While life has resumed to a great extent post-pandemic, we will be perpetually discussing its influence on our homes and lifestyles, and 2023 is no different. Over the past few years, most of us have spent more time at home and it’s changed the way we view our spaces, both aesthetically and functionally.
This shift has also changed the way we use our homes and showed us that so much more can be achieved in a space. Designers are predicting that people want to have fun with their interiors and create a more personalised space now that they are accustomed to spending more time at home.
“As the pandemic brought about restrictive human interaction, it prompted the need of inclusion of various facilities, which earlier on would be termed as premium luxury such as spas, home theatre, gaming room, kid’s entertainment, outdoor sports, home gym, home study, library and more elaborate study areas in kid’s rooms,” says Ashish Kohli, Founder of Ashish Kohli Design. “These demands of clients made it imperative to create individual or hybrid areas if there was limitation of space. While designing spaces, we need to create a balance between the functionality of the space available and engineer new concepts to accommodate multifunctional spaces.”
From home dining to home working, certain rooms including the kitchen became much more multi-functional, agrees Kerrie Black, Group Merchandising and Marketing Director, Sanipex Group. “Outdoor spaces, too, came into focus much more as a natural extension of our living spaces,” she says. “This is a trend that has stuck subsequently and requires the design process for kitchens and outdoor living spaces to be approached in a slightly different way to pre-pandemic times, with multi-functionality in mind.”
Flex spaces are intended to help your home better accommodate your day-to-day life and extra spaces have to reimagined for more frequent and flexible use. So what needs to be considered when creating a multi-functional space?
“Creating a multifunctional space can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be, depending on the types of spaces you are trying to merge,” says Vivek Sinha, Founder and CEO of Vision Catalyst. “For example, a kitchen with a dining area works in unison to become a multifunctional space. However, creating a living and sleeping space may mean more of an innovative approach. There are two main things to consider, the first is zoning, and the second is multipurpose furniture. Zoning can help create boundaries design-wise, while multifunctional furniture can help embrace the dual use of the space.”
Black says it’s extremely important to gauge how the finished space will be used. That means taking the time to get to know the customer and drill down into their expectations. Zoning is important too, she agrees, particularly if the kitchen is to be used for food preparation as well as working from home. “It’s nice to include an element of privacy or a quiet space,” recommends Black. “This can often be done with the clever positioning of furniture, the combination of materials and colour. Lighting also has a big part to play, but you need to consider how the space will be used at different times of the day and night to decide on the type of lighting that should be planned into the design.”
Attention to detail
The resulting multifunctional spaces go hand in hand with attention to detail, which is essential to personalise your home. Up-to-dateness is the keyword for anyone who wants an innovative and thought-provoking design in their home.
In any industry, attention to detail simply means the art of paying attention to the smaller details of a project. However, in interior design, you will notice that there are various aspects or elements that need to be considered to successfully achieve the desired appearance - the colour palette for instance, is a huge deal, the colours and design from your wallpapers to your furniture and accent pieces can make or break your interior. “The idiom God is in the Details is not just a phrase but one of the most important rules while designing as fine craftsmanship and detailing is a very important part of a design,” says Kohli.
“We are very particular in using the best teams for execution of projects to attain the best finish. Detailing has been an ever-evolving part of design wherein we keep engineering and creating new concepts and new details. I make it a point to travel to the best of furniture and design shows and study new trends and also move outwards to nature to get inspiration from nature.”
Black says she and her team work with brands that have quality in their DNA. “That way we can be confident that while tapping into modern trends, be it materials, finishes, shapes or so forth, the product itself will fulfil its function,” she says. “Style and aesthetics need to marry well with functionality, particularly in spaces such as the kitchen and bathroom.”
Stay ahead of the curve
In the ever-evolving world of home interior design, staying ahead of the curve requires a dynamic blend of creativity, adaptability, and a keen eye for emerging trends. Experts say by combining a solid understanding of timeless design principles with an openness to innovative ideas, you can curate spaces that not only reflect your personal style but also anticipate and embrace the shifting currents of design. You need to embrace a continuous process of learning, exploration, and experimentation to ensure your home interiors remain both stylish and ahead of their time.
“Investment in research and development is an integral part of our success,” says Black. “We derive our strength from our very strong ideas and original design concepts.”
After having worked with major global interior design houses and independent interior designers that keep inspiring with ideas through their requests, Black feels there is no better way to tell where trends are heading than those setting those emerging nuances. “We listen and that is what shapes our new product development,” she says. “Our product development team looks for inspiration on what we produce whether it be by travel, exhibitions or just from seeing inspiration day to day, so we’re not just followers of the latest fashions, we help shape them.”
Specific planning and preparation go a long way in creating innovative and reliable spaces, feels Sinha, who says space planning is one of the vital parts of a flawless interior project execution. The process includes blocking out the interior areas, determining the circulation patterns, creating a layout, and so on.
“A perfect alignment of design, products and execution by knowledgeable people can only give the best results,” says Sinha. “With interior project execution being a daunting task, seeking help from professionals is very important. However, to ensure the project’s timely completion, one must keep the discussed essentials in mind and create their dream space.”
Create a colour scheme
When it comes to home decoration, there isn’t much that’s quite as effective as painting is. Most people understand that painting is important, but don’t realise why. At its most basic level, paint provides the foundations for your home’s interior decor.
However, creating a cohesive paint colour scheme in a house is akin to selecting your wardrobe — you may love more than one colour, but you wouldn’t wear everything at once. The same applies to choosing a unifying palette.
“Choosing colour is an important, often overwhelming task,” says Lenzhen Natalia, CEO, House of Colour. “Appreciation and use of colour is a personal journey; the way we each view a shade and our instinctive reactions to it are highly individual. Think carefully about the colours you are comfortable with before selecting a scheme that feels right for you.”
A fresh coat of paint can often be all it takes to change the look and feel of a space or piece of furniture with minimal investment. Before you start deciding on a decorating scheme, it’s wise to think about the look you’re aiming to achieve and how you’ll be using the space. “For example, if you’re painting a dining room, cloakroom, or hallway – any room where you spend less time or pass through quickly – you could potentially be more daring with colour or finish,” says Natalia. “Consider preparing your spaces as much as possible. Remove any furniture or cover with sheets to avoid marking and use tape where possible to protect door frames, windows and skirting from smudges and blurred lines.”