Interior design is a fascinating art. There is so much more to it than meets the eye. We would know since we are both married to professional designers and we implement creative design strategies every day as a real estate team. Whether it’s guiding a home seller through the home staging process or helping a buyer envision what they can do with a luxury property, design is a constant influence on our business.

Covid’s Effects on Home Design

It has been interesting to see how design concepts have evolved since we started our careers in real estate. The past couple years have been especially intriguing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before 2020, residential interior design—especially in the LA luxury market—was heavily influenced by modernist techniques. Homeowners wanted rooms with an open, clean feel. The lines were a bit sharper and the colors starker, whether the goal was to have a lot of contrast in the living spaces or more of a monochromatic feel. It was often about style more than it was about comfort.

However, something changed during the pandemic. We were all forced to spend more time at home. Many of us were working from home. We were ordering in or cooking our own meals rather than going out. Our homes even became schools and gyms. Multi-generational living also became more popular as larger families moved in together.

The point is we experienced a renewed appreciation for the thing we call “home.” With this came a desire for more comfort and familiarity.

“What we’ve seen is a need to marry function and form,” says Todd Nickey of Nickey Kehoe. “We’re sitting in these rooms every day. We still want them to look nice, but we also want them to be cozy and comfortable. We’ve shifted away from the old paradigm of getting up and going to work every day. People have learned to embrace new sides of home life and design concepts are reflecting this this newfound connection to home life.”

Style and Substance

Finding the right design for a homeowner is about finding this ideal balance between style and substance. Todd and his design partner, Amy Kehoe, love this approach. They are always looking to find the perfect design solutions to fit the homeowner’s personality, tastes and needs. Todd has always been a fan of layers, which revolves around blending different textures and elements in each room. This can add a sense of comfort while still offering a highly stylized presentation.

“We’ve noticed people are becoming more comfortable again with incorporating historic elements,” Todd adds. “Primitive antiques have been selling well in our shop, along with folk art and other items that will add warmth to the space. There are fewer hard edges and more softness overall. It’s more personal and layered—much less formulaic.”

Reconnecting with History

Many people are also learning to reutilize and repurpose pieces they have inherited. They put this older décor or furniture in storage because it didn’t quite fit their modern design. However, it may be a beautiful piece that brings them a feeling of comfort because it reminds them of their family’s past.

“We highly encourage our clients to bring in these older pieces to add more texture, layers, personality and comfort to their homes,” Todd says. “We want every house to look like that homeowner collected every single piece in it because it’s the perfect representation of their lifestyle. The trick is making it all work together as a cohesive design.”

Thank you to Todd for providing his incredible insight on this topic. It really is exciting to see how design trends are constantly evolving, especially in recent years when everything has changed so much.

If you are buying or selling a home in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley area, contact The HD Group today. We are driven by design and we’ll help you make the most of your luxury real estate opportunities.