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The events of the last 18 months have forced us to reassess how we live, work, and play – So how has this influenced our relationship to our home?
Designers world-wide have noticed a demand for renewed attention on function and flexibility, and this combined with aesthetics, means they’ve been forced to rethink interiors.
As companies reassess how to operate in these changing times, for many, working from home has become a necessity. What used to be a casual space to check emails, pay bills and surf the net, has turned into a need for larger work surfaces, comfortable chairs and increased storage space to allow for greater use. A purpose built home office increases productivity and reduces clutter in the home.
As students adapt to remote learning requirements, multiple designated work areas at home are a great resource to reduce distraction. Converting a room into a home office or a distance-learning nook within a larger space enables family members to use clear workspaces for everyone in the household.
Many clients are now requesting what’s called a ‘living room kitchen,’ a large work surface surrounded by comfortable seating, which is an extension to the traditional open plan kitchen. Whether this is at benchtop height, like an island or breakfast bar, or the height of the dining table, the idea is to have a hub where everyone can congregate, do work and connect. Another popular request is to include more organised cupboard space. This reduces clutter and creates better flow in both the kitchen and the mind.
A strong connection to nature is vitally important to our health and wellbeing, yet so much of our lives are spent indoors. Biophilic design creates connection to nature in our daily lives, through the spaces where we spend most of our time.
Examples include large windows and sliding doors that bring the outside in and nature-inspired colours in the home. These elements will be key to increasing mental and physical wellness while we spend more time indoors.
If you don’t have an outdoor space to enjoy nature’s gifts consider playing with botanical prints, such as floral wallpaper, or selecting soothing green hues to decorate you space. This will create a calming atmosphere reflective of nature. Interiors are no longer about bold display, but more about choosing soothing colours to promote peace and encourage comfort and cocooning.
If your room has limited views, introduce indoor plants and natural wood textures to emphasise the organic elements of the outdoors.
With restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues becoming tricky to navigate, our backyards can become community hubs for loved ones to gather. Many are opting to spruce up the humble Aussie BBQ and add an alfresco kitchen or outdoor dining space. A back deck and fire pit provides a welcome extension to an indoor living space all year round. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Since holiday plans are still on hold, homeowners are seeking ways to make home feel like a relaxing retreat, think spa-like bathroom renovations and rejuvenating spaces inspired by hospitality design.
Finding creative solutions to totally open floor plans is easily achieved by separating spaces within the one room. This allows for different activities in one area without distractions and disturbances. Modern room dividers and screen walls are becoming popular to define these spaces whilst still offering the flexibility to adapt to the family’s changing needs over time.
Many are recognising the advantage of underutilised bedrooms and garages. Repurpose them as bonus areas for watching movies, working out and other activities. It’s easy to keep the whole family entertained without being in each other’s space.
Current impacts on interior design have created a deepened focus on comfort, adaptable spaces, function and meaning. What was once thought of as a possession to show off and a base to spend time elsewhere has now become a sacred space, a sanctuary to call home, to recharge and reconnect.
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