trade tales | Apr 9, 2021 |
How have clients’ priorities changed during COVID?

The pandemic has changed so much about our daily lives, but how is that translating into interiors? We asked six designers—Sara Crooks, Shannon Kadwell, Pamela Harvey, Daniella Hoffer, Stewart Manger and Marissa Nelums—how their clients’ demands have changed in a post-COVID world.

Shannon Kadwell
Shannon KadwellCourtesy of Shannon Kadwell

More to store
“There has been an increase in requests for amenities with functionality as opposed to an emphasis on materials or aesthetics. Work areas for each family member in different parts of the house have increased, which means additional seating options, electronic outlets and USB ports so children and adults can gather in separate areas, along with more storage capabilities for work materials. With mudrooms becoming more important and luxurious, clients are requesting extra storage for outdoor sports equipment and even small refrigerators for grab-and-go beverages. Since people are buying groceries and supplies in bulk, both pantries and bathroom storage options have increased in size, too. In kitchens, many people are installing two dishwashers and larger refrigerators to accommodate cooking more meals at home.” —Shannon Kadwell, Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John, Maryland

Pamela Harvey
Pamela HarveyCourtesy of Pamela Harvey

Recreational activities
“In the past year, I have seen our clients’ requests evolve towards making their homes function for socializing and entertaining and to have more recreation time. We have seen a big trend in creating better outdoor living spaces. Most of our projects currently include items like outdoor fire pits, patio dining space, swimming pools and pingpong tables. Another trend I am loving is a return to dining at home. Dining rooms are being dusted off and polished up as our clients have honed their cooking skills during the pandemic. This includes making sure the dining room is the right size for more intimate gatherings and adding a wine room or a small bar. We have sharpened our creative skills this past year to invent new ways to creatively use the spaces in our clients’ homes.” —Pamela Harvey, Pamela Harvey Interiors, Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg, Florida

Daniella Hoffer
Daniella HofferCourtesy of Daniella Hoffer

Fun house
“Clients are adding different amenities to their homes that they may not have thought of before that allow them to easily continue their interests and hobbies. For example, we’re currently in the process of building an ‘outdoor man cave’ for one client. He is an avid golfer, and we’re adding a cabana with a golf simulator and bar area that can be used all year long.” —Daniella Hoffer, Daniella Hoffer Interiors, Springfield, New Jersey

Marissa Nelums
Marissa NelumsCourtesy of Marissa Nelums

Out with the old
“This extended time at home gave many the push they needed to get started on renovations that they had been putting off for years. Suddenly, they had the time and welcomed the distraction. Some clients wanted to create an outdoor oasis, while others wanted to finally rehab an old guest bathroom. One client always dreamed of a kitchen renovation but did not have the time to complete it. After cooking more meals than ever before in her kitchen during the first few months of 2020, she finally pulled the trigger on a renovation and could not be more thrilled with the outcome. It’s safe to say that extra time at home has caused many to want to enhance their quality of life at home. ” —Marissa Nelums, Glasshouse Interior, Chicago

Sara Crooks
Sara CrooksCourtesy of Sara Crooks

Want vs. need
“We’ve seen two different trends emerge. For our new construction or full remodel clients, some of the amenities that may have been on their wish list, like dedicated and decked-out home gyms, golf simulators, steam showers and pool cabanas have moved to their priority list. We’re seeing other clients move full steam ahead on projects that may have been in the back of their mind for a while. In some cases, we’ve seen clients make moves when they realize their needs have changed, or double down on second homes. This past year has taught us that we can’t count on things to look the same tomorrow as they do today, and it’s causing clients to slow down and ask themselves, ‘How do I need my home to function and feel?’” —Sara Crooks, Sara Crooks Interior Design, Oklahoma City

Stewart Manger
Stewart MangerCourtesy of Stewart Manger

“Mostly clients these days want to update and modernize their home to be more user-friendly and less cluttered. Specifically, many clients want to replace carpets that are threadbare and some just want new linens for their bed. However, more ambitious clients will renovate their master bath with new marble slab for showers and sinks with vanities that allow for more storage. Other clients refit their master closet with new millwork to accommodate double hanging, shoe shelves and drawers for all their clothes.” —Stewart Manger, Stewart Manger Interior Design, New York

Homepage photo: A project by Anthony Wilder Design/Build | Courtesy of Anthony Wilder Design Build

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