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What Do Our Homes Look Like Now? 5 Ways We Think COVID-19 Will Impact Interior Design

2020 was a year of major changes for our homes. Home offices were booming, multi-use spaces were the norm, and people looked for creative ways to make the most of every square inch of their homes. Hello homeschooling zone/home office/movie theater/home gym/daycare combo spaces!

But now that we’re starting to come out of the worst of the pandemic, what do our homes look like? What changes should go from temporary to permanent, and what will shift back to how it was before?

We surveyed our network of Modsy designers to see what themes and trends they’re seeing in how people are using their homes now—and predictions on how the pandemic will affect the interior design landscape going forward.

Here are our 5 predictions on the future of our homes!

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Prediction #1: Home Offices are Here to Stay

2020 was the year of the home office, as a huge amount of offices shifted to employees working remotely. But even as our world has begun to open back up again, many companies are keeping some of their remote work policies in place—some allowing employees to opt for fully remote positions, others offering hybrid models that include working from home part-time. With that, we’re confident that home offices are here to stay.

At Modsy, home office design projects were one of our most popular rooms in 2020, and requests for these spaces have not slowed down. Some clients are transforming spare rooms into permanent home offices, while others are integrating more flexible working spaces into their homes as they go back to corporate offices part-time. No matter if it’s a designated space or a hybrid office, we’re predicting that home offices are here to stay!

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Looking to create or upgrade your own home office?

Check out our home office checklist for a list of all of the essentials for a productive office. You can also explore the different types of desks for your needs, check out our guide on how to create a home office without a spare room, find cloffice design tips if you want to transform a closet into a mini home office and small apartment home office ideas for when you live in a small space. And if you just want some visual inspiration, check out our home office design ideas!

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Prediction #2: Open-Concept Spaces Will Decrease in Popularity

Open-concept floor plans have been hugely popular in the past few decades. In the early aughts, home design moved from traditional layouts to more open, free-flowing spaces. And the rise in TV renovation shows, where hosts would knock out walls and open up main floors only fed the frenzy for open-concept home design. It seemed that every home improvement show featured clients looking for big, open kitchens that were open to living and dining spaces.

But while these open spaces are great for entertaining and family life, they didn’t weather the storm of the pandemic quite so well. Having all that exposed, open space is difficult when your entire world becomes reduced to just your home. Instead of having separate spaces for homeschooling, working, lounging, and working out, in an open-concept home all of these activities took place in the same multipurpose space. What once made a home feel more expansive suddenly made it feel more cramped. After 2020, many people have a new appreciation for walls, doors, and enclosed spaces. And we’re predicting that this desire for privacy and separation will continue.

Fun Fact: Open kitchens didn’t actually become popular because of their functionality in being open to other spaces in the home. It was actually the fact that they were constantly featured on home improvement shows! Turning an enclosed space, separate from the rest of the home, into an open one meant demo work was needed. Shows used these segments to attract a wider audience—specifically men. Tearing down walls and cabinets and having a dramatic reveal makes for good television, after all!

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Prediction #3: Bold, Fun, and Celebratory Trends Are Coming in Hot

There are still plenty of uncertainties and fears flying around in the wake of the pandemic—but with the world opening up and being able to see friends and family again, it’s hard not to celebrate! There’s a general mood of hope and new beginnings out there, after more than a year of darkness and isolation.

We’re seeing this celebratory sentiment take root in interior design trends, which are becoming bolder and more personality-packed. There’s an air of playfulness and positivity that’s being reflected in home design. Some people started bringing this sense of joy into their homes during the pandemic as a way to lift their spirits, by wallpapering, painting, and adding eclectic elements to their homes. But today, we’re seeing more and more people embrace these bold, playful trends. Some of our favorites? Botanical designs, rainbow nurseries, and bold wall colors!

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Prediction #4: Modern Design Styles Will Usurp the Traditional Trend

Ahh the ever present trend cycle. It’s always raising up a trend from the past, only to take it away again a year or two later! We’ve talked before about the push-and-pull between modern, forward-looking trends and traditional, historical ones. In times of uncertainty, the general public tends to look to the past for inspiration and strength—which resulted in traditional design rising in popularity not just in 2020 but even in the unstable years prior. You can see that in the popularity of Cottagecore, Grandmillenial style, and even the resurgence of the 90s-inspired Traditional Comfort look, which all rose to the top of the trend lists.

However, in times when the future looks bright, modern styles become more popular. You can see this historically by looking to the 1950s when, after WWII, Mid-Century Modern style was booming. With that in mind, we’re predicting that modern, futuristic design will have a comeback moment, and more forward-looking styles will become popular once again.

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Prediction #5: Entertaining is Back

No more quarantine! No more social distancing! We can finally host again—and we’re predicting a major rise in people wanting to create cozy, comfortable spaces to entertain. In fact, at Modsy, we’re seeing a rise in requests for entertainment spaces. Important aspects of these rooms? Good flow, home bars, and intimate conversational seating. Plus, people are looking for plenty of storage space to keep their homes neat and organized when guests come over.

With more entertaining in the future, along with so much time still spent at home, we’re also seeing an uptick in requests for leather furniture and pieces in performance fabrics. THere’s a desire for rooms that look beautiful but are durable and comfortable—ideal features both for when you’re hosting and when you’re just cozied up at home with your family.

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My Modsy Story: How Modsy Transformed My Entryway Into an At-Home Coffee Shop

Nicole knew she wanted to do something special with her entryway foyer—but she wasn’t sure how to bring her ideas to life in a way that had a cohesive look and feel.

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Homeowner: Nicole C. Non-profit Director + food blogger

Location: St. Charles, MO

Room: Entryway

Her Style: Reclaimed Visionary

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The Backstory

When we moved into our new house, we had almost no furniture. Our space was kind of sad and empty—but we knew it had great potential! We just weren’t sure what to do with it. We were especially struggling with the entryway area right off the front door. We didn’t want it to be just a large entryway foyer, but we also didn’t want it to be a sitting room. But other than those two options, we didn’t know what else to do with the space!

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The Design Dilemma

My husband and I have both been WFH since COVID started and we wanted to make our entryway into a space we both loved since we’re there all the time now. I started digging around Pinterest and came across some great ideas for at-home coffee bars. I’m a food blogger, so I liked the idea of having my passion for good food and drinks inspire this space. The only problem was I couldn’t visualize how the space could come together and I felt overwhelmed by the thought of sourcing all the products and creating a cohesive look and feel on my own. So, I turned to Google, and that’s when I found Modsy!

“I’m a food blogger, so I liked the idea of having my passion for good food and drinks inspire this space. but I was having a hard time visualizing how it could come together and felt overwhelmed with sourcing all the products and creating a cohesive look and feel.”

living room set up as coffee and working station

The Modsy Moment

I was completely blown away when I got my first designs. I was so excited that I immediately texted them to a few friends! I loved how our designer sent us some layouts to consider for our “coffee shop” before picking out all the pieces that would go in the space. That extra step gave us clarity on what we wanted and needed for the room.

“I was completely blown away when I got my first designs. I was so excited that I immediately texted them to a few friends!”

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The Real Results

I’m so happy with our new space. Our designer did an awesome job! I never would have been able to make our little coffee shop on my own—at least not without some major headaches! And Modsy lets you easily buy everything at once, which saved me so much time and energy.

“I’m so happy with our new space . . . I never would have been able to make our little coffee shop on my own—at least not without some major headaches!”

I can’t tell you what it means to have a space that feels like a daily getaway just a few feet away from my bedroom door. Having an at-home coffee shop/office is really helpful especially during COVID when daily rituals have become so important to creating a sense of security. We feel so blessed to be in this home and are so happy we used Modsy, which we also used to help with our living room and dining room designs because we enjoyed the experience so much—we basically never want to leave any of these spaces!

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How to Bring Joy into Your WFH Set-Up – Inspiration From Modsy Designers

By now, after six months of working from home, hopefully you’ve upgraded from a temporary home office to a more permanent set-up. But even if you’ve created a comfortable workspace, it can still feel a little bleak. Long days at your home office can start to feel like you’re living at work. Add to that the stress of the outside world—and no wonder so many of us are struggling!

That’s why—aside from the basics of a good home office desk, office chair, and other home office essentials—we’re big believers in infusing your workspace with small moments of joy. Things that make you pause, smile, breathe deeply, and find a little slice of peace in the midst of the craziness of life.

We asked a handful of our designers how they’re bringing moments of joy into their WFH spaces. Keep scrolling to get their best tips and peek inside their stylish workspaces!

Get Intentional With Your Workspace

Rather than being at the mercy of your own creativity or focus, create a space that fosters those things. By creating an intentional workspace (rather than bouncing from your sofa to the dining room table to your bed) you’ll have a space that tells your brain it’s time to work—whether or not you’re feeling particularly creative or focused at the moment. And, designing it in a way that will make you feel happy and inspired will make you want to spend your days there.

“I think it’s incredibly important to have a goal for your workspace. I can be pretty freeform in terms of where I work—at the coffee table, on the sofa, or even at the kitchen table. I’m more at the mercy of my creativity and when it strikes than anything else. However, cultivating a calming and inspiring space to nurture creativity definitely helps. My main goal with my workspace was to feel happy and inspired simply by sitting at my desk—despite whatever work stresses may be unfolding. There is such intention in curating a space for a specific purpose. There’s something almost ritualistic to it—which I love.” – Karina L, Modsy Designer

“I’m living tiny in a camper that my husband and I have renovated, and everything has to have multiple uses. My work area doubles as our dining space, extra kitchen prep area, and storage cabinet! I have to make the most of my small workspace, but to make it feel more inspirational and personalized I like to keep plants nearby, along with my essential oils so that everything always smells wonderful and I feel rejuvenated! My diffuser is on top while I keep my oils below along with extra books and even more things in the cabinets below. The table leaves fold down if necessary to provide more room and hide our open storage below. I’m also within arms reach of my coffee maker, which is always a plus!”  –Victoria M, Modsy Designer

WFH Joy“I wanted a girly office that would display my favorite things. I used an acrylic desk and two Louis Ghost chairs to keep the room open since it is pretty small.” –Tais K, Modsy Designer

Surround Yourself with Things That You Love

Whatever it is that makes you feel happy and inspired—whether that’s travel-inspired decor, a favorite piece of artwork, books for when your brain needs a break, or fun little objects that make you smile—bring it into your workspace. Not only will these things add some fun and inspiration to the daily grind, they’ll also help motivate you on the difficult days!

WFH Joy“The thing I miss most right now is traveling, so I’ve made a point to fill my wall and desk with things that bring me joy and feed my wanderlust. I also always have inspirational quotes and a collection of my favorite poetry books on hand by my desk—and, of course, some plants!” – Katherine T, Modsy Designer

“I wanted to create a gallery wall that screams Kelly! I love art history, B&W movies, and London. With my cathedral ceilings, I needed Modsy to help create the layout. I’ve collected these pieces for years (some I purchased in London) and wanted to place them all together for a unique look. It’s displayed right over my desk and it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.”   –Kelly W, Modsy Designer

“I’ve packed my small but mighty workspace with a few pieces of art and decor that make me smile. One of my favorites is an analogue clock with a design by Piero Fornasetti. I’ve found it to be surprisingly useful, as I can keep track of time the old fashioned way, instead of checking my phone and constantly being distracted by all those notifications.” –Madeline W, Modsy Designer

Get Happy With Some Houseplants

Plants make you happier—plain and simple. Whether it’s the vibrant greens enlivening the space or the knowledge that there’s another living thing nearby, styling with indoor plants can have a really positive impact on your mental health. Plus, certain varieties help purify the air and up the oxygen levels in the room. Needless to say, we could probably all benefit from some plants in our workspaces!

“My desk is in front of a window, so I’m able to have a bunch of plants around when I work. I’m inspired most by nature!” –Peter C, Modsy Designer

WFH JoyI’ve been quarantining in my childhood home while I prepare for a larger move in a couple of months. Being limited in what I can change in this room, I’ve focused on using small pieces to bring joy to my workspace. I’m a full-fledged plant mom and have built up a corner jungle surrounding my desk, as well as introducing photos of loved ones and items that mean a lot to me. Even if I don’t feel completely at home in this room, I’ve done what I can to feel happy, at peace, and motivated to work each day! –Becky S, Modsy Designer

Give Your Eyes a Break

Computer fatigue and eye strain are very real—especially now, when we’re working virtually and even meetings are computer-based. So, give yourself breaks throughout the day to step away from your screen, whether that’s indulging in a hobby mid-day or going on a walk. Having beautiful artwork above your desk or flowers next to your computer also gives your eyes something other than your computer to focus on in the midst of working. You might also want to consider blue light glasses to help with eye strain!

“Taking a break to arrange flowers in the midst of my workday brings me so much joy. And I always keep essential oils on my desk. I made a blend to help with headaches and computer fatigue, because that’s a real thing, as we all know. Having flowers on my desk gives me the best view ever and helps with eye strain from the computer screen. So much color and inspiration from flowers keeps me going as a designer.”  –Cassandra W, Modsy Designer

Find Joy Wherever You Can

We don’t all have the luxury of creating a beautiful workspace that’s all our own, full of things that we love. For some of us, workdays are peppered with checking in on kids distance learning or sharing a space with a partner and overhearing their end of a video call. But even if your WFH situation feels a bit chaotic, we encourage you to find joy where you can. Whether that’s having photos of loved ones near your computer, appreciating good natural lighting in your workspace, or choosing to view being interrupted by your kids as an opportunity for a quick screen break instead of an annoyance, we can all find a bit of extra joy in the everyday if you look in the right places!

WFH Joy“My workspace is in the middle of my living/dining room so it’s important to me that it stays orderly but is personalized and fits within my decor scheme. I’ve added joy here with layered photos of my loved ones, an heirloom porcelain shoe from my grandma, and fresh flowers from the local farmer’s market.” –Rebecca S, Modsy Designer

“Because my husband is using our office and all three of our kids are home, my best workspace has proven to be in the kitchen. From here, I can answer my kids’ questions and keep on an eye on them while I still am able to work with good light and quick access to my coffee maker. I use oversized coffee table books to prop up my computer. It helps that they’re full of inspiration if I’m feeling stuck on something with work. The whole setup is easy to put away when I’m done with work. There seems to always be a toy our three-year-old deposits with me while he’s playing and those little trinkets always bring me a smile.” – Jenny F, Modsy Designer

Thinking of giving your WFH set-up a makeover? Get inspired by home offices of every style and find your dream home office design. Ready to make it a reality? Learn more about the ins and outs of interior design and how the process works. Modsy designers are ready to help you bring the space of your dreams to life through online interior design.

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Design Tips to Make Working From Home More Productive

working from home As our community across the world is dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, many of us are facing a new reality of working and living completely at home. And while we know the ability to shelter in place and work remotely is a privilege not everyone has, we also know that working from home can be its own challenge.

This is especially true as many of us are also balancing homeschooling our kids, co-working with a partner, and trying to keep our sanity all at the same time. That’s why now, more than ever, we think it’s so important to have a home that is comfortable and inspiring.

Setting up a designated office space can go a long way in maximizing your productivity during these uncertain times. A physical place where you get down to business can help you make the mental transition to “work mode” and can make balancing life and work at home a bit easier.

To help you create a home office that works as hard as you do, we rounded up 10 of our best home office and working from home tips. We hope they can help you make the most out of your space and stay productive during this time at home.

office layout1. Find an Ergonomic Set-Up

Function and comfort are key to any good office. Set yourself up for success with a workspace where your monitor is at eye-level and you can sit upright in a comfortable chair.

2. Location, Location, Location

Your office doesn’t have to be a separate room, but a dedicated space to get in the zone is important. Try working from your dining table or even incorporate an office into your living room or even your bedroom.

home office in living room3. Utilize the “Cloffice”

Sometimes you need a quiet space to take a call or just have a moment alone to yourself. This can be difficult if you don’t have an extra room to escape to, but consider re-thinking spaces you might not have considered at first glance.

One of our favorites is using an awkward nook, an empty corner, or even a larger closet as an office space (aka the “cloffice”) to take a phone call or as a meditation spot. A few touches can really go along way to spruce up these spaces. Try adding a lamp and a floor pillows, and voila—an empty corner is now a cozy nook.

4. Switch Up Your Scenery

Get a change of scenery throughout the day, just like you would at the office. Consider taking calls and eating meals in another room or even outside. If you have a counter height bar utilize it as a standing desk. You can even make the switch from your office to the dining table half-way through the day for a change of pace.

office layout5. Invest in Good Lighting

A well-lit workspace is a must. Find a sturdy desk lamp to keep your space illuminated (you can borrow one from other areas of your home) and even consider setting up your desk in an area that gets lots of natural light.

6. Keep Clutter Contained

Working in a cluttered space can kill your productivity. Before you start your day take a moment to organize your space. We find loose papers are the number one culprit of disorganization, so consider using a notebook or investing in an organizer to keep things neat. Filing cabinets, baskets, and desk organizers are also great ways to help keep your space tidy!

working from home7. Add a Personal Touch

Invest in creating a space that you enjoy spending time in. This could mean hanging family photos or art that inspires you, adding decorative accents to personalize the space, or even adding a plant into the mix for a dose of relaxing vibes.

8. Structure Your Day

Get ready like you’re about to head into the office. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on clothes that aren’t your pajamas… This will put you in a working mindset and ensure your all-set for video calls! Try to take regular breaks throughout the day and even build in a fake “commute” to help you mentally transition between your workday and leisure time.

working from home9. Face-Time is Important

Social contact outside of work is a must! This might look like phone calls with your family, video chat “happy hours” with friends, or making time for family dinners and date night.

10. Give Yourself Compassion

This is a difficult time filled with a lot of stress and anxiety for many of us. Remember to give yourself compassion and recognize that you’re doing your best to get through this difficult moment. Take advantage of the many resources available to help cope with anxiety, keep yourself grounded by using this time to learn a new skill, and stay connected with your community. Most importantly, remember that we’re all in this together!

 

We here at Modsy want to be a source of inspiration and positivity during these difficult and unsettling times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email (hello@modsy.com) or on social media to let us know what kind of content you’d like to see from us. 

And, as always, if you want expert guidance on making your home a comforting and functional space, our designers are ready to help. Simply start your project and we can begin designing your home 100% virtually. Stay safe and healthy!

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