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Evolving Interior Design Trends in a Changing World

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, strategically good interior design was viewed as everything from a hobby to a privilege. Now it’s a necessity. One simple fact has changed the world of design: people are spending more time at home. They’re working from home, schooling children from home, and when time allows, relaxing from home. If some degree of thought isn’t put into the design and organization of the home, the space quickly becomes confining and even debilitating.

Now more than ever, good design is essential for function, well being and mental health. Today we’re taking a look at how design trends are reflecting these important necessities. The good news: you don’t need a lot of money to make strategic design work for you at home. Keep reading for helpful tips and plenty of visual inspiration, and don’t forget to check out our summary of trends at the bottom of the post. [design below by Zara Home]

Serene Spaces

We begin with the obvious: when spending large amounts of time at home, your abode needs to be a true haven. How can one place inspire you, entertain you, and soothe you at the same time? Reducing clutter is key. So is surrounding yourself with the things that make you happy. As the current global pandemic is making it necessary for many of us to remain at home for long periods of time, people are finding that less is often more. Comforting warm tones are also continuing to rise in popularity.

The serene bedroom above features a linen duvet cover from Zara Home. To have a space that is both tranquil and organized, excellent storage is key. It may be worth your time to take a look at your closet organization and ensure that you’re maximizing every inch of the square footage. The more you can stash away, the less that needs to be out in the open. In addition, furnishings that double as extra storage are highly valued. Below we see Crate & Barrel’s Nesting White and Natural Play Table and Chairs Set, a perfect function-meets-storage piece for kids’ spaces:

When you make the most of your space, there’s room to display items that make you happy and serve as a source of creative inspiration. A sculptural object, a geometric mirror, and an artful lamp (all from CB2) stand out in the living area below, which is the epitome of uncluttered design.

Work-From-Home Style

In this changing world, many are just trying to keep up while adjusting to working from home and meeting deadlines. However, if you have a chance to step back and think about what makes a truly productive space, there’s something to be said for incorporating pieces that are both functional and stylish. Functional elements make your day run more smoothly, while an item that inspires you stylistically can spark creativity and productivity. Keep reading for tips on how to design a home office that you can truly work in all day. [office accessories below from ferm LIVNG]

If your home office doesn’t look like the ones that follow, we get it. Since you may be at a home desk 8+ hours a day, there will be a lot more than marble accessories gracing the top of your work surface. Consider the photos below to be a dose of design inspiration, and if one corner of your desk can channel a “styled and organized” vibe, you’re in good shape. Especially when it comes to small home offices, furnishings that include built-in storage are a plus. If you can swing a desk like CB2’s Fullerton Modular Black Desk, even better. Note how one leg of the desk is a set of file drawers, while a black marble top adds a big serving of style:

Making a home office setup work can involve everything from selecting a desk that doubles as another piece of furniture (such as a console table) to designating one corner of a room to be the “home office”. Perhaps it’s the corner of the living room, guest room or bedroom. When the desks are this good, the design of the room at hand is truly elevated. [Drommen Desk from CB2]

If your guest room or home gym suddenly became a home office during the first phase of the pandemic, perhaps it’s time to rethink the design of the space. Options can range from carving out a portion of the room for work to repurposing the entire room as a home office. If you have the ability to devote an entire room in your home to work, consider yourself lucky. Whether you have the whole space or simply a corner, don’t skimp on comfort. Invest in a quality chair and pair it with a desk that will enable you to reduce clutter and maintain good posture. [Avalon Ivory Faux Shagreen Desk from CB2]

Design studios know that more and more people are working from home, and their offerings reflect this undeniable fact. In other words, now is the time to browse home office supplies, including furniture. Working from home is a trend that will be with us for a long time. If home is now your office, get set up with the basics, and then enjoy picking out a few artful objects to make the space special.

Comforting Touches

When there is so much uncertainty in the world, it’s comforting to surround yourself with items that evoke a sense of calm or channel the feel of a vacation. We all have the desire to escape from reality, especially at a time like this. When the majority of the escaping has to occur from the confines of home, good design can be your best friend. Earthy touches are a wonderful option, as they reflect one of today’s top design trends and can also be used to create a laid-back vibe. [photo below from CB2]

If a woven pendant reminds you of a beach resort from your favorite summer vacation, don’t forget about the colder seasons of the year. Not only do seasonal touches add instant festivity, they’re an important way to note the passage of time. This is particularly important when each day seems just like the next. CB2’s Totem Marble Taper Candle Holder is sleek and modern, yet it serves as the perfect way to bring a flame of cozy light into the home:

Outdoor Havens

If you’re lucky enough to have any sort of outdoor space, now is the time to transform it into your own personal retreat. A large yard, a small yard, or even a balcony can become a natural haven. At this unprecedented time, comfy outdoor seating, string lights, sturdy cushions and other embellishments are suddenly in high demand. Not to mention children’s play equipment, but that’s a story for another post! Below, we see how Terrain’s Mosaic Petal Solar Lanterns add instant festivity:

No outdoor space? You can always bring the outdoors in. Never before have houseplants and natural wonders been more essential in creating a sense of well being. Consider a “nature cabinet” that can connect you with outdoor elements in just one glance. [iron storage cabinet from Terrain]

While many of today’s featured trends were already emerging before the pandemic, these changing times have propelled them into “essential” territory. When it comes to creating a serene space with a roomy feel, less-is-more design is has become the norm, along with an uncluttered feel. In the realm of home office design, more and more people are carving out substantial, intentional work spaces, whether that means designating an entire room for the purpose of work or setting up a distinct area wherever you can find the room. Dual-purpose furnishings and pieces with built-in storage have emerged as favorites.

Since home now has to serve as a haven as well as an escape, any item that transports you to another place or creates a vacation vibe is valued. Pieces with a breezy feel are great for the warmer months, but as cooler weather approaches, items that reflect a change of season will be extra important during a time when each day seems just like the one before it. Finally, now more than ever, outdoor spaces are a huge design focus. Bringing the outdoors in with items such as houseplants is essential for those with no yard or balcony.

Thanks for reading, and happy decorating!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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