Interior design is central to luxury real estate–it takes a house from concept to relaxation. And layout, like every other aspect of society, was changed by the pandemic.
While the office remains at the middle of today’s interior redesigns, more time spent at home has prompted a change in clients’ interests in the realms of colour, texture, and smart features. Here’s a closer look at what buyers are looking for, what sellers ought to be staging, and the interior design trends to watch this season.
The Home Office Reigns in 2021
Any discussion of interior design trends must start with the office space. This living space has shot up the priority list as sellers and buyers look to improve their surroundings.
“Homes do not always have a dedicated work space, and the new challenge is to repurpose existing rooms to accommodate not just one but often multiple users–and often at exactly the same time,” states Wendy Wenger, Real Estate Salesperson in Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.
“Designers and customers are letting go of earlier notions of usable space and creating creative solutions to satisfy their new needs. Closets, nooks, formal dining rooms, and spaces beneath stairways are being transformed into high-functioning and frequently used spaces.”
Wenger recommends staging and showcasing prospective offices in property listings so buyers can, at the very least, imagine what their work-from-home space could look like.
Unsurprisingly, homes with dedicated office space remain hugely desirable. Donna Conway, Sales Associate with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty, has taken note of how her customers are identifying and decorating their work spaces.
“A well-designed home office helps curb distractions and inspire creativity,” she says. “The conventional office featuring built-in bookshelves with a dark wood interior has been replaced by a clutter-free space equipped with simple furnishings and a neutral color palette.”
Conway points out a dull office can drain an individual’s energy and enthusiasm, and that’s why highlighting interior design in these spaces is crucial. “Adding hints of colour, accent lamps, or elegant office furniture–like a mirror-top desk–and framed original artwork creates an upscale and hot office area,” she says.
How else can homeowners imbue their spaces with energy and visual appeal? Keep an eye on those five emerging trends.
“Background and bolder colors are gaining popularity; all-gray layouts and all-white rooms are no longer as popular as the use of colour to create visual interest,” says Conway.
Mia Cottet with Sotheby’s International Realty — Los Feliz Brokerage is seeing the identical change in her market. “Whimsical wallpaper has made a massive comeback. I have clients papering everything from the interiors of closets to ceilings with competing patterns.”
“The top trends I see focus on increased relaxation that indulges all the senses–light, color, texture, touch, and scent,” Cottet continues. “Fluffy faux sheepskin throw rugs, pillows with pops of colour, and scented candles are in demand right now.” The natural look
Breathing life into the home, and bringing the outdoors indoors, has led to a newfound appreciation of natural fibers in furniture, drapes, and décor. “Woven wall coverings add warmth and texture to rooms,” says Wenger. “There is currently an inclination to layer the home in woods, sisals, rattans, wools, and leathers. The focus is on warmth and tranquility. Edited but welcoming. Comfortable but simplified.”
The Importance of Open Air
Part and parcel with the demand for naturalism is the desire for window dressings which are ethereal–or even non-existent. “Sheer window treatments, or no window treatments in any respect, are a prominent design option to give a space the feeling of being outdoors,” says Cottet. “It’s a way to bring the outside in.”
“Homeowners are opting for warm, comforting hues, producing color schemes that encourage healing and wellness,” says Wenger. “Shades of soft serene blues and greens that mimic sea glass and ocean waters are rising in popularity, as colors that promote calmness often allow for more creativity and productivity. Notably, Benjamin Moore’s 2021 color of this year is Aegean Teal.”
Feel the Power
In today’s homes, intelligence is elegance. With everyone playing and working on digital devices, there’s an enhanced need for high speed networks, strong wireless connections in each room, faster routers, wifi boosters, and multiple power-access points on each wall. Adjustable lighting is also a plus if people are spending their time on displays.
“Adding a wireless sound system for music provides another dimension that reduces stress and creates a positive environment,” says Conway.
How does this affect interior design? With visual clutter. Hiding away wires while still offering power stations is vital to keeping spaces organized and restful.
Custom is Everything
Luxury shoppers are becoming increasingly accustomed to getting exactly what they want, and furniture brands are responding. Custom office furniture manufacturers are creating limited edition office furniture complete with custom sizes, configurations, and patterns.
Tips For the Design-Savvy Office Worker
As clients redesign their homes to infuse a feeling of joy, relaxation, and color into their personal space–or to prepare their property for sale–there are several ways agents can assist them.
“You will need to have a working knowledge of what is trending–being a source of advice is the best way to encourage customers,” says Wenger. “It’s vital to read design magazines, follow interior design trends on social media, see showrooms to see what’s present, and talk with architects and designers about their newest projects.”
Cottet’s recommendation for luxury agents: “Listen to and celebrate even the wildest design options, and have an excellent referral listing of artisans to execute them,” she suggests.
“Travel is still very restricted for the majority of us, and our home décor provides us an opportunity to travel through time and continents. Nowadays, too much is just enough!”