Trends with benefits: design ideas for a better life

By September 24, 2020Home
Trends

For many of us, there will be trends we’d like to forget from the past few months, home-schooling, endless queues not to mention all the worry, uncertainty, and constant change. But despite all of the disruption to Everyday life, there have been some trends that could be very beneficial to hold onto. Here are five trends I believe will linger and in doing so will have a really positive impact on our design ideas and our quality of life. 

Less is more

We’ve all gotten used to living with less, and consuming less. So much so in fact there has been what could only be described as a decluttering craze. In the UK skip hire firms were opening seven days a week to deal with an upsurge in orders during the lockdown and WEEE Ireland says it is struggling to meet their recycling targets with the increase in electrical waste due to extended spring clearouts during the lockdown. 

Too much stuff causes stress. In a survey we carried out earlier this month, the number one cause of arguments was clutter.  I’m not suggesting we move towards a more minimal lifestyle but rather a more considered one. Hopefully, we will continue to consume less and make better choices about what we do consume thus reducing waste and our impact on the environment. But also reducing stress and creating a calmer environment at home.

Trends

Rituals

There have been many benefits to slowing down over the last few months. Slowing down is something we all wanted to do but couldn’t see how to escape the fast pace we’d become accustomed to. 

The imposed slower pace has allowed us to take pleasure in everyday rituals. A morning stroll, listening to bird songs, or simply taking more time over a cup coffee. Waitrose and John Lewis reported a massive increase in sales of breakfast-related accessories, such as egg cups during the lockdown. Sales of teapots and mugs are up 6%, while specialty loose tea also jumped 13.5% at Waitrose.

People are spending more time than usual over the first meal of the day. Things we normally either didn’t make time for or did on autopilot became sources of delight and calm. 

Books have grown in popularity during this time too. In the UK, fiction sales climbed by a third according to a BBC report. Reading is the ideal way to take a break from screens and the perfect way to escape especially when you can’t actually go anywhere. It’s the ultimate immersive and mindful pressure. 

Whether its a comfy nook to curl up and read a good book or a sunny spot in your kitchen to sit and have coffee. Making space both in our lives and our homes to enjoy these kinds of rituals is something we would all benefit from. 

Sofas

Privacy

For many families, the last couple of months have highlighted that when we are all in the house at the same time, it can be hard to find any personal space. The once coveted open plan space is no longer so appealing. We’re already seeing clients asking for home design ideas to section off large multifunctional spaces. 

Open plan areas were extremely popular because for working parents they allowed the family to easily spend time together in the evening. But with the new way of living – where all members of the household occupy the home simultaneously -large multifunctional spaces are not ideal.

This has sparked an interest in home design ideas for creating private spaces in the home. Where people are juggling working from home and homeschooling, among other activities, separate spaces work better than large open-plan rooms. But rather than a return to the more traditional floor plan with a series of smaller individual rooms, homes will need to be designed to allow greater flexibility. Rooms will need to be easily adapted throughout the day to enable the occupants to carry out different tasks with ease. 

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Sustainability 

There is hopefully a renewed understanding that we are all interconnected and our actions have impact on each other and the planet. The remarkable scenes during global lockdown of animal life entering cities around the world, the amplified chorus of birdsong and the noticeably cleaner air were all stark reminders of the effect our way of life has been having on the planet. 

The benefits we all enjoyed when we all stopped has led to a desire to make more sustainable choices, especially when it comes to our homes. The introduction of NZEB (nearly zero energy building) in November of last year means if you are doing a major renovation to your home which affects 25% of the surface area of your house you will be obliged to bring the whole house up to a B2 rating. Forty percent of carbon emissions globally come from buildings. By improving your home’s energy rating, not only will you be improving the comfort of your home and make significant savings on your energy bills but you’ll also be doing your bit for the planet.

Wellbeing optimise home design

Wellbeing

Finally, there has definitely been a huge shift away from the more superficial aspects of life. People are prioritising how they feel over how they look. When it comes to the design of our homes, the focus is shifting ways from aesthetics and more importance to home design ideas that value more how the house will function over time and how it is going to enhance the wellbeing of those who live there. This shift in the way we think about our living spaces, from how they look to how they make us feel, will dramatically improve our day-to-day lives and enhance our wellbeing

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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