How COVID-19 Will Impact Home Design Trends in 2021

2020 was a year of new experiences when it comes to our home. First time working from home. First time attending school from home. First time cooking 3 meals a day at home, 7 days a week. You get the picture. 

Although the end of the pandemic might be in sight, the impact it left on how we design our homes is one that won’t go away any time soon. So what exactly are these new home interior design trends to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic? We asked our RNDD Designers, Showrooms and Partners to weigh in.

Workspace All Around

Dedicated workspaces for everyone in the family have become a design must-have sprouting from the COVID Pandemic.  Whether it be a well-appointed office space for an executive working from home or a fun functional space for remote learning, well planned workspaces are essential.  Even as we move back to our new normal, these spaces allow for flexible work from home at any time, for any reason. 

Mia Rao Design has compiled the “Must-Haves” when designing a home office or remote learning space in your home.

For the home office, built-in filing, space for a printer, ample desk area, integrated data access and a door for privacy are all must-haves. The functional aspects are key, but a pleasing design aesthetic rounds out the perfect home office. This includes built-in shelving which makes for a great zoom backdrop. The remote learning space should include plenty of workspace, a charging station, storage for supplies and a corkboard to display work. There are two key differences: a location that is quiet, but where mom and dad can keep a watchful eye and an injection of fun!

See more here.

Modern, Adventurous Interior Design

Working from home and staring at incomplete house projects, or simply dreaming up a design refresh has become very common throughout COVID. What Encore Gallery has found is that people are becoming more adventurous in their home design.

There has been a trend of getting away from plain white subway and going for more bold colors and unique sizes and shapes. You no longer have to guess how something would look in your space as you will likely find a photo posted by someone who has ventured off the beaten path, which coaxes rehabbers into trying something fresh. Although there is still a place for farmhouse design and traditional subway tiles, many have chosen to go the opposite end of the spectrum and are opting for more modern designs.

Generally speaking, there has been a huge uptick into more modern aesthetics, a trend that really was validated over the past 10 years or so with the dominance of quartz countertops in kitchen construction versus more traditional granites. This is now carrying over to whole house design, and with the introduction of new gauged porcelains (porcelain slabs) into the tile industry, the combination of modern counters and modern tiles has solidified a foothold in kitchen and bath renovations.

See more here.

Entertaining Spaces in the Home

Spring is in the air! And in some ways 2021 feels like Spring – there is a renewed energy in the air, buds are coming out as we emerge from our social bubbles with enthusiasm and optimism about the future. As friends and family get their COVID vaccines, our sense of hospitality is starting to reawaken. We are eager to welcome people back in our homes or to join them for a night out to enjoy their company. At Armazem, they believe that in 2021 people and businesses will focus on reopening their doors and making their guests feel invited. Either in their homes, or at a restaurant, bar or café they believe this year people will reconnect and gather with those we have missed. So why not get your home entertaining-ready? is proud to unveil the Brick Sideboard Bar for all things entertainment; and the Ninho Armchair whose design was inspired by the sense of protection and embrace offered by a nest.

See more here.

Investing in your Happy Place

According to Ligne Roset: ‘staying home is the new going out to a fancy place’ and ‘a place to live becomes a place to love.’ For them, the idea of making home your ‘happy place’ is not a new one, and they pride themselves on helping customers create a home that’s equal parts livable and inspiring. Now, this idea is catching on in a real and tangible way. Chicagoans are taking investments they may have used for vacations or excursions outside the home, and instead investing right back into the interiors and exteriors that have had to work much harder for them over the past year. We’ve seen a lot of upgrades in these areas:

  • indoor and outdoor dining set ups for at-home cooking and eating with the family
  • multi-functional spaces such as living rooms becoming a place for work, play, and relaxation
  • bedroom upgrades to truly make this room a personal oasis – in some cases the only room in the house where the office doesn’t creep in with new work from home arrangements

To help make the design process as collaborative and enjoyable as possible, Ligne Roset created a new Design Center at their Chicago store and are in the midst of unveiling a stunning floor display with a new outdoor corner specifically designed for Chicago clientele inspiration.

See more here.

A Reliable Home Network

If it hasn’t become all too clear in these times, we are all very dependent on our data links to the world at large. From online shopping to Zoom video conferences, our home networks have become vital links to staying connected with everything important in our lives. While the effects of the pandemic and Zoom calls will subside over time, there’s no question that reliable connectivity is and will continue to be a necessity.

With all the strain current home networks are under, it might be a good time to review your system. Is it keeping up with all the high-resolution video streaming for video conferences and entertainment? Are your security cameras delivering you a quality feed when you want to see something? If not, you might be in need of some upgrades. Barrett’s Technology Solutions can help provide a professional home network installation to keep your home connected in the fast lane.

See more here.

Home as Sanctuary

The pandemic has given a new meaning to the phrase, “home as sanctuary.” Yamini Designs has found in the last year that clients have been craving comfort, stability, and functionality within their living spaces. They seek warmth and solace but also a feeling of productivity and organization. A healthy environment with a focus on nature, greenery, and multiple light sources is also a much sought after design requirement.

Here’s how Yamini Designs provided a Logan Square client with some of these nurturing attributes within their home.

  • Warmth and Texture: Yamini and her team imbued this living and dining space with velvets, patterns, warm metals, and rough hewn wood textures, providing a feeling of comfort, safety, and stability.
  • Nature Inspired: Golds, greens, and browns, the colors found in nature, as wells as live plants and branches bring the outdoors into an enclosed city row house with limited windows.
  • Multi-functional: The living room, with an easy-to-move cocktail table, does double duty as an area for yoga in front of the fireplace, and the dining room serves as a stylish and clean-lined WFH space. 
  • Dedicated Lighting: A combination of ambient and task lighting contribute to the functionality and overall feeling of this home. Here, a mixture of recessed lighting, lamps, and decorative light fixtures support all the tasks to be accomplished in this COVID era interior. 

“Our living spaces sustain us. Whether they are used for work, play, or rest, they need to be functional, beautiful, and nurturing environments.”

Yamini Hingorani

See more here.

Functional Storage

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the home has become more important then ever. Many people begun working from home and have had to adapt existing space into a makeshift office or build out a new home office. According to Komandor Chicago, future home designs will likely move away from the open floor plan trend. Instead, designs will create pockets of privacy for working, studying and zoom meetings.

And one of the most important design features in these spaces? Storage. Functional storage. In a world where two week quarantines are recommended after potential exposure to a virus, having ample storage spaces for groceries and household goods – in addition to office supplies – is essential.

See more here.

Clean, Durable Surfaces

Cambria Quartz Surfaces is the highest quality Quartz in the market. Family-owned and American-made in Lesuir Minnesota. Cambria is the only vertically integrated quartz company and control the process from the excavation of Quartz in their own mine in North America to installation. 

Being vertically integrated, they have complete control of the manufacturing process thus ensuring quality control and bringing the best new designs to life. Cambria Quartz being completely non-porous, Cambria cannot harbor any bacteria which makes it easier to eliminate germs from the surface which is of the utmost importance during an international pandemic. Rest easy knowing you can spill a glass of wine on the surface and it will wipe clean as the day it was installed. And after the year we just had, who hasn’t suffered a few wine spills?

In addition, Cambria develops new innovations all the time and regularly launch new designs. In 2020, they launched 34 new designs, 6MM material thickness, and true book-matching ability. So you can protect your home from common germs and bacteria and reduce maintenance without the sacrifice of quality design and application restrictions.

See more here.

Left Image: Cambria Material Designer: Design Tuttoilmondo, Photographer: Ryan McDonald, Design: Skara Brae, Polished, Application: Book-Match.
Right Image: Designer: Margaret Naeve Parker, Photographer: Aaron Dougherty, Application: Vanity with Integrated Sink, Rose Bay, Matte

Outdoor Space Enhancement

Millie Rosenbloom, a top realtor with Baird & Warner has noticed a big trend already this year towards outdoor living space enhancement. People who have realized they are going to be home a lot more at least in the near future have looked for ways to enhance their outdoor space.

One of Millie’s favorite examples of this trend is from Centaur Interiors, a fellow RNDD Member. Centaur has been working on outdoor kitchens, media setups with TVs and lounge areas, and play spaces for kids to keep them entertained while at home. One amazing project Centaur recently finished involves a built-in play set and play house plus seating for adults. 

See more here.

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