Life after lockdown - 7 ways our homes could change for good

As we stand at the precipice of another potential national lockdown, we reflect on how our homes have changed this year and which of these changes are here to stay post-pandemic.

Here, we delve into what this new chapter might hold and share our advice on how best to adapt.

 

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1. ‘Broken’ not ‘open’ plan

broken plan living
 Image credit:  Lim+Lu
 
Open plan living worked like a dream when we all spent so much time out of our homes. This way of living brought families together into one space which was a game changer.

But thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic - office life feels like a distant memory, holidays are few and far between and don’t get me started on the foreign concept of a social life!

So now that we spend the majority of our time at home, we’ve had to bring everything from schools to gyms and hobbies all under one roof.

This has meant we’ve all been working hard to squeeze every drop of usable space from our homes. According to John Lewis’ Flexible Living Report - 1 in 5 have re-configured an open plan space to allow for multiple activities throughout the day.
 
 
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The previously held black and white concept that a bedroom is only ever a bedroom and a kitchen, a kitchen has shifted.

We’re now seeing that our homes can be fluid. They can adapt to our changing needs, not just this year but also post-pandemic.

So now we welcome the next era of open plan living - broken plan living.

In this new era we predict that screens, curtains and strategically placed bookcases will become more commonplace within existing open plan layouts. These methods can be incredibly effective at sectioning off areas in large spaces while still having many of the benefits of open plan living like sight lines and the flexibility to open up again when needed.
 
For a semi permanent option - we're also seeing a rise 'modular' walls. These are super simple to put up and can be painted or wallpapered to blend into your room. Why not also consider slatted vertical panelling to break up a room? These can be a standout feature in a room while not completely blocking sight lines. 
 
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Image credit:  Maurizio Giovannoni
 
In our guide on open plan living we wax lyrical about the importance of ‘zoning’. Creating clear and distinguished spaces using paint, flooring and cleverly positioned furniture. You can find all our hints and tips there.
 

2. A place to be alone

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 Image credit: Kreis Design
 
However much we love those we live with, constant social interaction can be emotionally draining. Add to that - any stress or tension can be magnified when people are in close quarters with nowhere to escape to and take a moment to breathe.
 
Think outside the box when looking for additional spaces in your home for privacy. How about a homework spot in the hallway under the stairs? Or cushions on a deeply recessed window to create a reading nook.
 
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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Many of our clients are also asking for seating areas in their bedrooms. This gives them a much deserved retreat away from the sometimes manic nature in the rest of the house. In smaller rooms, even a simple armchair can do the trick.

3. Loving not listing

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 Image credit: My Bespoke Room
 
Now this one might come as a surprise as we've all heard the stories of the huge demand at the moment to relocate. But our prediction is that come 2021, this will trend will take a complete 180 and many of us will chose to invest in our homes rather than move. 
 
The realisation that our homes are fluid and can adapt to our changing needs is creating a shift in how we view them longer term. As we’ve been forced to get creative in our homes this year and the space available, many of us have opened our eyes to their potential.

We may have previously watched, full of doubt, as Kirsty Allsop turned ‘listers’ into ‘lovers’ with some simple layout changes. But many of us have seen for ourselves that clever layout planning can make a world of difference.

We believe that once this flurry of movement has settled, more and more of us will chose to stay put and invest in our homes rather than upping sticks and moving when frustration kicks in. Considering the costs in fees and taxes to move, this can be a very positive thing!
 

4. Online design

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 Image credit: My Bespoke Room
 
In order to keep business going - the interior design industry has been forced to adapt to life in lockdown. Traditionally, the process could involve many home visits but this hasn’t been possible in 2020.

By experiencing it for themselves, many interior designers and clients are realising that virtual interior design is not just a compromise - it’s the future!

It’s made the designer more productive and the process more affordable without compromising on the end result.

At My Bespoke Room, we’ve seen first hand how well virtual interior design works. We’ve transformed over a thousand spaces using our state of the art platform that allows the client and designers to collaborate remotely.

Learn more about how virtual interior design could work for you by speaking to someone from our lovely team.
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5. Sustainable homes

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This sustainable kitchen was designed by Brave New Eco. The joinery was custom made out of recycled messmate timbers, EO laminate and oiled in natural oils.
 
Before lockdown it was common for luxury designers to fly all over the world, sourcing exotic materials and products from far flung countries for their client’s designs.

The consequence, as trends trickled down to the mainstream, was a huge strain on the environment due to transportation, wastage and carbon emissions during production.

But this year that hasn’t been an option. Instead the industry has had to look closer to home for resources and producers. We’re having to source locally.

Rather than having a negative impact on design it’s been quite the contrary! The benefits are threefold - greater creativity using local materials and styles, a reduction of the carbon footprint in design and thirdly - greater support for local businesses through an incredibly turbulent time.

We’re looking forward to seeing how this develops in 2021.
 
 
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A nation of DIY-doers

Portrait blog image (16)Reusing old unloved dining chairs has created a quirky focal point in this home. Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Decorating during the pandemic has been a challenge to say the least thanks to huge delays in manufacturing and a backlog on trades.

That, combined with a lack of weekend plans has meant that we’ve been painting our walls rather than the town.

But as a nation we’ve learnt that DIY isn’t quite as painful as we thought - and we’ve all felt the smug satisfaction of completing an upcycling project for next to nothing!

We believe, and hope this is a trend that remains beyond this year. By realising that we can upcycle what we already have to fit our needs, we’ll have a hugely positive impact on the environment.

6. Calming colours and textures

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Image credit: Brave Ground by Dulux
 
If there was ever a year to be comforted and cocooned, 2020 is it. As our homes are now our sanctuaries away from the crazy world outside, we want to feel comfortable and homely.

Colour has always been more than just decorative. It has a huge psychological impact on us - bright colours energise us while soft neutrals calm us.

So it’s no surprise that we’ve been noticing a move away from the cooler spectrum of greys and towards warmer hues with pink undertones this year.

Think almond coloured neutrals, earthy toned accents and nature inspired greens.

We’ve also been welcoming with open arms the trend towards curved shapes in furniture design. This teamed with soft huggable textures creates seating you may never want to leave!
 
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7. Healthy homes

Landscape blog image (22) Image credit: My Bespoke Room
 
Understandably, there’s been a great deal of emphasis placed on health and hygiene this year and our homes are a big part of that.

We predict a rise in products like air purifiers, water filtration systems and that germ resistant materials such as glass, stone and stainless steel will be prominent.

Copper may have been in vogue lately but did you also know that this material and its alloys exhibit impressive antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties? Nope. Neither did I before writing this article!

Kitchen and bathroom design is likely to move towards clutter free minimalist styles which are easy to keep clean and to sterilise.
 
Touchless technology such as motion sensors on taps and voice control options for ovens, lights and televisions may also become more common-place. Check out our guide on smart homes here.
 

Winter gardens

Landscape blog image (21) Image credit: My Bespoke Room

While in lockdown, many of us felt a huge appreciation and call for nature. Outdoor space in 2020 is at a premium and now a must-have for many home movers.

Here are our top tips on how to create a private, personal and stylish home garden (even if you don't actually have one)!

As we strive to be closer to nature we’ve noticed a surge in demand for winter gardens too. Outdoor spaces that are sheltered from the unpredictable British weather that can be enjoyed all year round.

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Outdoor heating, solar lighting and waterproof cushions and rugs are perfect for turning an outdoor space, once only used on a handful days, into an all year round extension of your home.

Also - think about adding a canopy out the back of your house to protect from the rain and add usable square footage to your living space.

 

If you're looking to future proof you're home then book in a FREE call with one of our advisors to find out how virtual interior design could work for you.

BOOK A FREE CALL 

 

Download Free 2020 Design Guide

 

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