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A Guide To Staying In: How Design Can Help Us Cope While Sheltering In Place

What a time this is for us all. As our communities around the world deal with the impacts of COVID-19, many of us are doing our part to practice social distancing and staying inside more than ever before. And in the wake of this crisis, our homes have had to adjust to shoulder an entire day’s worth of demands, becoming not only our shelters but also our offices, schools, gyms, theaters, restaurants, and so much more.

And one thing is for certain: when home is everything all the time, there’s nothing more important than function. To help you make the most of this time at home, we’re sharing easy ways to get the most out of your space and help it serve all these different functions at the same time.

From the dining room to the entryway, we created this complete “Guide to Staying In.” Full of interior design ideas for shelter in place times, keep scrolling to see how you can use interior design to make this time at home more functional and comfortable.

dining room design ideas for shelter in placeDesigning A Multi-Use Dining Room

The dining room has taken on new life as the core gathering place in our homes. For many of us, this room has become our workspace, cafeteria, home school, and family HQ room all in one. Try these simple tips to get the most out of your dining room design.

home office in the dining roomFor an Office Space

If you have an expandable dining table, adjust it to its full length to give you maximum surface space. Add a task lamp (or two) to give yourself ample lighting and consider using notebooks instead of loose papers to keep things organized while you work from home.

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homeschool dining room designFor Homeschooling

Keep all your kiddos’ school supplies organized in baskets or bins. Every morning they can grab their basket and easily stash it all away at the end of the school day. This will keep your table ready for its next adventure.

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date night dining room designFor Date Night

Set the table like you’re at a fancy restaurant—use cloth napkins if you have them, dim the lights, and light a few candles. Cooking not your thing? Take a raincheck on the fancy meal and buy a gift card to support a local restaurant.

living room design ideas for shelter in placeDesigning a Multi-Use Living Room

Our living room designs are seeing a lot of action these days—from lounge space to office, playroom, and even home theater, it can start to feel like your entire universe has become your living room. Keep your sanity and try these easy design ideas for shelter in place and set your living room up for all its different uses.

home theaterHome Theater

Start by setting the mood by dimming or turning off overhead lights and closing your curtains (this will keep glare at bay and give your space a theater vibe). Keep a few poufs or floor cushions handy for more seats and easy places to kick up your feet. Finally, stash a few blankets nearby so you can stay cozy and cover your eyes if you get too scared!

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living room with a playroom

Playroom

Clear a space on the floor for younger kids to sit and play. You can use a rug to “zone” the space and add fun toys like a mini tent to keep them entertained. Use baskets to quickly clean up at the end of the day so your living room can transform into its next look. Put pillows on the floor so the kids can sit comfortably around the coffee table. This is a great spot to color, do puzzles, or play games together.

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living room with an office

Workspace

Divide your living space into zones for work and leisure. Set up your home office in the living room by adding a desk or cocktail table for a dedicated space to get focused. Don’t sit on the sofa to work, but maybe use it for calls or video conferences when you need a change of scenery. Utilize the storage you already have to keep your “office” organized. Built-in bookcases or a bar cart are great options for easy storage.

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bedroom design ideas for shelter in placeDesigning a Serene Bedroom Escape

Unlike other rooms in your home, your bedroom is a space that’s just for you, so it’s important that it be a peaceful place where you can re-charge for the day ahead. Here are 3 ways to turn your bedroom into a serene sanctuary.

bedroom designCreate a Self-Care Corner

Make self-care part of your routine by carving out a place for an activity that brings you joy—be it a workout space, meditation zone, or a cozy reading nook.

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cozy reading nookPrioritize Comfort

Invest in creature comforts that turn your bedroom into the best room. Things like a memory foam mattress topper, quality sheets, and a cozy rug all make a huge difference.

bedroom storageSkip The Stress With Storage

Keep your bedroom feeling zen by investing in the right storage. Pieces like dressers, baskets, and under-the-bed storage are all great ways to keep your space (and mind) neat and tidy.

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entryway design ideas for shelter in placeDesigning a Functional Entryway

Most of us aren’t leaving our homes much these days, but if you are, here are a few design ideas for shelter in place times that can help you re-think your entryway design to make this time a bit easier.

Corral High-Touch Surfaces

Add a tray to hold your keys, wallet, phone—the things you touch frequently. This will keep them from spreading germs around and make cleaning easier.

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Stash Your Shoes

If possible, experts advise taking off your shoes before entering your home. If that’s not possible for you, add a basket or two in your entryway to make stashing them away quick easy.

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entryway organization ideasThink About Errands

Making a grocery run? Add a laundry basket to your entryway as a reminder to wash your reusable bags frequently.

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boho entryway decor

Designate a Sanitizing Zone

If you’re wiping down all hard surfaces before putting your groceries away, consider designating a space (like a bar cart) for sanitizing to keep your kitchen counters clean.

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