INTERIOR DESIGN in the time of

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by Lynn Fenwick B.I.D.

Winnipeg has seen an increase in the amount of home projects this year. With everyone spending significantly more time in their homes people are rethinking their spaces – not only for a refresh, but to improve the functionality as well. The home has become more than just a home this year. It quickly had to convert into an all-purpose space – an office, gym, social setting, restaurant, spa and more ...

We have heard from a lot of clients just wanting a change in their home. They are bored of the colour of their walls. They are tired of the same cabinets and fixtures that they've had for years. They want the excitement of something new. Many of us just want a change of scenery and want something that we can control when everything else is uncertain.

We're right there with you and are more than happy to help. We've created a quick list to help inspire your next COVID refresh.

Interior Design During Quarantine

Gone are the days of the modern grey-black-white colour schemes. We have moved on from the cool sterile trend and are welcoming back warm and fresh earthy tones. People are wanting their spaces to be more casual, comfortable and cozy. If we do see a grey colour scheme, we almost always see it paired with wood tones to add that bit of warmth.

We're also seeing more plants and greenery used as design features throughout the house. Having a lot of greenery is a good stimulant for overall wellbeing and a great way to keep your house feeling fresh (with added health benefits).

Possibly the most significant change in the home was the need for a fully functional home office. We suggest using a room that can be closed off to block off noise and add privacy (if possible). Ensure you have a comfortable and ergonomic chair and a desk that is large enough to spread out your work. We also suggest adding more storage and don't be afraid to use your walls for storage as well! Wall shelves can be decorative but functional as well to keep clutter minimal if you don't have enough space for filing cabinets.

A tried and true way to easily reinvent your space. We still find people are afraid of colour – "what if it's too much? What if I don't like it when it's done? What if I pick the wrong colour?" All of these are valid concerns, but people often overlook the fact that it's just paint! It can easily and inexpensively be altered and repainted if it's not quite right. We always suggest to clients to buy a small sample can of paint (or a few to compare!) before the commit to a paint colour. Paint can be tricky and it can look different in each room at different times of the day. Paint a few patches in each room and look at it at different times of the day to ensure it's the correct colour to pick.

We're always trying new things with paint too! We love colour blocking to add dramatic effect. We often will paint a bold colour block around a feature furniture piece or artwork to create a focal point. If you have high ceilings, try painting the ceiling a different colour!

Decorative Wall

If replacing your cabinets isn't in your budget, add a fun colour on the island or your lower cabinets. This will be more labour intensive, but will completely transform your kitchen without having to remove all of your cabinets. We're seeing less all white kitchens and more combinations of painted cabinets with wood cabinet or shelving details.

Speaking of kitchen shelving, we are loving open shelves! This also doesn't have to be a huge expense. If you have an open spot in your kitchen, try adding a couple of decorative shelves. You can buy these inexpensively from IKEA, Amazon, Wayfair, etc. If you want a more cohesive look, replace one set of upper cabinets in your kitchen with decorative shelves!

Although wall sconces aren't the best for general lighting, they are becoming more and more popular as a decorative feature. We've designed fireplaces and shelving around specific wall sconces as a main feature of a concept. This is a great way to highlight specific shelves or items. Use decorative wall sconces instead of lamps on your bedside tables for a more unique look. If adding hardwired wall sconces isn't an option, try a plug-and-play option to get the same effect!

Not only are electric fireplaces less expensive than gas fireplaces, they are also a lot easier to work with. They are easier to install and you have more versatility with the types of materials applied around the appliance and there are less restrictions with clearances. Mantles and TVs can be installed closer overtop of an electric fireplace so your TV can be installed at a more comfortable height if your space isn't very deep.

With spaces in your home needing to be more multi-purpose these days, we're finding the need for more and more storage. Some rooms will need to function as two or three different types of spaces and the easiest way to convert seamlessly from one purpose to another is to have adequate storage for each task. Tall, decorative storage units to house all items for each purpose will keep things organize and minimize anxiety-causing clutter everywhere. We love designing unique storage units made specifically for our clients' individual needs.

Textured Wall

Wainscoting has made a comeback in residential design, but it is not the only dimensional material being applied to walls these days. We are using different sizes of wood to create dimensional geometric designs on walls. Adding thin strips of painted MDF to drywall adds a unique detail to any wall with minimal cost. We are also seeing a lot of shiplap as feature walls.

If you are the type of person who likes to shop for accessories and accent furniture in person rather than online, you may come into a bit of an issue with stock levels. We noticed throughout the summer that many stores have low or backordered stock. This is a great time to think outside the box and play around with pairing items you already have with new items you may find. Luckily eclectic mixes are very trendy right now! You may also want to try refurbishing timeless wooden furniture pieces – try painting an existing piece of furniture in a bold or fresh new colour to give it new life.

At Fenwick & Company Interior Design we are in this with you. We know how stressful these days are and we want to help you create a space that is safe and comfortable for you where you can live your new daily routine with ease. These tips are a great start, but if you would like more tailored design ideas give us a call! We follow the strictest COVID guidelines to ensure safe design consultations whether they are in person or over zoom. We would love to help you rejuvenate your home so you can feel comfortable and refreshed in your place of refuge.

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