How Interior Design for Couples is Changing During COVID

Tips for Mixing Interior Design Styles, Creating Home Workspaces, and Defining Separation 

The way we design interiors for couples is changing, especially during COVID. We are now spending more time than ever at home and together as a family, creating new needs for increased functionality, comfortable style, and mutual compromise. The dynamic of couples is also changing. In recent years, studies have shown that 45% of American couples participate in equal decision making when it comes to interior design. This is a significant shift from past decades when home design choices were expected to fall on one partner. The home is now more than ever an equal playing field for domestic life, work, and recreation. In this article, our San Antonio interior designers share shifts we’ve seen in design needs during COVID, strategies for mixing interior design styles, tips for designing home workspaces, and ways to create needed separation in the home.

Interior Design has Changed During COVID and So Have the Needs of Couples  

COVID has impacted the future of interior design trends for years to come. When designing for couples and families, design choices have been complicated by remote work, childcare, and recreational needs. Besides asking for couples’ preferences on color and TV placement, designers now have to consider additional needs, including quiet office spaces, dual-function rooms, and ways to break homelife monotony. 

Need for a Home Office  

One of the biggest home design needs created by COVID is home offices. Design choices range from open concept spaces that allow parents to simultaneously supervise children to completely detached outbuildings that simulate the feeling of a very short morning commute. We will discuss what questions to ask and what needs to keep in mind when designing your home workspace later on in this article.

Need for Multipurpose Rooms 

COVID has also redefined the home and the required functionality of its spaces. What previously served as a playroom now may have to do double duty as a home gym. In multipurpose rooms, it is crucial to define zones and create separation. We also see a shift away from open concept spaces to designated rooms that can create separation and house multiple activities, like working out, studying, or watching TV. 

Need for Outdoor Connection 

Couples and families need to maximize every inch of their property, including private outdoor space. Designing living spaces that seamlessly flow onto outdoor patios, offices that look out onto gorgeous views, and outbuildings that increase square footage are great ways to connect to the outdoors and improve the home’s enjoyability with additional living space. 

5 Ways for Couples to Mix Their Unique Interior Design Styles 

When couples approach us for home renovations, it’s our job as designers to figure out a plan that respects and supports each of their visions. The final space must be comfortable, functional, and representative of both partners’ styles. Here are five of our tips for making the design process as easy as possible for couples. 

Decide on Your Budget Before Renovating

Over 24% of couples say that the most significant conflict they have regarding interior design is budget, making this the number one problem for redesigning the home. Eliminate this concern by defining your budget before starting your renovation project. A clear budget will not only ease tensions but also help guide your design and make selections easier. 

Focus on Feel and Function Rather Than a Specific Style

Many couples get hung up fighting for their specific design style rather than focusing on creating the desired feel and function for the space. Take a step back and ask yourself if you need Mid Century Modern style in the living room or if you want it to feel light and airy. Work together with your partner to tackle the room’s significant challenges and incorporate smaller style accents last. 

Keep Your Collections 

Some partners think redesigning a space means they have to toss out the old and bring in the new, creating tensions and arguments for spouses who have sentimental connections to their items. Displaying personal collections in the home is what makes it truly unique, and our designers encourage it. Try repurposing items or displaying a collection in a dedicated room, like a home office. 

Know That Design Dilemmas are Not Relationship Problems  

When it comes to decorating as a couple, there will be some clashes of ideas, wants, and styles. Don’t confuse these design dilemmas with relationship problems. Try to remain objective and focus on the functionality of your space. Take a solutions-based approach to design choices rather than an emotional one. 

Never Compromise 

This last tip may come as a surprise, but never compromise! Let us explain what we mean by this because, of course, there will be compromises between a couple during the design process. Partaking in blind compromises like letting one partner pick the sofa and the other partner pick the paint color can result in clashing decor themes, dysfunctional spaces, and frustration down the road. Hiring an interior designer can eliminate the need for piecing together half-compromises. Instead, designers can present new ideas that both partners love and hadn’t previously considered. An interior designer will help ensure everyone’s household needs get incorporated into a beautiful and cohesive design.  

Our Biggest COVID Request – Tips for Designing Home Workspaces for Couples

During COVID, the home is no longer reserved for evenings and weekends. This former retreat is now a central hub for both work and recreation, making home workspaces a must-have for busy couples. When designing a home office, it is crucial to consider location, privacy, and personal work style. Here are our tips for assessing your work style and determining your home office needs. 

  1. Keep a Work Style Journal

For a few weeks, examine how you work. You may think you want a private outbuilding in the garden to seclude yourself but find you take many breaks throughout the day to check the mail, get snacks in the kitchen, and check in on the kids. Now you’ve discovered the need for a central space in the main house rather than a new addition. 

  1. Choose Your Location

Location is critical for home office success and will be determined by your individual work preferences. Consider your office must-haves and what area of the home can accommodate them. Do you need quiet, a good view, or lots of storage?  

  1. Pick a Single or Dual Workspace

Determine if your office needs to be shared with another family member or activity. It may prove beneficial to combine a home gym and office. Alternatively, you may find that you need complete concentration and privacy. 

  1. Opt for Privacy or Open-concept 

The scope of your tasks and daily chores will play into whether you’d benefit from a private office or open-concept workspace. Multiple work calls may dictate the need for a private room, while parents with children benefit from a simple nook with clear sightlines. 

Creating Separation in the Home for Couples and Families 

There are many pros and cons to the formally popular open-concept floor plan. Now, we’re seeing a desire to create defined rooms, separate offices, and even private outbuildings away from the household bustle. There are many options when it comes to creating and defining spaces in your home. You can build an outbuilding like a casita, remodel the interior with new walls and additions, or examine the current space and increase the functionality with defined zones and panels. It’s a personal journey to the right solution, and it requires understanding your home needs. Always reach out to a designer when questions arise!   

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