Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 up until today, our homes have been undergoing a total makeover. We re-evaluated what our personal space means, and that’s evident in our home design choices. Not only that but our fashion sense has also been reangled to accommodate our need for comfort so that we can always be couch-session ready!
Here is how we walked the pathway from the office to the box room, from the club to the living room, and from the mall to the garden, as told by our design and fashion choices.
Home design trends
The 2020/2021 ambience brought about a number of home design trends, from bathroom heating to macrame wall decors. We journeyed through bold colours, furniture curves, and jungles of plants to recreate our personal space in what the thought leader in interiors and trends Michelle Ogundehin called “the year for the interiors equivalent of speaking your own truth”.
While we dared to explore what design opportunities the corners of our homes were hiding, our journey was carried out under the roof of three key home design concepts:
- The comfort and flexibility of space
- Biophilia and sustainability
- Injecting joy into our surroundings
Call upon comfort and flexibility of space
During the peak of lockdown, 60% of the UK’s adult population were working from home. After the pandemic, 26% of Britons plan to continue their remote working conditions permanently or occasionally.
What this means is that the British population will be spending more time at home than during pre-pandemic times, and their homes need to reflect that multi-functionality. A home office, a premium restaurant, a cocktail bar, a home school, and a cinema are only some of the functions our homes have been loaded with.
It’s no surprise that many homeowners are reinventing their box rooms into home offices or using dividers to develop a working station in their living room. People are also paying more attention to decorating their video call space and bridging the gap between personal and professional space through design techniques. There is something exciting about showcasing your flourishing Monstera plant to your colleagues.
Unutilised spaces also saw the light of day. Dull, empty rooms, such as attics, basements, and garages, were given a splash of colour to be turned into home gyms, gaming rooms, and even wine cellars.
Now that our homes have been converted to reflect flexibility and multi-functionality, the 2022 trends will see the continuation of the theme of comfort. Recline chairs, lavish kitchen worktops, bathroom saunas, storage solutions, and statement headboards will be prevailing in our home interiors.
Biophilia fuses with sustainability
Another big trend that emerged in lieu of the pandemic is the garden office space solution. A garden office is a garden room that is detached from the house and internally fitted for the purposes of a professional home office. Between April and May 2020 search interest for ‘garden office’ increased by 49% and remained the same in June 2020. It then saw a follow-up spike from December 2020 to January 2021 by 124% and remained the same in February and March 2021.
Garden offices aren’t the only design trend that reflected our longing for the natural world. Homeowners became incredibly creative with their outdoor spaces, introducing an entertainment area, recreating a backyard living room, and indulging in an array of gardening projects. This trend is set out to continue in 2022, according to the design platform Houzz, which reported that “clients are more frequently requesting worktops, sinks, and even fridges to kit out their outdoor kitchen areas”.
But the reconnection with nature isn’t manifested only in our backyards and gardens. Bringing the outdoors inside is at the core of the design principle called biophilia. Based on the awareness of our environmental impact, the biophilic design calls upon integrating organic, sustainable materials, earthy elements, and lots of greenery into our immediate spaces.
Michelle Ogundehin sees the biophilic design principle fused with sustainability to be dominating the 2022 design trends. “Even at the luxury end of the market, notions of repair, recycling, and re-use will predominate with the emphasis on the uniqueness of the remade product. There will be no loss of style or quality. It will be the same artisans crafting the products,” says the British editor.
Think wooden floors, bonsai plants, linen bedding, and textured curtains. They all exude that luxurious, home retreat-like feel without compromising on the planet. Louise Rusk of Cowberry Home, a luxurious linen bedding and sleep essentials retailer, says:
“Linen is one of the most environmentally sustainable fibres to produce. It is derived from the flax plant, which relies mostly on rainfall to grow and therefore uses significantly less water to produce than cotton and other materials. Flax also loves to absorb high amounts of CO2 and is a no-waste production method. Look for linen that is OEKO-TEX certified, which means that the manufacturing process is free from harmful toxins and chemicals, thus creating a natural environment for a great night’s sleep.”
Injecting joy into our surroundings
It’s undeniable that homeowners dared to venture into the world of bold colours, extraordinary furniture, and a play of textures. And that’s very much connected with our well-being. “Much like a fresh application of red lipstick, the colour on our walls has the power to change how we feel,” says spokesperson for designer paint company Lick.
Bright colours, such as yellows and blues, have the incredible power to uplift our mood. Audacious paintings can put a smile on our faces, and round-shaped furniture creates a sense of ease and flow.
According to Michelle Ogundehin, the pandemic was the catalyst for the explosion of colour and joy in our home environments, and we are to see more of that in 2020.
“Any period of sobriety is generally followed by heady abandonment; denial begets indulgence — consider the Roaring 20s after World War One. Cue then rooms drenched in full-fat colour and joyous prints applied with enthusiastic abandon to walls, floors, if not ceilings. Think wallpaper and rugs to parquetry and narrative mosaics,” commented the thought leader in interiors and trends.
The evolution of design trends that we’ve seen in the past two years has the ‘new normal’ written all over it. But that’s the purpose of trends – to mirror our true hopes, desires, and needs, and to polish them with their creative flair!