Interior decoration in the time of Covid-19
Interior designers have focused on designing home offices for their clients amid the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO CREDIT: ARCH. LUZANDE BIBS
The 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic (Covid-19) has had a considerable impact on many businesses and professions, causing the cessation of several of them and the placing of many unemployed. But there are several sectors that have been resilient and have survived the pandemic. One of those industries that has successfully adapted to the health crisis is interior design.
Many would wonder how a seemingly irrelevant industry would be relevant in these difficult times when others are focused on providing essential products and services.
Response to Covid-19
According to interior designer and academic director of interior design at the SoFA Design Institute, Dr Carla Leonor, the environment is currently “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous”. Despite this, the designers have been prepared and are adequately equipped to deal with these situations.
Interior designers are called upon to help various industries find solutions that would help improve interactions between individuals in built environments, while respecting existing health and safety protocols. One such example would be the design of the interiors of disinfection booths and quarantine facilities. This work is carried out in collaboration with United Architects of the Philippines.
Designs for the new normal
Interior designers are called upon to give their opinion because the Covid-19 pandemic has considerably affected the lifestyles of individuals. As many people have adapted to working from home or the hybrid work pattern, the services of interior designers are in demand and they easily answered the call remotely.
Leonor gives an example from his interior design practice: “We were able to pivot quickly last year by arranging online consultations with our clients who are primarily in Manila. We have also worked with several furniture manufacturers and retailers to assist with their sales and provide our customers with the convenience of home renovations through our guided online services. “
One of the things that customers are looking for is to turn their home into an office, as most, if not some, businesses currently mandate work from home. Interior designers have been working on such concepts even before the pandemic and it has given them the opportunity to make their work a reality.
In addition to being a casual space, home offices are designed to offer large work surfaces, comfortable chairs, and ample storage space.
It doesn’t end there, however. Since the pandemic has affected schools as well, the house must also be designed with the students in mind. Hence the need for spaces that would allow favorable distance learning.
Additional spaces in the house, such as unused bedrooms (when the kids move out as they grow older) and the garage, can be reused as ‘bonus spaces’ which can be a recreation area – creating a small gym. or a den where families can bond while watching a movie on their home entertainment systems.
As households seek a conducive work and study environment at home without distractions, it is still necessary to adhere to health and safety protocols by paying attention to entryways and foyers – the first line of defense. home from viruses and diseases like Covid19.
As such, interior designers would create spaces where shoes and other footwear can be stored as well as a facility where one can disinfect before entering the house. Many designers predict that this will become the norm even after the pandemic has passed, because at that time disinfection will be an accepted practice.
As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and the Covid-19 pandemic has given the impetus for such a need among interior designers to focus on well-defined and adaptable spaces. in the house, again emphasizing its importance.
“As an interior designer, I am able to examine the macro and micro environment to better understand the market, predict future design and business trends, and create relevant strategies,” said Leonor.