How COVID-19 is impacting interior design in our home and commercial offices

How COVID-19 is impacting interior design in our home and commercial offices

COVID-19 is impacting many of our lifestyles, and interior design changes in both homes and commercial spaces will be required as we ramp up the economy. While it’s impossible to predict the future, industry experts are expecting that many of these important updates may just stick around.

Stress and anxiety has been rampant for many of us, and this may have an in pact on colour trends. Calming colours, such as blues and greens hues may be the result. Biophilic design elements, where natural elements such as plant life, air flow and views of nature can also add feelings of calm and relieve hypertension.

Video conferencing

As many are video conferencing from home, efforts are being made to stage home offices where a look and feel is created for those all-important Zoom meetings. With video backdrops being a window into one’s home, stylistic considerations such as lighting, framed art and bookcases as backdrops are being regularly used by meeting attendees.

Commercial offices will undoubtedly change, but to what extent remains a topic of much debate. Working from home is now the norm for many, but spaces for collaboration will still be required, albeit with distancing guidelines in mind.

“Offices may evolve to become more intentional, meaning that much of the heads-down work will happen at home and the physical workplace becomes a place to connect with others, leading to increased social space, amenities, and conference rooms,” Kelly Griffin, principal at the architecture firm NBBJ who leads its workplace strategy group, says in Architectural Digest.

Visual guides for building occupants

As awareness around social distancing increases, public spaces such as reception areas will require visual guides for occupants that remind them to maintain distances from one another.

In an effort to keep its office occupants safe, Cushman & Wakefiled has introduced the 6 Feet Office, a concept designed to help maintain social distancing upon return to work. The concept involves rules of conduct including traffic flows, adapted workstations and trained employees who monitor and ensures optimal functionality.

Technology will also play a part in keeping commercial office spaces safe. Cadillac Fairview is developing several initiatives for its Toronto tenants, such as developing digital apps to schedule elevator rides to prevent overcrowding and staggering start times for workers.