As COVID lockdowns cease, interior design takes an entertainment focused turn

As COVID gradually winds down, people are beginning to unwind and let loose. This is having a big impact on interior design as homeowners opt for a bolder, colorful, and more opulent look. And of course, with less and less need for social distancing, you have to have lots of room to entertain.

This shift in interior design is indicative of a broader shift to pre-COVID norms. Last summer and even late into the fall, there was a big focus on accommodating large groups in decked-out exterior spaces, in order to allow for social distancing. But now, with the vaccine rolled out and the pandemic lifting, people are spending more time socializing and entertaining guests inside and outside.

Thus, the latest trends in interior design emphasize this need to entertain. People are upgrading their kitchens and dining rooms, adding on guest bedrooms and fancy home-bars.

The bars are a particularly striking trend, with strong historical resonance. Sean Anderson, a designer from Memphis, said, “I keep hearing people refer to the months and years ahead as the Roaring Twenties, and that is absolutely reflected in some choices that are being made right now.”

This is reflected in bright colors, bold designs, and gaudy finishes that might , in a different cultural moment, appear a bit overdone. But in the spirit of letting loose and living large after COVID, they work perfectly.

While some might view kitchens as purely functional, they are also seeing some upgrades style-wise. New York designer Nancy Mayerfield said that her clients have been looking for more “unshackled whimsy” in their kitchens. Homeowners have been incorporating, among other things, brightly colored high-end ovens by Lacanche and Bertazzoni.

From bars with gold trim to bold floral wall-paper to velvet dining-room chairs, the trend is to edge up right to the verge of gaudiness, but (hopefully) no further.

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