The pandemic has perhaps irrevocably changed the way we design and interact with our spaces. Now, a home is where we spend all our waking and sleeping hours. We speak with prominent architects and interior designers to decode trends in home décor that you must consider for that next dream home or amping up your existing abode. Read on to know more about everything from understanding the colours that are all the rage and how to bring nature into your home.
The biggest emerging trend in interior design is Biophilia. Biophilic design is a concept that encourages connectivity with the natural environment, putting nature at the forefront of design. The pandemic has brought along with it a great sense of urgency to consider our well-being more proactively. Even in design, wellness has become paramount. There is an overwhelming need to bring nature into homes. “The idea of having an oasis at home in the form of spa, terrace or balcony or a garden to step out is now the prime focus of any inhabitant,” say Shobhan Kothari and Anand Menon, partners at Mumbai architecture and interior firm, ADND. Architect Aparna Kaushik suggests open plan homes, large windows with views of nature and sliding doors — all of which aid in facilitating an easy transition from the indoors to outdoors. Hanging plants, green walls, balcony nooks, indoor plants, succulent patches or botanical-inspired accents are some of the plant-inspired trends dominating home décor.
Attention to personalisation
Personalisation mingled with functionality is becoming the need of the hour. The focus is on creating homes that combine aesthetics and luxury with easy maintenance. “Individual style will take centre stage as people are increasingly seeing their homes as an extension of their personalities,” says Meenu Agarwal, Founder and Interior Designer, MADS Creations. Co-founder and Principal Architect, KNS Architects, Kanhai Gandhi believes that spaces should reflect the client’s vision. “Trends can make the space look ‘wow’ temporarily, but if the idea isn’t what the user likes, the trend seems futile,” says Gandhi.
Meenu Agarwal of MADS Creations predicts the success of the trend of soothing colours with an inherent brightness and positive vibes. Shades like dusty pink, baby blue, chic grey, mint green, and warm metallic tones.
Kanhai Gandhi of KNS Architects says colours inspired by nature such as herbal green, electric blue, and the Pantone colour of the year — yellow — are set to be big in design. Disha Bhavsar and Shivani Ajmera, Principal Designers and Co-Founders of Mumbai-based Quirk Studio concur, “It seems like people have majorly missed the outdoors, and these colour palettes are a way of bringing the outdoors to the interiors.” Shobhan Kothari and Anand Menon of ADND notice that tastes have changed from beige and brown to a grey palette. Taupe, sage green and dove grey are colours to watch out for. Delhi-based Interior Designer and Stylist, Sanjyt Syngh stressed the importance of tonal colour palettes, as they provide a textural response to the metal and colour accents— a tonal colour palette refers to different shades of colours in the same main colour group.
All those #pandemicfails and Dalgona coffee recipes need a fully equipped kitchen. The kitchen has become a hangout spot for all members of the family; it has transformed into a family bonding space. As Gandhi puts it: “There is an increasing demand for larger, upgraded kitchens to match their owner’s newfound culinary skills.”
Decorate your walls
“What is a space without art? Art is storytelling,” says Sanjyt Syngh. He recommends taking risks with art, mixing eras, adding pops of colour to make a Zoom call background even artsier. Another pandemic-related trend is the addition of décor inspired by happy times. Furnish homes with smiling family holiday snaps, mementoes and collectibles from trips that remind one of the old normal.
Say yes to sustainability
Bhavsar and Ajmera of Quirk Studio believe that on the whole, India still has a long way to go when it comes to sustainability. It is not just one industry that can decide to become sustainable; it has to include the entire circle of manufactures, vendors, providers and all the stakeholders. “However, the conversation has started; people have begun to talk about it, which in itself is a step in the right direction,” say the designers. Inclination towards natural, renewable materials, upcycled or repurposed furniture and sustainable practices is at an all-time high.
Energy-efficient appliances are also in demand, as they don’t just save money in the short term but also help in the fight against global warming in the long term.Smart home technology like self-regulating thermostats that only heat or cool when an occupant is present, and smart hydroponic systems prevent wastage of scarce natural resources. Architects and designers understand that each product and design decision has an effect on the climate, says Aparna Kaushik. Choices made in materials, packaging, manufacturing all impact human and environmental health. Emphasis is made on the evergreen principles of the 3Rs: Reuse, recycle, and reduce.
One space, multiple functions
“Every space and every piece of furniture in our homes today is thought of critically because it is now used not by one person but by multiple end-users, all of whom use it differently,” say the founders of Quirk Studio. Now bedrooms are used as workspaces, the living room becomes a work out space and entrance foyers have become package quarantine zones. Fluidity in design is going to be a huge trend in the coming years. Spaces must address the compounded lifestyle of work from home and school from home. The future will demand that spaces are no longer specific but encourage the thought of multiple functions, as the need arises.
According to ADND architects, design needs to be more responsive and should cater to a more expanded brief from clients. There is an increasing requirement for flexible furniture like murphy beds that come over the sofa in a living room and turn it into a bedroom. A study desk has become the norm in unused corners of rooms and movable partitions that can be used in need-based combinations are also making a comeback. A house is not just a place to live anymore. “It has become multifunctional — holding an office, gym, yoga studio, relaxation area and people are looking to create homes that reflect this,” says Ar. Aparna Kaushik.
“So many of us had to do household work ourselves this year and it made us rethink less-used spaces and objects of opulence that are difficult to maintain,” says the founder of KNS Architects. The definition of luxury has changed to accommodate essentials, trimming the extra to create a comfortable and functional space. Lavish and versatile sofas and loungers, preferably upholstered in durable natural fabrics, and accented with bright, textural cushions are also gaining traction. New age homes, after all, will place a high emphasis on self-sufficiency.
Kothari and Menon of ADND predict that designers will embrace technology that can enhance the wellness quotient in the habitats they design. From new age materials to inventive waste and recycling techniques, as well as electricity and water saving ideas, technology is going to be the leader in innovation. AI is another design element which will see a place in all homes.
At the forefront of everyone’s mind is the eternal question: When will WFH become WFO? While we’re stuck at home, a home office has become the need of the hour. Sanjyt Syngh, believes in dressing up your home office desk. Moving beyond just sheets of personalised paper stationery, Syngh suggests investing in a good pencil stand, a tray, stapler and even paper clips. “All this can make your desk look like a million bucks,” he adds.
What’s out of vogue?
Meenu Agarwal believes that the overdone trend of peppy colours is on its way out. Instead, neutrals and natural colours, along with their tonal variations, will bring a newer sensibility. Quirk Studio laments excessive use of the industrial-style look in interiors. “Even if it is to be used; it should be subtly employed in elements and not on an entire space,” say the architects. ADND stresses on the importance of not just following seasonal trends but focusing on timeless design philosophies instead.