Inspired Living

Putting smart living into perspective

Filed on November 1, 2020

Co-founder and director of Capital College, Dr Sanjay Batheja talks about how home design has changed in current times to reflect more elements of smart living

In current times, we do not perceive home to be that place of rest, relaxation, recreation or family time that it used to be. Since the coronavirus outbreak, our home has become a pseudo form of almost all public spaces including offices, gyms, classrooms, restaurants, and sometimes even movie theatres. Over these past few months, our homes have become a solitary place and spending too much time in this closed space has led us to rethink our home décor and the kind of changes that can help us lead a better lifestyle - both functionally and economically. Lately, we have understood the true meaning of a home and, hence, we are challenged to make our homes a space that will keep us cosy, inspired for our work and, above all, safer by adhering to smart living practices.

With social distancing the new form of interaction, spaces are also looking into diversifying and designing better plans that will adhere to the new norms while keeping comfort at bay. All these aspects make me wonder what the industry of interior design is going to look like in the near future keeping smart living into perspective.

Home is the new office
As many continue working from home, interior designers are looking at improvising on the spatial organisation where homes will no longer exemplify a poor replication or a parody of offices with a laptop, chair and a lamp which has little to no use. Designers will look at refurbishing a whole room that is exclusive for work with large windows, comfortable recliners and furniture, along with blinds or blackout curtains to give a look and feel of an office. Not to forget, including soundproof insulations. In the coming months, interior design organisations will replace temporary office setups with stylish office furniture that bring a touch of the corporate to your very home.

Safety first, enhancement second
The pandemic is supporting the idea of less open spaces, which has led to people desiring to walk through natural open areas. Hence, designers could be looking at creating cosy dens that give a natural feel. The industry is anticipating a shift in spending from less luxurious and unnecessary enhancements to creating a haven for their clientele. Industry experts are working on many technologically-inclined products that will enable soundproof insulations for quieter spaces. Considering how people are turning overly obsessive about hygiene and worries about infection, designers will bring in a few ways in which outdoor landscapes can keep the mosquitoes and other insects at bay.

Creating sustainable spaces
Soon enough, designers will focus more on energy efficiency materials and sustainable products that are supported by technology and insulation. Perhaps there will be more eco-friendly goods in the market and decorators will emphasise on using recyclable homeware which could essentially turn into a trend in itself. In terms of sustainability, designers and builders are already putting corks to diverse uses - starting from flooring to walls, corks have turned out to be durable and a multi-purpose material.

Contactless supported spaces
Closed, secluded and fancy spaces in the form of personal bubbles will transpire in larger families especially considering what we are dealing with in the current times. For instance, instead of family members touching the coffee machine, refrigerator and dishwasher, designers may develop a system where buttons maybe configured in their smartphones. Alternatively, study rooms may have voice-activated resources where the lighting, audio, and visual aesthetics can be modified by speaking alone. Kitchen and bathrooms can see designers incorporate a no-touch technology built in faucets, showers, doorbells and other automation systems.

While I continue pondering on how the industry is witnessing a shift in interior design trends, ideas, and processes, what we must do is prepare ourselves for the change we anticipate, and hope for designers to introduce designs that encourage smart living.

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