How Lockdown Has Influenced How We Design Our Homes

Posted on 19th September, 2020

Interview

When it comes to the way we live, this year’s lockdown has certainly shaken things up a bit. As we spend more time at home, our thoughts and feelings towards the types of products and designs that fill our spaces have started to shift.

simon bodsworth

Our MD, Simon, was invited to speak to Johnny I’Anson at BBC Radio Leeds about how the pandemic has influenced how we view our homes, what’s next in the style stakes, and the return of the avocado bathroom suite.

Here’s a snippet of the conversation…

Johnny: What trends are influencing what we buy for our homes right now? Or has the pandemic created a move towards trends being borne out of what people need in their homes from a practical point of view because we’re spending much more time in them at the moment?
Simon: “Working at home and spending more time at home has definitely accelerated the trend for sustainability and increasing numbers of people are looking for products that are sustainably sourced. We recently launched our Renzo range which features 100% recycled materials and the reaction to that has been overwhelming, which demonstrates the increasing demand for more environmentally friendly ways to furnish our homes.
“The onus on sustainability is also emerging in the colours and designs that we are seeing becoming popular, with people choosing greener shades to outwardly reflect their commitment to recycled elements in their furniture, and rustic, woodgrain finishes to achieve a more stripped back, Scandinavian look that echoes materials found in nature.
“What we’re also seeing is a significant increase in people looking to buy from British brands and buy locally. Here in Slaithwaite where Daval is based, this is echoed and the village is buzzing with delis and local artisan businesses that are becoming more popular than ever. This kind of shopping is growing really fast, because people want their products to have a back story, to know where they’ve come from, and understand how they are sustainably sourced.”

Johnny: Do you think there is a growing appreciation of craftsmanship and products that are hand made and finished rather than mass-produced?
Simon: Absolutely. People are looking for authenticity and longevity in the products they choose for their homes. The pandemic has made this even more important when choosing furniture and there’s more of an onus on pieces being multi-functional in a space. Because many of us have been working at home, we’re having to flip a space from, say, a work environment to an area for relaxation in the evening, meaning people are looking for more bespoke options. We’re looking for furniture that works in a room that’s both a bedroom and an office, or something that lets us re-purpose a nook and cranny under the stairs into a usable workspace as areas of the home are having to become a much more multi-functional.

Johnny: Now the seasons are changing and we’re spending more time at home, are people placing more of an emphasis on creating their own space?
Simon: “I think the whole lockdown scenario has made people re-evaluate what’s important to them, which often is precious family time at home and being among friends and entertaining when they get the opportunity. This means people are looking to invest more into their home to create their ideal space to self-express, hunker down, live a bit more slowly and switch off from the world around them.”

Johnny: Is everyone still buying old G-Plan sideboards like back in the 70s?!
Simon: “I do think they’re still popular, and funnily enough, we’re starting to see more natural plywood style designs coming through again as a trend. We also recently brought a brand new linen finish into our bedroom range which some of the older generations have said reminds them of the 70s, but the younger, trend-conscious customers absolutely love it as neutral tones and natural linen textures have become very popular.”

Johnny: Interiors and trends are very cyclical in many respects. Do you believe that what goes around comes back around?
Simon: “I think it does in many respects, but as designers and creatives in the industry, for us, it’s about re-inventing trends and taking them in different and new directions. We spend a lot of time conducting global trend mapping and analysis to help shape our collections, and we have a team constantly looking at what’s emerging. While I view sustainability as more of a lifestyle choice than a trend, it’s certainly become key to shaping trends in recent years some things are new and more prominent in terms of sustainability trends, but the use of, colour, for example, is coming back as a trend to take over from whites, greys and creams that have been popular for a long time.

Johnny: So the return of colour marks the return of the avocado bathroom suite then, does it?
Simon: “I really hope not!”