8 Interior Design Trends That Have Popped Up During The Pandemic

27 May 2022 | BY

The pandemic has led to a rise in renovation projects – here are 8 interior design trends that popped up along the way.

It’s no lie that Covid has put us through the wringer. We’ve never spent as much time indoors as we did in the last two, so it’s no wonder that all that cabin fever has pushed people far and wide to spruce up their living quarters to spark joy – and calmness – in their lives.

From prioritising indoor play areas for families with kids to bringing elements of holiday destinations home, here are 8 interior design trends that mushroomed over the pandemic.

1. Multi-use spaces

Image credit:
Herman Miller

The infamous circuit breaker in 2020 marked the beginning of Zoom meetings, WFH and home-based learning. That, in turn, gave rise to the need for productive spaces at home. Bedrooms were quickly transformed into makeshift classrooms, while dining tables became co-working spaces.

interior design
Homeowners Maya and Chase converted their corridor into a home office and tried to create a play space for their family using pull-up bars from Taobao.

Image credit: @pjsweethome

Now, more than 2 years down the road, home office spaces have become a mainstay. But with BTOs getting smaller and square footage getting more scarce, homeowners have gotten creative. We’re starting to see a running trend of multi-use spaces in more homes – think rooms that function as both home gyms, craft studios and home offices – pop up.

This has broken the mould of traditionally defined spaces in reno floor planning, but it’s definitely a trend we’re happy to embrace.

2. Open play areas


While children could once frolic around in their estate’s playgrounds, public areas like these quickly became out of bounds for families during the pandemic. For many parents, it became a new challenge to find a way to keep their kids entertained indoors – beyond just watching the TV.

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In an effort to craft new ways to stimulate and encourage interaction among their children indoors, many parents began transforming their living or dining areas into playrooms – equipped with reading corners, and open play areas.

Some other ways in which homeowners have reinvented their homes include building an indoor jungle gym, setting up indoor libraries, or constructing a mini movie theatre with a portable projector.

3. Easy DIY projects


Just had a surgery but we got to do what we gotta do. Coming back stronger?? #diyflooring #diyhome @Naddy Rin

♬ original sound – daniel.ux

TikToker Naddy Rin DIY-ing their home flooring.
Video credit: @naddyadrianarin

In the past, assembling a small IKEA shelf might have seemed like a tricky or tedious task to attempt. Yet, catching cabin fever during the circuit-breaker has left us itching to cure our boredom and restlessness indoors. 



♬ Happy Vibe – Jim Manley

TikToker Sheryl puts a spin on this IKEA table, by lining it with green and white tiles from Carousell.
Video credit: @shry1m

It’s no wonder that people have taken to DIY fixes and interior crafts to fulfil their need for a creative outlet. From assembling Taobao coffee tables to IKEA furniture hacks – the fun and convenience of getting hands on with our home’s furnishing seems like a trend that’s going to stay. 

4. Open-concept kitchens 

interior design
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As more home improvement and renovation projects went underway  during the pandemic, designs and layouts also seemed to shift according to people’s changing needs. Not only did the pandemic mean that more homeowners resorted to cooking more at home, but they also socialised more often with their families – this helped open-concept kitchens gain popularity during this period.

5. Houseplant-heavy areas 

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As the pandemic had shut us indoors, many of us longed to immerse ourselves back in nature. Cue the creation of indoor balconies and gardens in many homes. People turned to keeping houseplants, which are both manageable and have a rejuvenating and calming effect – just what you need to chase away pandemic-induced stress.

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Plants like mini cacti and succulents were often shared by homeowners on social media platforms like TikTok. It is easy to see how taking care of these small pieces of nature became a hobby to fill up people’s time indoors during lockdown. Safe to say copious amounts of plants indoors is a trend that we’ll continue to see for a long time to come.

6. Relaxing colour palettes

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The pandemic has disrupted much of our daily lives and routines – it’s no surprise that people yearn for a more relaxing environment to return to. This gave rise to the use of pastel tints and cool hues like blues and greens that helped evoke feelings of serenity or calmness at home.

7. Vintage accents and decor

Image adapted from:
@oildesignuk, Free Space Intent

Vintage styles flourished during the pandemic, as the waves of sustainability and nostalgia took the world by storm. There were plenty of Singaporeans looking to put a timeless twist on their home design, and many welcomed the unapologetic revival of bold tiles, patterns, and antique pieces in home renovation.

8. Fluted panels

Image adapted from:
Sol Luminaire®

During the pandemic, many homeowners sought to bring the tranquil zen of their favourite holiday destinations home. Since Japan remains an undisputed favourite among Singaporeans, one of the most common choices was to incorporate Japanese-inspired design into their homes. 

From Muji-inspired renovations to Japandi homes, many homeowners opted to furnish their homes with fluted panels – they’re reminiscent of Japanese homes and the Muji aesthetic. 

In fact, influencers and celebrity homeowners have also jumped on this trend, including Youtubers like Mong Chin Yeoh and Gwendolyn Toh. Not only were these fluted panels a trending interior look, the peaceful atmosphere they create have helped to alleviate pandemic stresses.

How interior design changed during the pandemic

We’ve seen a shift towards enhancing our home experience indoors, as we continue to learn how to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. From reinventing spaces to finding ways to remedy stress with home design, it seems like these trends are here to stay.

For other renovation ideas and inspiration, check out some of our other articles:

Cover image credit: Herman Miller, uchify

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