Chances are, you spent more time in your home in 2020 than in any other year. The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns saw us quarantined in our houses at the weekend, only able to leave the house once a day.
Through the week, many of us were working from home or on furlough. And with the commencement of a third lockdown expected to last until mid-February, we’ll once again be confined to our homes this year.
Spending so much time at home means you’re probably sick of the sight of the same four walls. So why not take the opportunity to refresh your décor? Home décor provider Dowsing & Reynolds has rounded up the top interior design trends for this year so you can not only keep up with the Joneses, but get ahead of them.
After the way last year turned out and with a new lockdown in place, we’re looking for ways to boost our moods. We already know about the positive effects natural greenery in the home can have on our mood. From reducing stress and anxiety to cleaning the air and even helping us sleep, plants in the home really are a powerhouse, so it’s no surprise to see this is a trend that is rising.
The term “indoor plants” was searched on Google a huge 74,000 times in the UK between November 2019 and November 2020. Interest peaked in April 2020 but has remained high since, rising again at the beginning of January 2021. New year, new plants?
We know, however, plants are a commitment. And your home might not have the exact conditions your greenery needs. So why not mix preserved plants and fresh ones? You’ll still get the oxygen-boosting, stress-beating benefits of some real plants, while the addition of preserved plants gives you the illusion of more greenery. The most popular search term on Dowsing & Reynolds’ website in 2020 was “eucalyptus”, as shoppers looked to add the popular preserved plant to their homes.
Trending colours reveal our state of mind
Dulux recently announced its Colour of the Year 2021 as Brave Ground: a muted, earthy brown that signals comfort and a return to nature. After the year we’ve had, we’re turning to nature and soothing aesthetics to ground us and give us the right mentality for 2021.
We’re now taking the benefits of plants and greenery a step further and turning our homes into an earthy haven. “Dried flowers” as a Google search term rose steadily throughout the course of 2020, peaking in winter and the beginning of 2021. In addition to our preserved eucalyptus plants and forest-like colour scheme, we’re looking to beautiful, dried flowers to perk us up even further.
Pantone’s two colours of the year, Illuminating and Ultimate Grey, give us an indication of our mindsets as we kick off 2021. Illuminating is a sunny, positive yellow, reflecting our optimism for the year ahead. Ultimate Grey, meanwhile, reflects our strength and thoughtfulness. Together, the two colours send a message of hope, optimism and fortitude. Use yellow to brighten your mood and match the upcoming longer days, and grey for that classic finishing touch.
The home office is here to stay in 2021
2020 blurred the lines between work and home like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Many of us would sign off work for the day and make the long commute from the desk to the… sofa. And with an early 2021 lockdown and the news that employers will offer their workers more flexible options long-term, our home office is set to stay. That’s why it’s important to adapt our living spaces for work.
Leaving the office to travel home signals a detachment from work, but this is harder when working from home. Psychologists recommend a number of tactics to separate your work and home life. Arguably the most effective is setting up a dedicated workspace that you can leave once you finish work.
Creating separate areas for certain activities, such as work or children’s play, is known as home zoning. If you don’t have a room you could use as a home office, ensure you have a full desk setup as you would at the office. The good thing about having a home office is that you can decorate it in any style you like; say goodbye to bland white tables and use this as an opportunity to get that beautiful oak desk you’ve always had your eye on.
There are many other ways you can create a home office that both boosts your productivity and reflects your style and personality. White LED lights can brighten up a small, dark room, and are also proven to enhance our concentration and alertness. Similarly, vibrant colours like the Pantone Illuminating yellow, fuchsia, or a bright, aqua blue will improve your mood and add a splash of happiness to your workspace.
The finishing touches
Search data from the Dowsing & Reynolds website revealed that people are looking to refresh their décor in subtle ways. “Marble knobs” and “leather handles” were the second and third most-searched terms, proving you don’t need to change your entire home to inject new life into it.
Mixing materials with leather handles in your kitchen is an easy way to freshen it up and make it interesting without changing your entire home. Marble knobs, meanwhile, add a touch of class and sophistication to your wardrobe, closet, or drawers. Who says it’s just the items inside that should be fashionable?
Decorative plug sockets and light switches are also simple touches that are high on the agenda. Brass plug sockets are an easy way to give your home a luxurious feel, while black sockets and switches can contribute to a more muted tone.
Our home is the place we spend most of our time – that’s truer than ever during this latest lockdown. It’s also serving new purposes, becoming our new workplace. For these reasons, you might be bored of your current interior designs. But by separating work and play and adding small touches like plants and sophisticated handles, you can freshen up your interior design easily and affordably to make your home a place you want to stay in, too.