Changing times, changing homes
Over the last several years, design has had an ever-increasing movement towards environmentally friendly materials, sustainability, and energy efficiency. We’ve all been doing our part to aid the environment, knowing full well changes were needed on many levels. Our homes are our private spaces, reflections of ourselves, our family, our lifestyles; but recently they have become our sole spaces for living.
The current global health crisis has thrown us all into a different way of living. Very quickly our sanctuaries have also become our offices, classrooms and gyms, while still being our space for family living. Video work calls rapidly became our new norm, and while our companies had to adapt technologically for the “work-from-home” environment, we came to realize quickly that many others had an intimate vantage point of our private lives. Kids playing, dogs barking, our partners also on video calls and life happening became our backdrop. It has connected us on a far more personal level than before, which has been great, but it has also given us a window into how our homes actually function.
When looking to renovate, functionality and aesthetics are undoubtedly of great importance; however, functionality never really took into consideration the change in lifestyle we have been experiencing over the last several months. We all desire open concept living. It allows us to connect with our family at the end of the day, but does this work the same for us when our homes are being used as they have been recently? Have we compromised functioning privacy for the desire to have openness and connectivity without restrictions?
It seems that part of the new norm that will be coming upon us in design will be the need to have homes with the capability to function as more than just our living, entertaining and storage spaces. While this may be the future of our design and renovation planning, currently we are emerging from months of home seclusion that has left us wanting to add new life to our living spaces. We need to give our surroundings a facelift, a new aesthetic that will inspire us to move ahead in this new way of living and shake off the last few months of isolation.
Bursts of colour, pretty and bold wallpaper and fabric patterns, cheerful new accessories or a relaxing outdoor space – we are all desiring something new, inspiring and fresh for our homes. Whether you’ve been spending some of your time at home planning a major renovation to your kitchen or bathroom, or are only looking for a few new small touches such as a fresh paint colour or pretty new hardware on your kitchen cabinetry, one thing is for certain. A greater movement towards interior decorating and design will be strong as we see our homes in a new light and have the desire to make them more inviting, inspirational and functional for all aspects of our living needs.
With the changes we have all experienced over the last few months, it remains to be seen how many of them will permanently become our “new norm.” Early signs are showing that many of us will, in some way, be working from home, studying or entertaining more at home, whatever the case may be. We may find that we are generally just spending more time in our own surroundings, which is bound to have an impact on how we design and decorate our abodes.
No matter how large or small our home’s footprint, we may look to carve out small areas that afford us a bit of privacy for work, or just for some quiet time alone. We will want to motivate ourselves by bringing some of the outdoors in, by maximizing our natural light and by keeping our surroundings simple in this ever-complex world. Whatever direction your home will go in the future, rest assured that as we start emerging from our seclusion, those of you who are ready to renovate or redecorate will be thinking a bit differently about the expectations and goals you may have for your home.
Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.
With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.