33-year-old Puja Malhotra’s favourite spot at her home is her balcony. "The view from my balcony fills me with energy. I never miss a sunset,’’ smiles Malhotra, a digital artist who draws heavily on nature.
Malhotra has been thinking of converting her little oasis of peace and tranquillity into a workstation. "I’ve ordered outdoor furniture and some colourful plants,’’ she says.
As a hybrid work model has become the norm, the spaces inside our homes have had a mind-blowing makeover. Now that people have the time to be more in their house, they are paying more attention to the decor they add to their space, says Raina Singhwi Jain, marketing head of the Gala Group that owns Maeva. "Pieces that are sustainable and versatile are more in demand. People are also more open to experimenting now than before."
Jain adds, "We have seen a change in the home decor choices of our clients during the pandemic as they are working remotely. Scented candles and essential oils are something people are choosing more to add to their homes. The aromatherapy scents help to calm down and unwind. It plays a crucial role in uplifting the mood too."
Prathibha Rajesh, an architect and interior designer based at Malleshwaram in Bengaluru cannot help pondering on how the distinction between home and work life has become blurred during the pandemic.
"The trials of the lockdown has had us rethinking our spaces, to help accommodate work from home, online classes, children's play and peaceful moments that maintain sanity. Economic concerns, comfort and most importantly a normal routine are deciding factors in most homes. As we've isolated ourselves at home during the pandemic, our needs for privacy, safety, comfort, aesthetics have changed the way we have been living," says Rajesh.
Tabassum Fatima would agree with that. Unsurprisingly people are buying plants these days, she observes. Stick on mirrors are also a huge fad. "You can have them anywhere in your house. They look classy," beams Fathima, an undergraduate student in Bengaluru.
Our world now revolves around our home. And for many, home is a means of self-expression. "Your home is an extension of your personality and identity. It needs to evolve with your life. We are trying to help people express themselves better," says Keyur Zaveri, head of design at House of Kieraya. "The fabric, embellishment and accessories together create an expression," he says.
Prava, a luxury furniture and lifestyle brand recently launched by House of Kieraya, offers an array of sofas, study tables, beds and soft furnishings created by award-winning designers. The brand ensures there is something for everyone: This season’s collections are Floral Affair, Abstract Energy, BOHO Earth, and Eclectic Glamour.
Jyothika Kumar from Mumbai was completely consumed by her newfound affection for home décor.
"We spend more time indoors nowadays due to the pandemic and it makes sense to invest in quality furniture. I don’t mind spending a few extra bucks for a sofa or chairs that are more functional and comfortable. They also help me up my style quotient," says Kumar who conducts team building activities at her home.
Indians are moving with the times. The 'Automation and AI report 2021’ by YouGov shows that around 64 per cent of urban Indians are comfortable with automation in their homes. The online survey covered around 19,000 respondents.
Six design makeovers for your home
Spending more time at home with family, working and learning remotely, being more mindful of the relationship between indoors and outdoors—all of these experiences have implications on how we will design houses going forward. Learning to be mindful of the environment will always be our goal. And as the pandemic makes its way out, we hope to still have meaningful connections, and that technology is coming to terms with what that looks like. These new trends taught us that we should never take our home environment for granted in terms of comfort and especially aesthetics.