Interior Design in a Pandemic Time
Let's say in the distant future, purely speculating for a moment here, a global pandemic happens and you're stuck at home working for weeks on end. You won't be getting out much, so is your interior designed for an extended stay? Have you made it cozy and livable, or is it purely functional? Somewhere in between? The good news is you will want a mix of both if you're staying in for a while.
First, consider where you spend the most time. Think about a normal day...you probably don't "live" in your bathroom or bedroom (apologies to studio dwellers) so perhaps it's an office, spare bedroom, or somewhere more centrally located? For us it's the family room and open kitchen. During the day we get work done from the couch, a nearby desk or table, with frequent breaks to move and get a quick nibble. The rooms are well-lit, full of comfortable seating, and loaded with personalized touches that make it feel like, well, home.
Functionality comes into focus with furniture arrangements. If you're lucky to have a dedicated office space, congratulations and please make the most of it! Positioning a desk in the middle of a room may not be ideal if used twice a month, but in this totally hypothetical scenario you're looking at several weeks of nine-to-five from the house. Maybe that home office is suddenly more appealing with an executive layout. Keep electricity within reach anywhere you use it, hidden cords and chargers work wonders and provide necessary flexibility.
Don't hesitate to mix up the design of your work space so it's more usable, especially if you share the space with leisure activities. Try different combinations to determine what works best. Maintain clear pathways to favorite seats. Think about the available lighting you'll need to get work done. Sunlight is ideal but you don't always have windows where you want them, so a well placed lamp or two goes a long way. Don't neglect simple ergonomics, use a backed chair instead of a short stool if sitting for hours on end. And if you need to get up to stretch your legs, a sturdy shelf can be converted to a standing desk in a pinch. You may want to consider the visual design of your backgrounds if work involves virtual meetings. Blank walls are fine although boring, a little color will help as long as you don't overdo it.
On that note, it is equally important to keep the areas where you live full of eye-catching accents to provide inspiration or a simple mental break from the ubiquitous glowing screens. Allow me to introduce you to...art! Find a blank wall in your favorite room, gather up artwork small and large, and start to play around- lay it out on the floor first before putting nail to wall.
You may want to try a mosaic arrangement, these allow lots of room for interpretation and reorganizing, and it's easy to swap in different pieces as you build a collection. If you're light on canvasses and frames but have a collection of knick-knacks and mementos, consider hanging a few simple display shelves. If you have too much art (my favorite problem!) think about displays centered around a theme- portraits, landscapes, a color, an idea, etc. The sum of the parts can be more impactful and inspiring than a single work on display.
Lastly, don't forget plants. Those little green friends will brighten the day and remind you of the great outdoors you may be missing. Small or large, find ways to incorporate them into your spaces- a succulent shelf here, a leafy corner there. Whatever you do, keep calm and design on, this will all be over soon enough.
Please contact us here at Tinsel House if we can help make your home more suitable for the temporary reality!