Building on last week’s blog which focused on some of the lessons we’ve learned from lockdown, we coincidentally came across a brilliant article in a back issue of The Sunday Times Home from one of our favourite journalists, Katrina Burroughs. Called 8 Changes for the better, she writes: Is it too soon to observe that, in our interiors, the pandemic has brought some changes for the better?
She continues: Our homes have risen to the top of our list of priorities and those of us fortunate to have good health and stable finances have been adapting them to facilitate new routines and contribute to our comfort in ways we might not have considered (before)…. Some trends are here to stay, support us through whatever (2021) throws at us. We’ve highlighted our favourites:
• Dog-friendly details: After the NHS, our pets were the heroes of 2020. Sales of dog-beds soared, and interiors designers are increasingly being asked how to make a home pet-friendly. Solutions include warming mats installed under flooring to keep canines warn, and boot rooms with dedicated dog-showering areas.
• Outdoor spaces: The old decorating cliché ‘bringing the outdoors in’ was turned on its head in 2020 (and early 2021) as we reproduced the comforts of our living rooms outside. While socialising indoors was intermittently banned, in the garden we were free to share socially distanced drinks. Key themes included colour, screens, bespoke outdoor furniture, canopies and rugs.
• Posh coffee machines!
• Customising with craft: Handmade items, DIY kits, crafting as a hobby. A resurgence in stencilling.
• Cloffices: We soon tired of hot-desking on the kitchen table, and home offices became a hot topic. Unless there was a spare bedroom up for grabs, the most pressing question was how best to carve out a quiet space and keep clutter contained, often within a room that had to serve a double purpose. The most ingenious answer was to convert a cupboard into a hidden office or ‘cloffice’ (closet office). A work nook could be improvised under the stairs or even at one end of a built-in bookcase.
• Return of the big screen: The room divider rather than the XXL television! During lockdown, the open-plan generation discovered that doors and walls were put there for a reason. The search for privacy has led to a revival of the rattan screen.
• The 60-minute bath: With the death of the pre-commute wash’n’go, we reconnected with the true purpose of our bathrooms: to lock the door, put the radio on, fill the room with steam and soak in a tub until our bodies resembled prunes… Creating a sanctuary in the bathroom where we can escape for an hour or so has never been more welcome.
• Going green: During lock down we tried to adopt healthier habits. Engaging with nature was a vital mood booster and we craved greenery indoors… Homeowners who have managed to nurture a thriving indoor garden swear by the benefits to their wellbeing.
Futon Company says: What an inspiring article! We always look for the positives in every situation (not least covid-19!), so this article made our hearts sing. It just goes to show that seeds can be planted (both real and metaphorical) even in the bleakest times to help us start creating our happy, healthy forever homes.