Interior and décor trends that are likely to gain preference, post the COVID-19 pandemic

[] From home-offices and multi-functional spaces to health and hygiene, we look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to bring about a change in the design of indoor and housing society spaces

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, have forced most of us to be confined to our homes for the longest stretch of time, in recent memory. Never have we spent so much time indoors and never have our lives revolved entirely around our homes, the way they do now. There have been psychological, spatial and societal shifts, in architecture and design, as a result.

You are reading: Interior and décor trends that are likely to gain preference, post the COVID-19 pandemic

Home buyers have realised that their need is not just for space but for thoughtfully-designed, multi-functional and flexible interior spaces. With work-from-home now widely accepted and likely to remain a norm for some time, the need for a quiet and private space within the home, has increased. All the tasks that people have been doing in offices, in a dedicated cubicle or an enclosed office space, are now being carried out in their homes. Consequently, rooms in the house may fulfill this requirement of office spaces and also of the home that people used to return to from their offices in the pre-COVID-19 era. This will have a significant impact on interior décor.

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Home transformation

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Multi-functional spaces within rooms, acting as a self-sufficient ‘microcosm of the home’ and residential projects that act as miniature cities, are going to be the way forward. Each room must be able to fulfill the different needs of users throughout the day – from rest to rejuvenation and fitness to work. The kitchen, for example, can also serve as a workplace, when not used for cooking and the parlour can double-up as an indoor workout area or meditation zone. Simple things, like having a plug point for your coffee kettle next to your desk, or being able to conveniently stack up your files on a desk and have space for a snack, are things that people will look for.

The idea of a static wall within the interior space may change, as home buyers may like to change the layout, as per the needs of the day. Open-plan common spaces, which can be separated by a collapsible wall, are likely to follow. Such arrangements will be suitable for creating private spaces, which can serve as small home-offices or can be used by the children for their online schooling.

Bringing the outdoors indoors

Spaces within a project, especially the common areas of buildings and clubhouses of apartment complexes, where people would have otherwise gathered, will now be repurposed to be more utilitarian and serve purposes other than that of simply being a space for gathering and socialising. With the health risks associated with gathering in public spaces like movie theatres, or even within the society or the clubhouse, OTT platforms and other forms of online content have seen a huge spike in consumption. People’s homes will also turn into their entertainment hubs. Home theatres and personal entertainment equipment will be incorporated into the design of homes, as will be efficient and discreet storage spaces for a range of gadgets.

Health and hygiene

Sanitisation and disinfection zones, drop-off zones for deliveries and parcels, etc., will likely become a common feature at apartment and society entrance areas, with people growing more conscious of different ways of contamination. In the same light, new materials that are resistant to bacteria and viruses and ensure better hygiene, will be preferred for the construction and design of home furniture and other décor. Easier-to-clean, dust-repellent surfaces and fittings, will become par for the course. The focus will be on hygiene, ensuring that our homes are clutter-free and minimalistic, yet elegant and utilitarian.

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Indoor environment

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Given the growing preference among consumers, for naturally-lit, open spaces, there will be greater focus on ensuring adequate daylight and ventilation in all interior spaces. Non-VOC paints and other materials that support indoor air quality, will be preferred. Balconies will also become increasingly popular, as an interface with nature and the world outside, or as spaces for rejuvenation, without needing to step out of home.

In a nutshell, we can expect 2021 to bring in design trends around multi-functionality, flexibility and hygiene, in an easy-to-maintain, aesthetically-pleasing package, which also provides a sense of oneness with nature.

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(The writer is chief of design and sustainability, Mahindra Lifespaces)

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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