We were all forced to stay at home for weeks during the pandemic, but two years on, how did that confinement affect the way we see our living space?
For many of us, the lockdown turned our homes into workplaces; into safe havens where we could cocoon and, for many, into virtual prisons. On Lanzarote the experience was particularly surreal, as many were unable to enjoy the brilliant sunshine and gorgeous weather outside.
The experience has had a profound effect on interior design. Here are just a few of the trends that have resulted from this unforgettable period in all our lives.
The Home Office
The Spanish government recently recommended working from home once again – this time to save fuel – but the “remote working” revolution has failed to occur, as most employees drifted back to the workplace.
Yet some have realised that working from home is ideal and have adapted accordingly. Many started by turning their kitchen or living room into a work area, but it later became clear that it’s important to have a clear border between workspace and living space.
Working from home requires clear planning, an investment in technology and a large degree of flexibility.
With hours of enforced idleness, it’s no wonder that art and handicrafts took off so much. In some households, any item of furniture that didn’t find itself stripped, repainted, or otherwise up-cycled could count itself lucky. Why? Well, we were bored, for a start, but the influence of the internet and social media was also profound. If you want to re-upholster a chair, you’ll find that there are hundreds of online tutors telling you how.
A Place Of Refuge
Comfort became a priority during a time that was genuinely alarming for many people. While there was the risk of becoming couch-bound and sedentary (sales of snacks and booze soared), it also meant that more value was placed on the home as a safe place.
The outcome was warm colours, curves and rounded edges, richly nostalgic patterns and textures and a focus on the sort of jumbled, slightly chaotic existence that the likes of Marie Kondo have been trying to lecture us out of for years.
Of course, others reacted the other way, using their free time to ruthlessly declutter and gain space. But they were the minority.
Space To Breathe
In Spanish, “lockdown” is confinamiento – confinement. For those with gardens things were a little more tolerable, but many in smaller homes and apartments discovered just how confined their living quarters were.
One result was people moving into larger homes, aware that their living space was no longer allowing them to live. Others adapted by seeking space, converting their homes into flexible areas that serve several functions, and seeking space to do something as simple as a few sit-ups.
Nature came indoors during the lockdown in a big way, with an increase in sales of house plants, and a shift towards natural materials such as wood, wicker, and sisal.
This satisfied the need to feel in touch with a natural world that was just beyond our windows, but it also sparked a huge interest in these sustainable, recyclable materials.
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