People are spending more and more time at home. ThegGlobal pandemic and inclement weather have shifted the original concept of “home” to include work, school, daycare, and much more. A home’s functionality is key with so many new roles and responsibilities.
Interior designers, architects, and developers have reported an increase in homeowners who want to maximize their home’s square footage. Popular project requests include basement, attic, and shed remodels. Proper lighting is critical in these typically dark, enclosed, and windowless spaces.
Ultimately, homeowners are aiming to boost their productivity at home. Lighting systems that mimic natural daylight, such as VintageDim® 2 by Luminii, are ideal for illuminating workspaces and learning environments in residential spaces.
Luminii is built on the premise that architecture and illumination are intrinsic to each other, merging form and function beautifully. Continue reading to learn how to elevate your next high-end residential project with light, among other top 2021 interior design trends.
Editor’s note: The piece below originally appeared in The Seattle Times. You can also read the piece here.
The past year has been a time of change for all of us — notably in the amount of time we’ve spent tucked away inside our homes. And this, inevitably, has altered our relationships with our dwellings.
“The pandemic has affected the way everyone views their home,” says Alberthe K. Buabeng, a Seattle-based interior design blogger and a member of House Beautiful magazine’s advisory board. “Where most people would typically spend anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week away from home, now home is also work, school, church, the park,” she says, all in addition to being the place where we live.
As our homes have come to fulfill a wider variety of functions for us, our feelings toward them have shifted, as well.
“I think the pandemic has already instilled a deeper appreciation for home as not just a source of shelter, but also comfort and happiness,” says Hadley Keller, senior editor at House Beautiful.
Every turn of the year brings a spate of trend predictions. But as we move into our second year of dealing with the coronavirus and its effects on our daily life, examining the patterns likely to prevail in 2021 is a particularly poignant exercise.
“Home has never been as important as it was [in 2020], and our hope is that we have all learned to be grateful for these spaces and the comfort they provide,” says Keller, who advocates “a focus on filling our homes with things we love.”
Since we’re likely to be spending most of our time at home for at least the next few months, trendwatchers are seeing an emphasis on making our domicile a place we truly enjoy, as well as a hub for every aspect of our lives.
“People are going to begin to think of their home as command central,” says Marian Salzman, a longtime trendspotter who serves as senior vice president for global communications at Philip Morris International.
This year will be all about comfort, light and being connected to nature.
“You will see a lot of people who are after that authentic, cozy home that is classic,” says Shirin Sarikhani, founder and CEO of Seattle Staged to Sell & Design.
Here’s how style-setters and local residents are translating those trends into making the home a place of warmth and welcome.
Get creative with your space
Erin Hochschild and her husband, Aaron Fortner, live in a 1906 Craftsman in the heart of Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. “We love the location,” Hochschild says. But now that they have two small children, a baby and a 3-year-old, they’re feeling constrained by the home’s small size.
The house has two bedrooms — and a single bathroom. “There’s no bathroom on the first floor,” Hochschild says, which means that the kids’ bath toys and all of the family toiletries are on full display for any visitors (in pre-pandemic days).
Finding a home with more space in their price range would mean leaving the city, which they don’t want to do. “So we’re going to try to make this house work,” Hochschild says. For them, that means turning one of the bedrooms into a pair of small but separate bedrooms for the kids, plus adding an extra half-bath downstairs, which will be carved out of space that is now a porch.
Making existing homes work better is something that designers and remodelers are increasingly seeing around the region and across the nation.
“With much of the country having spent more time at home than ever, people have a vested interest in creating homes that serve them better,” Buabeng says. “[We saw] a surge in home projects — from small refreshes to large renovations — throughout 2020, and I believe this will carry well into 2021 as people continue to use their homes more and see them through a different lens.”
Many people are looking to finish attics or basements in order to create more space, says Emma Zimmerman, marketing specialist for Queen Anne-based Model Remodel.
“People are asking for the highest and lowest levels [of their homes] to become fully functional,” she says. “There are a lot of creative solutions for almost doubling the square footage by utilizing those spaces.”
Others are reaching outside the house and into open spaces to claim more room for living.
“People who can, I’m seeing more of them create an outbuilding,” says Amy Panos, home editor for Better Homes & Gardens. These spaces can be used for storage, as school or office spaces, or as a retreat from the main house.
Sacha Panko, of Kirkland, is working on just such a space for her boys, ages 5 and 2. Her family is nearly done building a shed of just under 200 square feet outside their house. She says their house is on the smaller side and includes her husband’s work-from-home space.