The world has evolved in many ways in the last few years. Our priorities have shifted and many of those things are reflected in our lifestyles, and a big part of that is how we look at our homes. Like the yesteryear, we will be witnessing a lot of sustainability and comfort when designing homes. People will be still looking for functionality, accessibility, and comfortability — with a dash of style and substance, of course.
Interior designer Beena Amin of BA Design Studio shares, “Nature in the form of indoor plants, the use of recyclable material and environment-friendly home products will be a top priority. Comfort and minimalist approach will be important since home offices will be sticking around for many people. People are going to love natural hues to make their home subtly colourful.”
“I have always believed that designs should not only be aesthetically pleasing but serve some utility as well.
In that sense, I would say open concept kitchens with butcher blocks will be more popular, due to the welcoming space they provide practicality as well. With remote working, more opportunity to spend time with family as well as home businesses, those stylised kitchens, previously an extension of the décor, will be put to use more often for its inherent purpose,” highlights interior designer, Sabiha Rita Hasan of Design 19 Studio.
“Natural materials (such as wood, cotton silk etc) are in high demand as well as softer palattes. Comfort is key but there is still room for individual expression with custom made art pieces, as well as adding touches in the design that reflect the uniqueness of those living there. Focus tends to be on incorporating contemporary with classic as per needs and wants of each client,” adds Rita.
Similarly, Karachi-based interior designer Ainee Shehzad predicts that there will be fusion between contemporary and classic designs.
According to Rita, the transformation from house to home lies in the story told by the accessories. They project the image of those living there and accent the language of design important to the people. They also convey a sense of finish to a design. “Candles are being utilised more frequently than in the recent past and aromatherapy is more prominent in the form of stylish diffusers that fit within the design theme of a space with availability of diffusers at lower price points than ever before,” Rita shares. “The focus has shifted to green spaces which means clients are looking to bring the outside inside – which means sprucing up their gardens and terraces or even balconies. There is also puts focus on outdoor spaces and outdoor design elements such as a small fountain, greenery etc.”
Ainee foresees that home furnishings and accessories will be eclectic with a focus on darker tones for interiors. A lot diverse colours and textures in polishes for furniture will be in-vogue.
“Textured prints and minimalist furniture designs will be preferred more over plain textures. Moreover, multifunctional and sustainable will be popular which could be customised. And round shapes will be winning hearts this year,” suggests Beena. In terms of furniture, Beena notices that with the increase in the population, especially in city areas, the clients now prefer light-weighted and multipurpose furniture which may occupy lesser space and easy to move.
A quick way to spruce up your home is to change the colour scheme. For this year, Beena enthuses that shades of yellow will still be popular. Natural grey with green is also coming forth as an excellent colour combination choice, along with warm neutrals like cream, off-white and ash grey. Beena also tells that black is never outdated and neutrals with blue hues is a good option as well.
Ainee dubs that this year will be about darker tones and open spaces – deep colours for upholstery. The colour schemes will be deep earthy colours on one side of the spectrum with hues of gold or silver and whites and greys on one end.
“Certain classics are ever present such as white. However, with spring not far away, yellows and soft pastels certainly work in harmony with our weather and are great mood lifters. A special mention would also be to matte jewel colours, which are definitely more interesting than the charcoal greys that have become almost a reflection of the times,” enlightens Rita.
Post pandemic design changes
All three designers agree that the pandemic has brought in a lot of change as clients are starting to focus more on functionality of the design. They want cosier homes and they are also realising the importance of tranquillity. Clients are also taking note of the environment and keeping a focus to utilise more sustainable materials in their homes. Ainee shares that now the focus is on patios and rooftops being made into places for hanging out and entertaining.
Moreover, since home offices are being designed in the living space, a wider area is now being divided into multiple portions to perform various tasks at the same place but with privacy, informs Beena. “A corner as a comfort zone is decorated to enjoy privacy, soothing colour combinations are used to make the environment peaceful, and nature is now more in the house.”
“You do not want your living space to have the feeling of a movie set. A focus towards private spaces is definitely more in demand with the increased time spent at home. Constant interaction can be tiresome and a source for conflict given human nature. Social time is important but so is the need for your own space to whatever extent possible. I would say having the children or young adults their own space is something that is being given more attention. There is clever ways to provide privacy through design without necessarily increasing the physical space of the house. A good design will find ways to utilise what is already there,” expresses Rita.
Trends to bid farewell to
Ainee says that heavy carving needs to go out this year. Whereas Beena tells that complex geometric pattern are now outdated the clients now want some simple, round and subtle designs. Multicolour themes also seem to be diminishing and warm neutrals are replacing ‘all white’ theme.
Rita hopes that the move towards brass, marble inlays in black and white, and the grey-scaling of everything is something that is on its way out. “I have incorporated more pewter silvers and hazy blues more recently. A client’s preference is always the priority as everyone has comfort with certain colours and themes but I do believe as designers we should at least open up their imagination to something they perhaps did not think would work and then make adjustments according to their level of comfort.”