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How did COVID-19 Influence Consumer Choices in Interior Design?

3rd August 2022

Our home is our castle – and never was this truer than in March 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions had us stuck inside our homes staring at the same four walls for weeks on end. Suddenly trying to find space for one, two or more people to work from home became a logistical nightmare; kitchens became classrooms overnight, and for those without a garden it was unbearable as the UK saw one of the hottest Aprils in years.

It was these factors which triggered a property boom within Brighton & Hove during 2020 & 2021 as Londoners made the move out of the crowded city to the coast. Of course, the Stamp Duty Holiday helped, but this urgent need to move to a home surrounded by fresh air, offering more space – and the all-important garden, was a massive driving force. If we are ever to suffer another period of lockdown, we want our homes to be our sanctuary; a refuge in which to wait out the storm.

Over the last two-years at Parkers Bathrooms & Kitchens, we have noticed how these lifestyle changes have affected our clients’ attitudes towards their homes. The request for multi-functional spaces, particularly in kitchens and open plan rooms, has increased. What works for you and your lifestyle is a high priority but functionality and being aesthetically appealing are both important.

Finding appropriate space to work from home was one of the biggest challenges. Makeshift home offices no longer functioned for important conference calls and private meetings. People had to get smart and creative when rethinking their home design. Dead spaces such as alcoves, vaults and utility rooms were revived using clever carpentry and craftsmanship to create hubs for Zoom calls away from the noise of family life. Worktops were transformed into pull-out desks or space-saving dining tables while kitchen cabinetry and window seats became stylish storage for children’s toys and books to be packed away at the end of the work or school day.

The Covid-19 pandemic also had an impact on consumer spending, particularly due to restrictions on travel and dining out, providing more expendable income to put towards luxury investments in the home. Our personal space became hugely important as we spent more time inside, so why not spend a little more to create the perfect abode? Specialist finishes such as ‘living’ brass and polished gold or luxury technologies such Quooker boiling water taps and filters have become more commonplace for our Brighton & Hove clients post-COVID.

Being cooped up at home all day also gave us a yearning for the outdoors. Simple choices such as over-sized windows and glass doors allude to the feeling of space while bringing some of the outside in, even in inclement weather. Ample glazing also allowed for the garden to become a seamless extension of the home; an outdoor living room for socialising when that was our only option. It is no surprise, therefore, that leaf prints, house plants and shades of green continue to be the accessories and palette of choice for many kitchens for 2022.

The pandemic has created seismic shifts in how we live our lives post 2020. Many changes look likely to stay. We became hermits and began to appreciate our home spaces once more. The permanency of remote jobs means people will continue to design their life/work spaces differently.

The design and fitting teams here at Parkers welcome these changes and look forward to exceeding our new and existing clients’ requirements and expectations moving forward. Feel free to pop into our Brighton & Hove showrooms at Seven Dials for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss how we can improve the design of your home.

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