“We are seeing a trend towards homeowners wanting to create zen sanctuaries in the home,” said Imani James, certified award-winning interior designer and owner of Imani James Interiors. “A quiet oasis type of environment designated for peace and reflection to recharge and recalibrate. These small secluded areas are filled with natural elements such as plants and crystals and are scented with warm uplifting scents from essential oils and candles. We are adding doors where there wasn’t one previously and creating peaceful nooks wherever we can.”
Keeping it fun by mixing finishes
As LaMont Bynum, owner of consignment furniture boutique Rite At Home, put it: “don’t be boring… mix it up.”
“Out with the old model of everything must match. Today’s rule is mix it up to add interest and fun,” said Bynum, who is also principal owner/interior designer of Bynum Design Group. “Mixing metal with design makes a statement in a room and can help bring different looks to a space. Ultimately, the finish you choose should fit in well with the style you are trying to emulate.”
To infuse a modern appearance in your room, Bynum said a polished look focused on matte finishes is usually the go-to, while traditional rooms favor fixtures with oil-rubbed finishes.
But there are also things that have gone out of style.
“When it comes to furniture, buying living, dining and bedroom sets are a thing of the past and provides no life to a room,” he said. “Find one foundational piece and start designing. It is like a woman finding the perfect black dress.”
Defined spaces for work and relaxation
Working from our dwellings means our home lives have blended with our office lives. As such, many residents hope to outline rooms for work and play, sepearting the two in an effort to obtain work-life balance.
“A real focus, and one that we definitely see continuing through the coming years, is a more defined and fuller use of every space in the home, whether it be for work, for relaxation, or for family activity,” Grossman said. “While most of our clients either already had home offices or spaces easily converted, we saw a wonderful trend toward adding bright spots of color — rays of happiness — as those spaces were organized and brought to life for full-time use. We saw an emphasis on creating comfortable spaces for the family to gather once the work and school day was done.”
Grossman noted her company converted a dining room into a family dining lounge, which included a custom banquette with chaise lounges, ideal for reading or watching a movie after supper. Outdoor areas and sunrooms were transformed into areas where people can have socially distanced get-togethers.
“I can only see this embrace of home continuing as the world opens back up, with newly found enjoyment and respite as continued themes,” she said.
Transitional rooms and luxury living spaces
As with many things amid the pandemic, what clients seek from home decor has changed. Ashley Miller, a leading interior designer in the southeast and owner of Ashley Miller Design, said clients no longer ask whether or not their home makes them feel “comfortable, alive, or secure.”
Now, they ask more specific questions.
Aside from moving away from open floor plans, Miller said she also notices “clients desiring spaces that can transition them from one place to another — be it from a home office to a sitting room, or a living room with the kids, to a quiet, relaxing room designed to let them sit in peace and quiet.
“One room might be airy with light tones, while another close by may be a combination of stronger colors with more pattern,” she continued. “In other words, what used to be large, open floor plans with a continuous theme running throughout is being replaced with multiple rooms and transitioning styles that are curated depending on the mood the client wants.”
Clients are also seeking ways to decompress at home rather than taking a seasonal getaway.
“We all wish we could travel like we once did so now we are looking to bring the travel experience and luxury into our everyday lives,” Miller said. “For instance, clients are now trying to mimic the experience of having just stayed at a fine boutique hotel — whether it’s in the dining room, bar/entertaining area, or master bedroom. This has been a developing trend over the past few years but the pandemic has only accelerated it. Why not replicate that same experience at home?”
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