I was thinking all weekend, in between cupcake baking and house decorating for my son’s 8th birthday, that interiors trends are heading in two main directions as Corona simmers down. We’ll see a resurgence of decadence with “more and is more” decor OR a more conservative approach where consumers ask questions, buy less but better, and really re-think how they approach shopping in general. It’s already happening, have you noticed? Let’s talk about where this comes from and how it will evolve into the home and as trends for our interior world over the next few years.

Photo: Minh Pham, Unsplash

I’m not sure where I fall, but it’s definitely NOT on the decadent side nor is it on the frugal path. I’m not sure my budget allows me to “buy less but better” as “better” generally means a 10K sofa vs. a 2K one. And even 2K is being very modest here in Europe where I live and shop.

So, what makes me think decor will go in these two general directions over the next several years? Simple: History repeats itself.

When people must live under extreme conditions which press them down and hold them back, they spring forth like a grasshopper the second those restrictions are lifted. Most people do more than just spring back, they go all out. For instance, what will happen when teens and twentysomethings can suddenly attend massive outdoor fests with 300,000 people and camp together under the stars listening to techno, getting high, and hooking up with whomever they want? THEY WILL DO IT. Most are not going to decline so they can sit at home playing MORE board games with their parents and siblings. They’ll be the first on the bus. The bigger the fest, the better. Some industries are already gearing up for the overwhelming response they’ll soon have to their events, concerts, and parties. When I chat with most kids under 25, they ONLY want to go back to their former life and could care less about finding new ways to socialize that could be safer long-term, they just want their old life back.

Photo: Nico, Unsplash

It also makes me think of some of my friends. Many of them are already traveling when it’s not even the safest idea for themselves or others yet given that Corona deaths are still relatively high in most countries. They just want to break free from their four walls and leave their country and see something new. No judgement! Who can blame them? Yet, it shows that there are many who will return to their former lifestyle in a snap the second Corona no longer poses a threat. And honestly, I get it. It’s been a very boring few years that we can never take back. The second I can, I’ll be taking a vacay too because god knows I need a change of scenery.

Then, I think of other friends of mine. This is another side of “history repeating itself”. A hard moment in history had lessons to learn, and those people learned them but also will always take those lessons and use them in their everyday life after that. Most people where I live are still extremely cautious and mask-wearing is just the norm, no one does anything without it and we still need to be vaccinated and with a booster to eat anywhere public or have a coffee in a cafe. All of these restrictions play into people’s fears even more, yes, but once the restrictions are lifted, I imagine some of my friends will still live differently than they did pre-Corona, they will have questions, they will be more conservative in their approach to everything – even the lamp or chair that they need to buy for their homes. They will be part of the second group of interior decorators – the cautious, buy less but better, purchase sustainable, secondhand, vintage/antique, or just really good quality locally made goods, etc. Which is actually a really good thing to do in my opinion.

Photo: Alexandra Gorn, Unsplash

Photo: Jessica Delp Unsplash

Which camp do you already start to notice yourself leaning towards? The less but better group or the indulgent “one life” approach? You may not fall into either category fully, but I imagine you’ll at least lean towards one.

If I look at my current spending habits, I would say I lean towards “more is more” because I still buy things for my home from chain stores like Sostrene Grene and Zara Home. And that’s not maybe making the best choice… But in other ways, I lean towards the more cautious side because I definitely am NOT purchasing at even half the budget I used to allow for myself for many things. And I have spent a lot at Etsy over the past 5 months since I started a few new hobbies. I buy on Etsy before checking Amazon, which is a big switch too.

Also, personal care. I still take good care of myself but I haven’t been to a hair salon in 15 months (I cut my own hair now and skip color at least for another few months), and I wear my pile of winter boots from 2019/2020 (and coats and accessories too). I haven’t purchased a new handbag since 2019, and the only new piece of jewelry I picked up was a watch because I really needed one – it was a necessity more than a need. I do my own mani-pedi, and I found an incredible skincare routine that has made my skin glow-y and pimple-free for nearly two years and it costs under 200 EURO (for a year of products) and I seriously have never had such a clear and balanced complexion. I also wear only Trinny London makeup – it lasts forever and is absolutely fantastic for my skin, I’ve never been so happy with cosmetics before this and I’ve tried them all.

When it comes to my home, I still purchase things but definitely less than before. I’m not shopping monthly, which is a big switch in behavior to my pre-Covid-19 ways, and I check out vintage shops and even secondhand stores before buying brand new. I also “shop in my house” a lot more – I find so many things in other rooms that I’ll move -one of my bedroom lamps just got moved to my foyer, and my desk lamp in my office is now it my hallway, and the lamp from my storage is in my living room. It’s easy to do and can totally feel like new without being new. I also moved some furniture around, renovated my son’s room and my entry room using mostly things we already had including (sealed) year-old paint that was still in excellent condition,

A recap – Interiors Trends for this year and beyond will fall into two classes:

1> More is More. One Life. Go all out! People will return to shopping, buying, not really paying attention to where things are made or by whom, forgetting the pandemic even happened, feeling like they owe it to themselves to just live life. Bold styles and colors, wallpaper, materials mix, lots of pattern, lots of plants and anything to fill the space visually. Mixing materials and design styles, bold artwork, floral patterns, mix of scale, all of fun and playful interiors – humorous, exciting.

2> Less but Better. Thinking first, spending with caution, thinking sustainably, long-term, investment purchases, better quality, asking questions, considering the global impact, asking before each purchase, “Do I really need this ‘thing’?”. Softer tones, natural materials, vintage/secondhand, handmade, local, few plants and flowers but selected with care, minimalism, good organizational systems. Thoughtful design that feels like a warm hug. Careful placement of objects. Tactile, texture, sculptural, objects that have a function but also appear as art. More serious interior, calming, restful.

That’s my take on the trends to come – “more IS more” vs. “buy less but better”.

Have a lovely Monday!

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