Interior design and the pandemic

Color tendencies 2020: what changed?

In the beginning of this year, I watched a couple of videos on YouTube declaring that one of the main colors for 2020 will be black. Sophisticated and intense, black was to rule the interior design world in its supremacy.

And then Covid-19 happened.

People scrambled for roomier apartments, terraces and gardens became a national treasure, furniture was getting minimized and de-cluttered as people adjusted their homes for a 2nd wave of possible confinement.

Even in gorgeous Barcelona these shifts in interiors didn´t go unnoticed. Barcelona is one of those beach cities, where little value was historically placed on balconies and patios. Why in the end should we bother with a terrace when the beach was so close and the streets were lined with small cafes and welcoming food joints to delight the senses? We had always had such wonderful weather and outdoor amenities like parks, walkways (ramblas) and beaches that we hardly ever thought of using our balconies and terraces. No wonder then, that the vast majority of smaller and medium apartments were usually graced with only a tiny ventilation balcony (called galeria or lavadero (laundry room) that served for drying clothes and little else.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

With the spread of the Corona virus there came a major shift in perception this last spring.

The real estate market revved up on anything that had an outdoor space – a balcony, terrace or a garden patio. The renovation construction embarked on a welcome high and new construction re-adjusted housing plans to featuring bigger communal and individual outdoor amenities.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Spaces became multifuncional. As extra guest rooms became offices, storage rooms – fitness centers, and reading nooks turned into classrooms for studying from home, people tried to convert their spaces into multi-purpose rooms with a hint of commercial touch. As access to favourite bars or restaurants was unavailable or restricted, kicthens became a space for hanging out, wine bars hit the top seller lists and design became focused on resembling your neighbourhood cafe rather then a run of the mill average kitchen that your grandma had.

Photo by Mark McCammon on

DIY went on the beserk. People embarked on all sorts of smaller and bigger renovations, even the most reluctant ones were eager to grab a brush and a can of paint. The long lines from the supermarkets moved to the construction stores like Bricomart, Leroy Merlin, Bauhaus and others.

Photo by Vecislavas Popa on

White became a staple. It wasn´t really news and it was a coming a long time, slowly but surely, white furniture and white shades gained even more terrain on the interiors market. The usual human thirst for light and air intensified as volunatry or mandatory confinement dragged from weeks to months. People changed out classic brown-tone furniture for less bulky and more functional pieces in white and light pastel colors.

Photo by Tan Danh on

Plants became interesting again. Bringing the outdoors in became necessary as window sills and balconies got lined with plants and not just your garden variety cactus which can tolerate high amounts of heat and neglet: but full blown trees – lemon, olive, palm and gigantic ficuses. Luckily for plant lovers even big-sized plants are still quite cheap and an elegant way to instantly spruce up your space.

Photo by Pixabay on

Green became the new black. As an avid real estate follower, I noticed more and more living rooms lined up fancy green TV stations and accent furniture, sparkling kitchen backsplashes in olive green, lime and aquamarine. A color usually reserved for the bohemian free spirits is now providing a green (literally) oasis for the confined souls.

At the end of last year the Pantone Color Institute announced Classic blue 19-4052 as the color of the year 2020. Stable, distinguished and dependable blue is a color that conveys stability, serenity and consistency: something 2020 was not. What is next year´s colour of the year going to be?

Photo by Markus Winkler on

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