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The pandemic has forced us to adapt to many changes and altered our lives and way of working for good. A house is no more a place where we just live, sleep, and eat. The work-from-home lifestyle has turned it into our workplace, gym, hobby center, and much more.
Hence, it’s not surprising that the field of interior design has undergone several changes during these times. The global health crisis has increased the demand for adaptable and flexible spaces. Let’s take a look at how the field of interior design is evolving in a post-pandemic world.
Home Offices are Here to Stay
Though physical workplaces aren’t written off, for now, the pandemic has taken work-from-home from an office perk to a mandate. However, in the future even when the offices open up, people will continue to adopt the hybrid approach to working.
In other words, remote jobs are here to stay! This will make home offices a critical consideration in interior design. Even after the pandemic, we’ll see more dedicated workspaces rather than mere makeshift work corners or desk setups. People will either move to larger homes to have more workspace or convert existing extra rooms like the guest room into permanent home offices.
This trend will also give rise to multi-functional flexible spaces in the home layout. For instance, incorporating work desks with comfortable chairs and expanded storage into bedrooms and living rooms will be a norm.
Similarly, lighting is a critical consideration for workspaces at home. Besides natural light, task lamps, floor lamps, and ambient lighting are all vital for a well-lit work area. Energy-efficient industrial LED lighting is being increasingly preferred in home office settings because of its longevity and eco-friendliness. These lights also have zero-wait time for lighting up and significantly reduce the energy bills.
Distributed Workspace Setup at Home
Telecommuting can take a toll on your mental health and productivity, especially if you have a working partner, roommate, and other family members. Homes with multiple people working together have had to adjust to an impromptu co-working setup.
Today, interior designers are considering factors like people working from the same home and their ergonomics, sustained comfort, and productivity when designing a space. They are increasingly working on creating a cohesive and functional workspace that meets the needs of each individual using the area.
Growing Demand for Dedicated Distance Learning Spaces
Vaccines against COVID-19 are yet to be approved for those under 16 years of age. Hence, distance education will remain a norm for a foreseeable future. This has triggered the need for home offices (for educators) and student learning spaces that facilitate remote learning through technology, adequate storage, and flexible furniture.
Schools and colleges have already transitioned to video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet. This trend has given rise to multiple designated learning spaces at homes to reduce distraction and promote a productive learning environment. Just like home offices, lighting plays a critical role in creating well-lit remote learning spaces.
People Are Considering Kitchen Redesigning
The whole world was confined to their homes during the pandemic. This led to families making the most of their common living spaces like the kitchen and dining areas. The need for multi-functional spaces for cooking, eating, entertainment, and attending work calls has gone up. No wonder, homeowners are considering open kitchens, larger kitchen islands with integrated seating, and kitchen worktops.
Homes are incorporating large and comfortable sofas, armchairs, and settees to accommodate more family members at one time. All this means a bigger focus on kitchen redesigning.
At-Home Gyms Are on the Rise
The pandemic has reshaped the fitness landscape. With public gyms and sports centers shut, fitness-conscious people are motivated to develop a home fitness routine. This has increased the demand for home fitness equipment that allows fitness enthusiasts to work out from the safety and comfort of their homes. No wonder, the at-home fitness industry is skyrocketing.
What does this mean for interior design? A private fitness space or specialized wellness studio is becoming a critical consideration in designing residential spaces. We will see an increasing number of homeowners recasting the underutilized spaces like spare bedrooms, basements, garages, and other spaces and converting them into a dedicated workout space.
Outdoor Entertainment Spaces Are Gaining Importance
With restaurants, theatres, cafes, and other outdoor spaces being unsafe to visit, people are looking at converting their homes and yards into entertainment spaces. These spaces fill the void for people missing outdoor experiences, allowing them to organize safe get-togethers with their families and neighbors.
For instance, installing an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, or simply furnishing the outside space enables families to create a community hub for hanging out with loved ones while adhering to the social distancing norms. As the pandemic waves continue to threaten people’s lives globally, we can expect more demand for such outdoor entertainment spaces in home backyards and gardens.
Further, since travel plans are on hold for most families, homeowners will look at innovative ways to make their homes feel like a resort for relaxation and de-stressing. Hence, hotel-inspired amenities, such as spa-like bathrooms with large soaking tubs, outdoor showers, and steam functionality in the shower area are the common features they’ll invest in.
There’ll Be More Focus on Hallways and Foyers
Everyone’s more cognizant of maintaining sanitary spaces that are separated from the indoors. The need for keeping safe from infections has increased the significance of a utility room where the goods delivered can be stored and disinfected before getting them indoors. The foyer or the mudroom also allows a visitor to come in, take off their shoes, wash their hands, and then enter the house.
Hence, dual entrances are in demand. A secondary entrance (a boot room, foyer, mudroom, or an entryway) that leads directly into a utility space is slowly becoming a marketable feature most home buyers are looking for.
The pandemic has forced all of us to rethink the significance of every inch of space in our homes. Previously, homes were mere spaces that we’d show off or used for shelter and protection. All that has changed since the last year!
With the work-from-home or hybrid work lifestyle continuing in the future, we need to design our living space to accommodate our needs and add more functionality to our residential spaces.
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