Whilst everyone is wondering what a post-pandemic world will look like, many design-focused individuals are wondering, after the pandemic subsides, what will the design world look like and how will our relationship with our interiors have changed?
And who better to ask than the woman behind one of the UK’s most impressive super-prime property developments in recent years, the kind that leads the trends? Jiin Kim-Inoue is the Design Director of LuxDeco 100 firm Finchatton and the creative behind the design of its recent 20 Grosvenor Square multi-unit project. The first entirely residential project by the Four Seasons, 20 Grosvenor Square sees a former US Naval Headquarters and onetime US embassy transform into the ultimate in luxury living where everything is catered for residents from designer interiors to Four Seasons staff satisfying your every whim.
I caught up with the designer to hear her thoughts on luxury living trends and her take on post-pandemic design.
How is our vision of home being affected during this pandemic?
The vision for future homes will depend on the specific needs of the buyer. For families with young children, flexibility is important, as rooms will need to accommodate multiple scenarios. For example, we have received more requests for creating ‘workstations’ in additional rooms of the house.
Before COVID-19 we were already seeing a rise in demand for at-home gyms and equipment such as crypto chambers and we expect this demand to continue to increase. Outdoor areas will additionally continue to be more important than ever and become an extension of the house, a sanctuary to unwind in after being in the house all day.
How will design patterns change, post-pandemic?
In a post-pandemic world, we anticipate there will be an increased emphasis on sourcing products in the UK. At Finchatton, we love supporting British brands and this has given us even more reason to do so. Furthermore, we will all be more environmentally conscious of what we buy and where it comes from.
Similarly, clients will opt for colours that instil a sense of reassurance and comfort. The home, more than ever, will be a sanctuary in which to escape from the wider world, so colours that are calm and neutral will be more popular than ever.
What are some steps we can take to protect our homes?
Separate rooms will be a priority for future-proofing our homes and we may see people going back to the more traditional room layout whereby not all activity takes place in one open plan space. Solutions such as fold up desks in children’s bedrooms, or the spare bedroom doubling up as a home office may increase—again the need for flexibility in the home will be important.
At Twenty Grosvenor Square, the larger apartments have space for their own catering kitchens with separate entrances to service lifts. The building also has delivery rooms and storage for resident’s parcels and deliveries. They also have multiple bathrooms and a second kitchen so that if one member of the household needs to self isolate, they can do without having to share with others.
Can you tell us about the technology and design choices you're using in your projects to create healthier spaces?
To avoid having multiple switches within the home environment, we will introduce more touchless technology into our interior schemes, such as automatic taps. At Twenty Grosvenor Square, room movement sensors control the lighting as you move from room to room. There is also a series of sophisticated heating and cooling control systems to monitor and automatically adjust to the external environment conditions.
New hygiene methods will reflect the choice of materiality within the design world as well, for instance antibacterial surfaces such as granite or solid-surfacing like Corian will be more prevalent in kitchens, and copper and krion may become more prevalent for countertops and bathroom finishes.