I0 post lockdown garden and interior trends that look like they are here to stay.
There’s nothing like being trapped behind your own four walls for months on end to get you questioning your interior design choices, is there?
Perhaps that berber rug that you thought you loved, proved completely impractical for family Joe Wicks workouts…or maybe you discovered a distinct lack of storage for the stock piled loo roll and bread flour that you accumulated but had no chance of using up in the foreseeable future.
The beginning of lockdown saw a surge in home improvement and DIY pinning on Pinterest, not to mention a desire to get out into the garden amongst nature. In fact seed firms reported orders at up to six times higher this year than 2019, while the Royal Horticultural Society saw a fivefold rise in queries for advice on its website during the lockdown period.
Myself and Mr Woodenhill definitely unleashed a hive of DIY activity in those early months of lockdown, managing to tick off a lot of jobs that had lay dormant on the to do list for longer than I’d care to admit, and I’ve loved keeping up with what my favorite interiors bloggers have been up to during that time.
There’s no doubt that there have been some emerging interiors trends coming through that I think will stand the test of time long after this challenging and unpredictable period of our lives has passed. It may very well change the way that we consider the design of our homes forever – it’s made us reivaluate what’s important in life.
The end of open plan living
Once upon a time, we were all desperate to spend time together in our homes. We were sold a dream where everyone spent time in the kitchen “the heart of the home”, gathering around one table to eat family meals, do home work and relax with the daily newspaper. That is, until we were forced to spend endless time together, with no separate room to retreat to. It was then that we realised how important time away from each other really is.
But before those of you with beautiful open plan homes all panic that you won’t be able to sell your houses, and start getting the bricks and mortar out, it really doesn’t need to be that drastic.
There are other methods that we can use to help to zone an open plan space and colour blocking has been one of the big interior trends this year.
Like many interior trends, it started out on the catwalk a couple of years ago and has been filtering through to our homes ever since, and our stint in lockdown has really seen it take off. Not only is it an effective way of zoning an open plan space, but it’s also a great way of injecting some colour without having to wrap up the entire room in dust sheets, and completely disrupt family life when every man and his dog are underneath your feet.
As you can see from this stunning image from the Jotun Colour Collection, colour blocking doesn’t need to be contrasting and bright to help you zone a space. The use of this earthy and calming pale pink helps to zone the dining table from the rest of the kitchen, and creates a relaxing and inviting place to either sit and enjoy a meal or go to war with your ever increasing inbox.
In contrast this cheery seating area has been cleverly zoned using an energising yellow and proves that even awkward door frames or cupboards do not need to get in the way when it comes to colour blocking…layering art or a mirror over the lines will help to create one cohesive space, while still drawing the eye to the fact that this is a space with a purpose, so that it doesn’t get lost in an open plan layout.
For the more cautious amongst us, the same thing can be achieved without you even having to reach for the masking tape; a large painted canvas or an oversized rug can also help to anchor a space and give it a separate identity within the room.
“Frittal” – Faux Crittall
There’s nothing like staring at the elephant in the room that’s been cramping your style for as long as you can remember, to make you spring into gear and tackle it head on.
White PVC doors and windows should be quaking in their boots right now because we are coming for them. No white UPVC conservatory or plain shower screen are safe.
This shower screen has been cleverly updated by the brilliant Negi of @negi.at.home. She has given it the frittall treatment using a roll of washi tape, a little imagination and a bucket load of patience I imagine. Those lines!
We’ve all been lusting after industrial crittall style doors and windows in interiors mags and on Instagram for a few years now. It’s an architectural feature that has way surpassed the interior trends catergory and catapulted itself as a classic that is most definitely here to stay. That said, it’s a feature that comes with a hefty price tag, not to mention the upheaval and damage caused by removing the old to replace with the new.
As always the interiors community have come up with some creative solutions and upcycles to revamp their dated white doors and give them the crittall ‘glow up’ that they deserve – and so ‘frittall’ was born.
Always eager to take on a new DIY project and give the items in her home a brand new lease of life, queen of the garden revamps Theresa Gromski has created a stunning backdrop to her kitchen table by adding a crittall effect to her old, white UPVC doors – and the results are jaw dropping. Check out her Instagram stories @theresa_gromski to find out how.
Move along now, there’s nothing to see here…well nothing new anyway. We’ve been talking about bringing the outside into our homes and the importance that it has on our mental and physical health and wellbeing for many years now. You can read more about the impact that keeping plants in your home can have in a previous blog post that I wrote on biophilic design. It’s a subject that I have become hugely passionate about.
Building up your plant family doesn’t need to be expensive. Fellow house plant enthusiast Natasha has been showing us how we can propagate our existing house plants on her Instagram @la_sidhu. She has loads of useful hints and tips for caring for your home jungle.
For those of us not fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, house plants are the very next best thing. Studies have shown that keeping indoor plants can promote a healthy indoor climate, increasing humidity and moisture in dry air, and even reducing the allergens that cause complaints such as irritated eyes, headaches, sore throats and tiredness – more important than ever during a global pandemic.
This, combined with us all spending an unprecedented amount of time behind our four walls has led to an even deeper obsession with our plant pals, deeply routing it as another one of those interior trends that are here to stay, and I for one could not be happier about it.
For maximum plant power, and a feeling of being completely immersed in the natural world, try creating your own living plant wall. You can find out how I made this one using copper pipes and plumbing attachments here.
From bringing the outside in, to bringing the inside out. The desire to make our gardens a space that we can spend as much time as possible in (or should that read ‘out’?) has been hightenned to new levels.
This magical outdoor room set up has been created by the wonderful Miffy aka @miffyshaw and is a space that you can enjoy all day and all night long. She used reclaimed scaffolding boards to build the sofa and matching futons. It looks so comfortable that you’d have a hard time getting back up again.
Gone are the days of the uncomfortable chippy paint bistro table or garden bench. We want to be able to lounge, eat and even work outside, so we need our outdoor furniture to be up to the job.
All hale the scaffolding sofas. Coveted by the masses, this chunky addition to your garden is firmly staying put in it’s well deserved position as one of the biggest lockdown garden and interior trends of the summer.
Proving that city balconies don’t need to be left out in the cold, the brilliant Louise aka @dougs.digs shows us how we can achieve a comfy space to lounge in using reclaimed pallets. Pour us a g&t while you’re there.
As we found ourselves no longer able to leave our houses and enjoy all of those trips out that we’d always taken for granted, we had no choice but to find creative ways to bring the entertainment to our own homes instead.
Home cinemas, outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces really came into their own and became one of the biggest garden and interior trends during lockdown. Anything that you could enjoy outside or in your own home, while safely socially distancing was understandably hugely popular.
This dreamy, date night set up was conjured up by the fabulous Kristy of @squid_and_goose and makes me want to go absolutely La La. The layered rugs, the picnic prosecco, Ryan Gosling…just perfect.
Could you watch a movie in much better quality on your television screen? Yep.
Could you have cooked that meal in the comfort of your indoor kitchen, with all the mod cons. Of course you could.
We were all desperate for that little break away from our daily routine, and to bring a little bit of magic from the movies back into our lives or enjoy an alfresco meal inspired by our favorite restaurant was the next best thing and one of the most enjoyable garden and interior trends to come out of lockdown.
This outdoor kitchen and eating area belongs to the brilliant Sally of @sallydoessassy fame, she is a recent discovery of mine and now a true obsession. What I wouldn’t give to be parked right here with an aperol in hand. Sigh.
You knew this one was coming…
We couldn’t talk about post pandemic interior trends without visiting the home office.
From enjoying our down time to awkward Zoom meetings and working from home, perhaps one of the most challenging things that we’ve had to overcome during lockdown was creating a home that was able to support all of the above with absolutely no preparation or prior warning whatsoever.
Queue a surge of mad panic and chronic back pain as people worked from their laptops on uncomfortable chairs frantically looking for a pleasing backdrop for their Zoom calls, preferably a bookcase containing acceptable reading material and not your tatty old copy of Geri Halliwell’s autobiography.
We fantasized` over garden studios and any sort of home office that was in a separate room, far, far away from the rest of the family, but most of us in reality are not fortunate enough to have a spare room so we had to get creative.
Brands were keen to find us solutions too, this hideaway study cupboard is by The Dormy House and is a great solution for homes with no spare room. It can be really hard to switch off from work when it’s constantly staring at you from the corner of your living room but with this option you can just close it all up at the end of the day and return the home back to a place for relaxing.
We got creative and created a home office on the top of our landing using two bedside tables and some left over decking wood. Find out how in this blog post about hard working small spaces.
Proof that you don’t need to rush out and buy a brand new desk. In fact if you don’t even have the space for a permanent desk you might want to consider using a shelf instead. Place it on the wall at the right height for your chair so that you are able to sit with your feet flat on the ground with your elbows at right angles.
You will probably find this a much more comfortable option than the dining room table as it would be custom made to fit to your height. Renters with limited space could put it up temporarily, take it down, fill the holes and take it with you when you leave.
So, what if you don’t work in an office but you still need to find a way to work from home?
Well, if like me your job isn’t your typical 9 to 5 desk job, you need to be a little more creative. We were lucky enough to have already designed this space with me teaching pilates from home in mind and boy has it really come into its own during this period.
We customized our kitchen cupboards to create a rolling kitchen island that can easily be rolled out of the way to create more space, and our sofa comes apart which make the room even more versatile for socially distanced lessons from home.
Multifunctional spaces are going to become more of a priority when we are designing our homes in the future and as the demands we put onto our homes increase.
This robotic space saving furniture is the ‘ROGNAN’ by IKEA – it was initially designed for Hong Kong dwellers and is a sign of things to come as we require more and more from our small spaces.
Yes, you heard me correctly. While I’ve been doing the opposite of getting organised and spiralling into the depths of chaos and discarded Amazon boxes you have been binge watching ‘Get Organised’ with The Home Edit on Netflix and colour coding your knicker drawers.
Pornganisation programs are the new Love Island for frustrated and housebound middle aged folk it would seem, but far from giving me the horn, the presenters shrill excitement for organising celebrities nail varnishes just gives me a headache.
One account I have been obsessing over though is the wonderfully organised Amira frm @dusk2illdawn. Her homemade cleaning products are not only non toxic for you, but cause less harm to the environment too and her pantry is a thing of beauty.
Us mere mortals can but marvel at her label maker and dream of the day that we will become efficiently organised super humans too.
We can’t discuss interior trends without covering colour. Post lock down has seen a rise in popularity of earthy and grounding colour pallets. The desire to connect to nature and create a calming and nurturing environment while our lives are so unsettled is hardly surprising.
Dulux were one of the first paint brands to pick up on this trend back in early September with the announcement of their colour of the year for 2021, which they named ‘Brave Ground’ – a warm and earthy neutral that in their words ‘is an enabling and stabilizing colour. It’s a versatile shade that allows other colours to shine.’
I personally love the colour, and the sentiment behind it. I’ve seen a lot of people on social media painting over their dark walls during lock down and moving over to much lighter colours. There’s no doubt that spending more time in a room or staring at one particular colour can completely change the way you feel about it and there’s something so comforting about warmer neutrals like this one which can’t be bad can it?
Grow your own
And so we’ve come full circle, from earthy, nurturing colours to nourishing our minds and bodies by getting out in the fresh air and growing our own organic fruit and veg.
I mentioned at the start of this blog post that garden centers and seed farms saw an unprecedented number of sales in seeds and seedlings – many of them completely selling out and unable to keep up with the rising demand. I too, found a new love for growing our own vegetables in lockdown, even creating our own rolling veggie patch and hanging herb garden. You can read more about that here.
Someone who has very much embraced this trend is the multi-talented Calum aka @dapperfranks. Not only did he knock up his own veggie garden and planters, but he also grew this impressive bunch of veg, while whipping up his own chutney using up the leftover green tomatoes from the summer. Is there anything this man can’t do?
It may not just be the lure of organic fresh vegetables that are driving this trend though…did you know that there is a natural antidepressant in soil? Studies have found that the bacterium found in soil may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. What more reason do you need to get out in the garden and get your hands dirty?
And so there ends this blog post exploring post pandemic interior trends…if you made it to the end, congratulations. I could have written even more as I’ve found researching this subject absolutely fascinating but I was already risking it taking longer to read than our stint in lock down so sadly (for me) here it must end.
I’d love to hear if you have found yourself drawn into any of these garden and interior trends yourself in the comments below.
For more tips on how to introduce biophilic design principles into your home or workspace, you can read Marianna’s new book ‘At Home with Nature‘.