Look up from your screen for just a second. Drink it in. Don’t those four walls of home look a little too familiar? After staring at them for 211 days and counting, the temptation to redecorate, refurbish and perhaps even sling some motivational posters up is high.

Resist the urge to go overboard! There’s plenty of time to live, laugh and love. Getting your interior design just right, allowing yourself both a sense of style and personality, as well as keeping up with trends and working with the limitations the property has, is a highly regarded skill, and it’s little wonder some people can make good livings as interior designers. 

It takes grace and sophistication to design just right; in the wrong hands, you’re going to turn your property into a stifling, uncomfortable place to spend time during the hibernation period ahead. Nope, we’re not going to mention the L word for this entire article.

If you’re not sure where to start or you think you need some assistance to give you the best result, hiring someone to help could well be the best option for you. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to think of your own designs and work out your own way of doing things, that’s not a problem, either. To help you confront the important decisions of the day fully informed, here are 6 reasons interior design is more important than ever this Autumn.

FOR SANCTUARY

With life as we know it forever shapeshifting beyond and within the four walls of home, now, more than ever, the idea of making your home a sanctuary feels so meaningful. Indeed, it’s vital to have somewhere to relax and renew your energy, a place where you can reflect and practice mindfulness and meditation, a place to process events and try to understand the world or do your best to shut it out entirely.

The design and layout of your home can transform your outlook, bringing calmness and comfort when done right. As such, the importance of design as a catalyst to physical, physiological and psychological wellbeing shouldn’t be underestimated.

FOR SAFETY 

With so much focus falling on aesthetic considerations about the home, the idea of safety is sometimes overlooked. Yet safety measures are one of the most fundamental reasons why interior design needs to be checked over and changed once in a while, particularly in the coming months when home will be where the heart, head, hands and heels are, whether you like it or not. 

Particularly where children are concerned, if parents are working from home and perhaps taking their eye off the ball occasionally, distracted by Zoom and deadlines, it’s essential that the property is free from risk and danger. While accidents of course happen, it might be time to childproof the property systematically for the months ahead to avoid any unnecessary trips to the already overrun hospitals. 

Ditto those living with elderly relatives or someone with a disability; think of the people who will be living in your home, and then think of the pathways around that home. Are there sharp edges? Are there steps and unexpected corners? Would it be a safe place for a small child, or perhaps especially one just learning to walk

EASY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

While it’s still not certain how long the virus survives outside the body, one thing that is for sure is that germs can be spread touching unclean surfaces. As such, having a home designed for easy cleaning is a smart move in the months ahead. If you have a house full of nooks, crannies and areas that are hard to get to because of interior design decisions made in the past, cleaning isn’t always going to be easy. 

As Autumn begins and Winter becomes an inevitability we’ve been trying to ignore (c’mon, admit it, you’ve put the heating on), it’s vital you keep on top of the essential maintenance needed around the house while you can still get hold of the specific tradesperson for the job. We’ve written a comprehensive guide to the essential home maintenance checks for Autumn, so do check it out!

WORKING FROM HOME

More of us are working from home than ever, and the boundaries between bedroom and home office are becoming increasingly blurred. Here at IDEAL, we’ve been guilty of working from the comfort of our beds rather more often of late. And we’re not the only ones – according to recent research, one in four say they have logged on for work while still in their pyjamas, in bed. We’re actually surprised that number isn’t even higher! 

If you’re one of the majority of Brits working from home, then streamlining your home through interior design and separating spaces within your interiors will help you work, rest and play with a renewed focus and vigour. 

There are several ways to turn your home office desk setup into a dedicated space; install a standing desk, invest in an ergonomic chair, create a divider between the rest of the room and your desk, and install task lighting. Do give it a go! 

INCREASE THE VALUE 

The housing market is erratic right now, to put it mildly. Should you be selling up and moving on in these turbulent times, you’ll need interiors which boast broad appeal. If you’re changing the interiors in order to sell your property, a good, robust design that is going to suit all different kinds of people will make it far more marketable proposition than something esoteric and not to everyone’s taste. Your potential buyers want to imagine living in your property; that’s not going to be so easy with your wedding photos by the bed, a pram in the hallway, and your Liverpool FC football shirt hanging on the wall.

Even if you might not necessarily favour rendering your home a blank slate, in a magnolia or cream colour palette appropriate for the season, for example, it is far easier for prospective buyers to see their own furniture and décor in a property if you have made it as neutral as possible. 

Ideally, you’ll want to show off each room as defined by its primary function; that is, bedrooms need to be bedrooms, your dining room needs to be a dining room, and so on. By incorporating these factors into your interior design, you should be able to increase the value of your property. You may even be able to sell it more quickly, too; ideal right now when the market is so volatile. 

HAPPINESS THROUGH AESTHETICS 

Practical considerations aside, living in a property that reflects your own sense of style and personal taste can have a much larger impact on your overall level of contentment than, say, the size of your house, which according to science doesn’t impact your happiness levels as much as you’d think. 

If you love your home’s feel and it’s aesthetically pleasing, you hopefully won’t be quite so resentful about being confined indoors for the coming months.

Come autumn you’re probably wondering how to add warmth to your home design while making it both physically and visually appealing. This can be achieved via the introduction of an open fire (space permitting, of course), introducing more natural elements in wood and stone, as well as houseplants, and focusing on tactile considerations, such as soft throws and cushions. Every little helps here!