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7 Positive Changes the Pandemic Brought to Design

7 Positive Changes the Pandemic Brought to Design

A lot of people have written about how the pandemic has changed our lives. Many of us now shudder to hear anything at all about the “new normal,” and yet it’s a reality we live every day.

What would you say if I told you I have some positive changes to share with you?

…How about if I told you those positive changes are specific to interior design? As a professional with many years in the industry, this is about MORE than me looking for “silver lining.…”

It’s about some VERY real shifts that have taken place in design that you should know about!! After all, the only way you’ll be able to enjoy these changes (and the positive impacts they’ll bring to your home) is if you know about them.

Keep reading to learn what 7 positive changes the pandemic has brought or accelerated in the world of interior design!!


family eating healthy meal a home1: New focus on health

It stands to reason why families are more concerned with health after everything we’ve been through. And with ALL that time we’re spending in our homes, we’ve become acutely aware of the ways the design of our homes can impact our health…

As part of that health outlook, hygiene has spurred big changes in the home starting at the front door. I’ve written before about the front door and how the entryway behind it should be designed for the BEST first impressions. But now, the trend is to take those design tips and focus them around an underlying theme of organization. The entryway of our home needs to welcome us into a safe space, and that starts with a CLEAN space. That means:

  • Providing dedicated spots for shoes
  • Storing bags and parcels off the floor
  • Protecting interior flooring with a mat where we clean our shoes on entry

Pandemic aside…organization like this is always a plus, anyway!

Health in our homes goes WAY past feeling good, too. I recently wrote a whole article about how home design can promote every kind of health you want in life! These trends in health-focused design have definitely gotten my attention, if you couldn’t tell…


home office that inspires2: FAR better home offices

There are an awful lot of people who aren’t going into the office anymore. Many of them might never transition back, either, at least not full-time.

Of course, a million and one articles have been written about how to design the best home office since the boom in remote work. (You can see that I’ve done it, too.) This design trend goes further than that, though. Our homes are serving more purposes than ever…they’re our private restaurant, our office, our gym, our spa. And while home offices have gotten a LOT of the attention, the bigger design trend is how much cleverer design is getting for multi-purpose and dedicated spaces!

To accommodate home offices as well as all these other spaces we’re seeing in homes, things like movable partitions and multi-functional furniture will get BIG soon. You just wait!

How many functions does your home serve? And how many would you like it to?



3: Sustainability

This is one trend that DEFINITELY existed before 2020, but the pandemic accelerated it in a big way. Homeowners’ attention has now shifted faster to the idea of sustainability in the face of limited resources and interrupted movement of materials during 2020.

As a result, sustainability has become a huge design focus, including everything from mindful use of resources in remodels to diligently researching what we fill our homes with.

Other lifestyle changes outside the home have boosted this sustainability trend, too, like commuting less and shopping locally. The REAL question is how important sustainability is to you in your day-to-day, because if it is on your mind, there are extraordinary design choices you can make to minimize your impact on the natural world around us.

And speaking of nature…


4: New connections to nature

Along with sustainability comes a general design style trend in all-things nature-y!!

I wonder how much of that has to do with how cooped up we were in 2020…a LOT of people ended the year WAY more interested in time outdoors than before!

Real elements from nature are being used more in design, and those that aren’t the “real deal” still beautifully imitate it. Natural textures like wood and stone detail are evoking a feeling of nature right inside our homes, and homeowners are LOVING it.

Outdoor spaces have gotten more attention for this reason, too. To enjoy the nature that’s right there on our property, it makes sense to furnish our outdoor areas appropriately. That means design selections for seating, lighting, and even outdoor kitchens!!

Pool Kitchen in back yard near keller texas

You’ll also see this trend in fabrics and other materials. Have you heard of bamboo bedding? Or have you slipped between 100% cotton sheets?! This trend definitely isn’t going anywhere, so check it out yourself or write me for more ideas to start using it in your home…


5: Enjoying our homes differently than before

Home means something very different for most of us after 2020. We’re more intimately familiar with each space, and we’ve also had a harder look at how we behave and feel in certain environments.

And so, the design trend now is to create spaces that enhance a sense of calm. You need that perfect place to go read a book. Your home should be nurturing in this and many other ways, especially in the quietest of moments.

This trend is ALL based on the desire we already had to feel good at home…We’ve just become more aware of it after everything we’ve seen during the pandemic. Your home is more than a bunch of furniture and décor staged to entertain guests…it’s your shelter and your space where you can concentrate, or be creative, or unwind.


Signature Sandlin 96 lo rez6: Better kitchens

Now that we’re cooking SO much more at home, it makes sense that design trends have helped us create better kitchens.

Of course, “better” is based in LARGE part on kitchens that are functionally ideal for you…

For example, take this recent before and after kitchen remodel we did. I wrote about it because of the phenomenal amount of storage. Most families would kill for cabinetry like this! The kitchen island was built in almost 20 parts because of all the storage and appliances and plumbing and electrical built in…

It’s the design decisions like the ones made in this project that render a kitchen remodel more than just beautiful—the kitchen becomes conducive to the lifestyle that family wants to live.


7: Fixing stuff sooner

Another direct result of the pandemic (and all the lockdowns and quarantining) is that most households became quicker to notice when stuff WASN’T WORKING (or was broken) in our homes. That creaky door started to drive us mad…That leaky faucet started to make us wonder if a bigger fix was needed in the pipes we couldn’t see! Annoyances and paranoias snowballed right along with scarcity of certain products in stores.

The result?

Now, families are prioritizing home maintenance through a VERY different lens.

Whether it’s that creaky door or a design choice you just can’t stand anymore, stuff that should get fixed is FINALLY getting fixed when it ought to!! We all procrastinate…and just a year ago, stuff that wasn’t in dire straits would have just been set aside for “another day.”

But today, in contrast, families are prioritizing the function AND feel of their homes. Everyone’s eating at home together, relaxing together, even working together. It makes all the sense in the world that the systems, fixtures and finishes around them should ADD to their day-to-day instead of detract from it!


Some of these trends were already on the radar before 2020, like sustainability or the use of natural materials in homes. Others like the craze of home offices have been the direct result of what we saw and lived in 2020.

Whatever trends call out to you, I want to know. Which of these trends can you get fully behind? Which make the most sense to you?

If you’re thinking about how to roll out some of these trends in your home, I recommend using our complementary remodel planner. Even if you don’t have a remodel on your mind, you can use the space-by-space worksheets to go through your home and take notes on what you DO want to get done!! Download it right away and let me know what you figure out!

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