7 Ways the Pandemic Changed What We Want From Our Homes
The pandemic changed our lives forever and radically redefined the way we use our homes. Working from home is now a norm, people have actually started to use their kitchens to cook, everyone has become more conscious of the cleanliness of their humble abode and hosting dinner parties are officially a regular event.
But boundaries collapsed, too. We were forced to learn how to work, live and play in the one space, which for many, was shared with housemates, partners, children and pets.
So it’s no surprise that as a result of spending more time indoors, the interest in home decor and renovations has risen exponentially.
“Pre-pandemic, we didn’t spend much time at home to really relax and engage with our surroundings,” Australian interior designer and owner of MARG. Studio Emily MacAlpine, tells Bed Threads Journal.
“After spending an entire year at home (and for some, more), a lot of us have observed how our spaces work - or don’t work - and the function of some of these spaces have had to adapt."
A Primer article summed it up perfectly: "Our houses and apartments have become important to us in ways we could never have imagined... chances are you’re looking hard at how to make your space more suited to the new normal."
From a shift to brighter colours to a high interest in ‘Zoom rooms’, here are seven of the biggest home trends to come out of the pandemic.
7 Home Decor Trends To Come Out of the COVID Pandemic
1. Brighter colours
It goes without saying that after the dreadful year that was 2020, we all need a mood booster - and what better way to do that with colour therapy. According to MacAlpine, people are turning away from monotonous greys and instead repainting the walls of their homes and purchasing decor pieces in colours that evoke positivity and joy.
“We were already experiencing a shift away from greys, but the pandemic has well and truly solidified our use of warmer colours like beige, muted pinks and oranges. These kinds of colours are associated with being warm and happy, which can obviously change the feel of a space.”
We learnt that colour doesn’t just have to come from the paint on the walls. Think about how you can change a room’s emotional effect through the use of interchangeable objects such as bedding, throws, cushions, furniture and paintings.
Consider what mood you want to feel in each room of your home. For example, blue and green dining rooms generate a feeling of calm and may inhibit the impulse to eat too much. Use subtle hints of pink in the bedroom to stimulate romance, and combine this with blue or green to encourage restful sleep. You could try yellow in the kitchen and bathroom to convey happiness. For a full rundown of what each colour means, head here for our complete guide on colour therapy.
2. Bold patterns and textures
Similar to the shift towards brighter colours, minimalism is slowly phasing out and eclectic, bold and maximalist trends are gaining traction. You only need to look towards the Checkerboard, Organic-Futuristic or Grandmillenial trend to see that less isn’t necessarily always more.
During the lockdown, people also opted for furniture and decor in luxuriously soft fabrics such as velvets, tweed and boucle as a way to self-soothe, which also helped bring added levels of texture to rooms.
For the ultimate minimalist inspo, tour the technicolour dream home of Flex Mami, which even features a banana-shaped rocking chair. Yes, really.
3. ‘Zoom rooms’
Home offices where a large desktop computer, fax machine and printer could live, started to fall out of style after the evolution of the portable laptop. But now, people have reverted back to proper work-from-home spaces and are asking for additional features such as ‘zoom walls’. “Usually an office will have a decent view in front of you where you’re working like a bookshelf above a desk or a nice open window, but now we’re focused on what’s behind us,” MacAlpine explains.
It’s all about creating the perfect backdrop for your video chats with friends, family and coworkers. People are wanting floating shelves installed where they can place books, plants and ornaments, or on the hunt for artworks to create the perfect gallery wall.
4. Comfortable furniture
“Our perception of the type of furniture we want has shifted as we’re spending more time using it,” MacAlpine notes.
Previously, the need for comfort may have been overridden by aesthetic or cost purposes. For example, we may have purchased a couch solely because it looked Insta-worthy or it was relatively cheap. But ask yourself this: how comfortable is it?
Now, it’s all about quality.
“Saving up for good quality bigger purchases like a couch or bed mattress, will not only make your space look good, but it will function well and support endless hours of enjoyment at home.”
5. Dining rooms
“We’re putting more consideration into how we like to eat our meal, who with and where.” Not only are we spending more time in the kitchen cooking (hello, good old banana bread), but we now understand the importance of enjoying a meal at the dining table.
Moreover, with the restrictions on hospitality venues, many people have turned to upgrading their own dining spaces to create a formal and spacious experience where they can connect with friends and family without leaving their house.
Extendable tables are great for people who love to entertain but live in a small apartment and don't want to live with a huge table when it's not in use. You can simply fold it back up after a party and regain some of your precious space back. If you don't plan on ever having more than a few people over at one time, go for a smaller table that can sit against a wall or neatly beside a window and add a couple of stackable chairs that can be pulled out of the cupboard when needed. It's all about customisation in cramped dining spaces. Here’s our guide on how to create the perfect tablescape that will impress your guests.
6. Increase in natural light
“Those who were locked down in apartments would have felt the ramifications of not getting enough natural light and fresh air.”
Lack of sunlight can make you feel sluggish and unproductive, which is why people are now looking at ways on how to open up their spaces to bring in more light - regardless of how small their space is. Simple hacks to achieve this include strategically placing mirrors to reflect sunlight, investing in lamps and candles, replacing or removing doors and decluttering the space around windows.
7. Indoor plants and ceramics
Indoor plants have become all the rage, and the pandemic only helped strengthen this trend.
“The beauty with plants is that they’re able to bring a little of the outdoors inside with us,” MacAlpine adds. Plus, some plants such as the Peach Lily and Snake Plant, even work as natural air purifiers and can help in a good night’s sleep.
Similarly, ceramic vessels have gained popularity as they’re able to bring beauty and soul to our everyday lives. There’s something about a statement ceramic piece that keeps you grounded amongst all the chaos. To help get you started, explore our collection of dreamy ceramics here or you can check out our list of the 10 most exciting Australian ceramicists whose pieces you can still shop for less than $300.
While you're here, you'll want to check out what the 9 most popular decor items of 2021 are.