renovate. It’s tough to know how long our lives will be affected by Covid-19 (wear a mask! stay home!) but we are certain that some shifts in the design world are here to stay. When life changes so drastically in a single year, some things are bound to shift permanently in both good and bad ways (but don’t worry, we think all these are good things). Let’s get to it, shall we?
We Are Taking WAY More Risks And Having More “Fun”
We are painting rooms bold colors, mixing patterns, leaning into new styles, and DIYing because why the hell not?? We want excitement in our homes more than ever so we are taking risks and having less company over means design choices aren’t on display right away. We can sit with our ideas without feeling pressure to impress anyone which ultimately helps us figure out what we really love. This might be our favorite because feeling free in your home is how it should have always been. Let’s keep this up…forever.
We Want Our Spaces To Be Multi-Functional
This is a 2020 trope, no question about it. Whether you are working from home, teaching from home, or learning from home there has been a SURGE in home office spaces. All of us at EHD for example will be working from home permanently so we’ve all made considerable efforts to carve out office nooks or sections. I think this is happening with a lot of companies (especially those in the digital media world) and it helps to create zones so you can separate “work mode” and “binge-watching-the-crown-mode”.
We Are Designing More For Ourselves (And Our Families) AKA Severe Comfort
Comfort and function are more of a priority and a lot of us are loving this new shift. We are feeling less pressure to have a “perfect” home and in general, we want to make the most out of the spaces we have. Family rooms should be designed with comfort in mind, but an office or living room could be more bright and eclectic to inspire creativity. It depends on individual needs and we are all paying more attention to those needs now.
Em even mentioned on our call that while she will always visually love her more “special” sculptural chairs, they just aren’t great it sit in for an extended period of time which is a massive no-go when you are spending 99% of your time indoors and every inch is precious. So maybe this seems like common sense but no longer will we be buying pieces we don’t actually want to use. Comfort is king.
We Are Making More Thoughtful Purchases
Ordering furniture or decor online brings up a whole set of anxieties and challenges. Especially with big ticket items such as sofas and coffee tables, we are all REALLY doing our research. We are reading reviews by people who have actually owned or tried out products for a period of time so we can be more confident in our buys. Some of us were already doing that but it’s shocking how many people don’t and then are disappointed when they get it delivered. Whoops. Plus, returns in a pandemic are extra annoying and can even be dangerous. So we all just want to be as confident in our purchases as possible.
We are also collectively paying attention to important things like sustainability and company ethos so we know who and what we are supporting. Particularly, we are making sure that a portion of our purchases are from companies owned by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people. Unless we make a true effort to diversify our purchases, nothing will change. Thankfully we are starting to make that crucial shift.
In addition, retailers are catering to our needs more by providing more detailed information (one of our favorite examples being how Interior Define has videos of people of different heights sitting on their sofas). This is important info we need to know!!
There Is a Call For Straight To Consumer Custom Products
Custom furniture, or custom anything really, can be so intimidating. It’s almost always worth it, but many people don’t have the time or expertise to figure out how to get what they want. This past year we have noticed a surge in companies who are offering custom straight to consumer products and services due to the fact people can’t go in-store. A few we’ve worked with and love are Wovn Home and Clare paint, which both have super easy to use online services so you can get exactly what you are looking for. I worked with both of them in my living room and I cannot recommend them enough.
We Are Feeling More Confident To DIY (And Saving Contractor Funds For The BIG Jobs)
Confidence to try new things and experiment more is at an all-time high (like I said in the first example). We are seeing a lot of people “go for it” which is so refreshing and exciting. I saw so many DIY art pieces, headboards, murals, and even furniture in 2020 and hope that never ever changes.
But more so, we are seeing people tackle “harder” DIYs like lighting and tile installation because A. we are trying to stay safe and not have unnecessary people in our homes and B. saving money on things we are finding the confidence to be able to do ourselves leaves more money for the projects we need contractors for. Albie is on this train. Her husband is tiling their laundry room floor because well, it’s small and pretty straightforward. Why not, right? It’s pretty empowering to DIY if you haven’t done it yet. The internet has SO many resources. Don’t be afraid.
We Are Shifting Away From Open Concept Layouts
Creating zones is so important when you are home more than ever and for those renovating, an open concept layout may be a lot less appealing than in previous years. It’s simply not practical for stay-at-home life when your home is now an office, classroom, home gym, crafting studio (??), etc etc. The ability to shut a door has likely saved A LOT of relationships this past year. Julie actually already wrote a post about this idea in June. Any new thoughts???
We Are Designing For Actual Wear And Tear
If you follow Emily on Instagram, you know that the lack of mudroom in her mountain house has been a struggle. With two muddy pups and two kids who are home all day, upkeep is constant but this is something she couldn’t have predicted. Before Covid times, when most of us were not home 24/7, the wear and tear on our homes were not as expedited as it is now. It’s pretty simple–we are home twice as much so our homes are getting twice as much wear. That said, we are wanting more durable furniture, fabrics, and if renovating, we are designing more practically based on lifestyle (i.e. if you live in snowy/rainy climates, a good mudroom is KEY).
We Want To Make The Most of Outdoor Spaces (DUH)
Shortly after the stay at home order was put into place, a lot of us were craving functional and beautiful outdoor spaces. We simply missed being outside and for those of us who had backyards and patios, we felt VERY motivated to create an outdoor oasis. Sara pulled together hers in record time and even transformed a storage box into a kiddie pool (as one does).
Now that winter is here and a lot of us are stuck inside, are any of you planning for an epic backyard makeover this spring?? Are you feeling Em on the turf and jacuzzi?? What are your must-haves a year in?
Make Use Of Every Single Room Even If It Goes Against The Flow Or Architectural Integrity Of The Home
This point came up when we were talking about Domino’s new podcast and particularly the episode with Brigette Romanek (someone I am so incredibly inspired by–she’s brilliant and I love her style). Brigette was talking about the historical elements in her home that she wanted to enhance, but also how she dealt with renovating and making the home the most functional and safe for her family. We are also noticing that we are more focused on making the most of our homes and really asking ourselves, “how do I want to use this room? What do I want it to feel like and how can I make that a reality?”. Sometimes this means not adhering 100% to the architectural integrity of a home and that is O.K.
We Are Making More Of An Effort To Use What We Have
A lot of us are buying less but still have the itch to style and play. We are seeing a lot of repurposing antiques, DIY art, and “making things work” which is refreshing and very fun. It makes our homes more unique, personal, and less predictable. I’ve personally been so much more creative by playing around with art and framing things that inspire me so I can display them in my home. There are no rules!
We Are Buying From Small Businesses And Seeking Out New Ones All The Time
Small businesses needed more support than ever in 2020 and I know all of us at EHD discovered so many that we love and will continue to support. With all of us ordering decor online we were nervous that we were going to see all the same pieces over and over, but seeking out small businesses has kept that from happening (thank god) and we are seriously hoping this is a permanent change.
We Are Designing A Mood And Vibe (We Want An Experience)
How do you want your space to feel? This is a question a lot of us are contemplating and trying to execute. I know my living and dining room is 100% based around a mood I want to experience when I walk in. I am already very ~sensitive~ to moods and energy so I try very hard to have my surroundings and environment reflect a positive and comfortable feel. We all agreed we want to feel more of an “experience” in our homes by mixing wallpaper, murals, colors, and generally just taking more risks.
That’s all from team EHD but we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Have more to add? Meet me in the comments and let’s chat. xx