Have you ever wondered how we got radiators as we know them today? Maybe you haven’t – but you can thank the 1918 influenza pandemic for rethinking the interior design & location! Their design philosophy was a response to the respiratory illness that allowed people to ventilate their homes but still keep themselves warm in the winter months. And as it turns out, lots of aspects of interior design and architecture have been influenced by epidemics over the course of human history.

This got us thinking… what about COVID-19?

Here’s some of the ways our own GreenRose Design Team predicts COVID will influence design for years to come.


1. Mudrooms


What once may have been considered an optional addition to a home may now be an essential staple. Mudrooms usually serve as a dedicated entrance and storage area for removing wet or dirty clothes, but future mudrooms might expand on this and create a decontamination zone – a contact-less delivery space, a touch-less hand-washing station, and a sanitary station for groceries and humans alike.


2.  Emphasis on Home Entertainment Spaces


Before COVID, many people’s entertainment involved going out to movie theaters, bars, restaurants, concerts, parks, and more. Now? Movie distribution companies are releasing their films on streaming platforms, video games have never been more popular (so much so that the average consumer still can’t get their hands on a PS5), and all kinds of concerts, from major operas to your favorite local band, are being held virtually. Good home theaters and entertainment spaces to support your central digital venue are now high on the priority list and we don’t expect that to go away anytime soon.


3. Working From Home


Entertainment is not the only thing to go remote! More people are now working from home, and as technology continues to advance, working remotely may become a permanent option for a number of workplaces. This means home offices will need upgrading, assuming a workspace was already established in the home. People may also find the need for multiple office spaces, perhaps made private and soundproof also for maximum efficiency, especially in busier or fuller households.


4. Increase in Kids’ Spaces


Adults need privacy, space, and dedicated areas for working. So what about the kids? While more people are working from home, more kids are also learning from home. And going outside to play? Not always a safe option. We predict that while home base is the only base, dedication to spaces for kids’ playtime & learning away or separated from home offices will be important for the benefit of everyone in the household. Here’s an article from a school designer that gives tips for structuring kids’ at-home learning spaces. We think it also gives some interesting insight into how kids are being at home influences interior design!


5. Dedicated Exercise Rooms


Now more than ever, taking care of our physical and mental health is priority number one. And we all know the benefits exercise has on our mental well-being. It can improve our sleep, relieve stress, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, among other benefits. But, while gyms and in-person fitness classes are limited and sometimes no longer viable options, getting exercise requires new workarounds. For many, this means the occasional walk outside, and, if you can manage to find any, home gym equipment. At the very least, many are making room to workout at home. We predict this will remain a staple of households to come as it gives people new options for accessible exercising, even when physical gyms open up again.


6. It’s the Little Things: Brass & Copper Materials


The use of brass & copper was already on the rise in interior materials like hardware and surfaces. Now, in the age of COVID and beyond, brass & copper are more popular than ever. While there’s some research to support the antimicrobial properties of these materials, they are probably not the protective shield we hope. Even so, extra precaution doesn’t hurt. Both for aesthetics and for safety, brass & copper will remain a popular choice for interior materials.


We believe our time with COVID will now affect our sensitivities and decisions towards the potential health & infection risks in the future. We are coming to the end of the COVID pandemic but just the beginning of a new design paradigm requiring changes and solutions in response to it.


This completes Part 1 of our predictions for how COVID will influence interior design! Be sure to be on the lookout for Part 2 of our list next month!

Are you thinking about incorporating any of these designs into your home? Contact the GreenRose Design Team and let us help you!

Check out the list below for all of the sources we linked to throughout this post, in order of appearance.

1. Architectural Digest, Elizabeth Yuko, “How Previous Epidemics Impacted Home Design” (March 31, 2020), https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/subway-tile-design-in-epidemics

2. NPR’s All Things Considered, “How Spanish Flu Pandemic Changed Home Heat Radiators” (December 10, 2020), https://www.npr.org/2020/12/10/945136599/how-spanish-flu-pandemic-changed-home-heat-radiators

3. Reuters, Lisa Richwine & Helen Coster, “Analysis: Fewer movies in theaters? Big Media turns focus to streaming video” (October 13, 2020), https://www.reuters.com/article/walt-disney-restructuring-streaming/analysis-fewer-movies-in-theaters-big-media-turns-focus-to-streaming-video-idUSKBN26Z09E

4. The New York Times, Imad Khan, “Why Animal Crossing Is the Game for the Coronavirus Moment” (April 7, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/arts/animal-crossing-covid-coronavirus-popularity-millennials.html

5. Perkins&Will, Kami Kinkaid, “Tips for At-Home Learning Spaces from a School Designer” (May 11, 2020), https://perkinswill.com/news/tips-for-at-home-learning-spaces-from-a-school-designer/

6. Vox, Alex Abad-Santos, “Why it’s so hard to find dumbbells in the US” (August 24, 2020), https://www.vox.com/the-goods/21396116/dumbbell-set-shortage-nordictrack-bowflex

7. The Washington Post, Allyson Chiu, “Copper masks, pills and pain-relief: Fact-checking wellness claims” (January 28, 2021), https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/copper-mask-supplements-pain-covid/2021/01/28/1eebc7d4-5f4e-11eb-9061-07abcc1f9229_story.html

8. The New York Times, Katharine J. Wu, “Copper Won’t Save You From Coronavirus” (June 23, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/article/copper-coronavirus-masks.html