The year that was: COVID19 Impacts on the Interior Design Industry

Posted by rachel on February 16

“We know from prior challenging times that when the going gets tough, be creative,” Scott Hudson, CEO of Henrybuilt.

What a year 2020 was. Within the last 12 months we’ve witnessed a multitude of changes across the world and across every industry. With schools turning to online learning, hospitality businesses having to offer takeaway only and the performing arts industry almost coming to a standstill. 

Whichever industry you’re a part of we’ve all had to think out of the box in one way or another. Even when it comes down to our day to day activities, we’ve had to be smarter with our shopping, our exercising and our health care.

So, what sort of impact has COVID19 had on the Interior Design industry? And what impact will it continue to have?

Let’s start with the amount of time we are all now spending at home. For most, home is now the place where most of our time is spent. Living and working in one place has created and will continue to create the urge to rethink and redesign our homes. Any faults and flaws in our homes are becoming more apparent. Simple pleasures that may have once been overlooked due to our busy lives are now more important than ever. People want to create a safe space for themselves and their families, with the uncertainties that continue to develop we all want a calming environment to live and work. 

Images: (east Melbourne residence)

Residential interiors; It is thought that most will become more self-sufficient. The move from apartment living to houses and cities to the countryside will take place. Design will be a big factor of the change with key focuses on green and sustainable living. Homes built, renovated and decorated to promote self sufficiency moving forward.

“Homes are sanctuaries and COVID-19 has seen our kitchens, bathtubs and arm chairs remind us of their importance in giving us balance and creating space for families, lovers and friends to come together,” David Flack of Flack Studio

Commercial interiors; It is predicted that office spaces will be more purpose based. With day to day work being completed at home and offices being a place staff come to collaborate and work together. Redesigns will be in high demand.

Image: (New York WeWork Offices)

Design fairs and trade shows have been and will be reimagined. As designers and creators we do need human connection and collaboration but fairs and exhibitions may have less focus on the ‘wow factor’ of each stall, instead there will be more focus on telling your story as a business. Building relationships, connections and loyalty for your brand. 


Along with the rest of the world a stronger digital and online presence is going to come into play. There will be a huge focus on ‘future proofing’ your business/brand. As designers we are pretty lucky that having an online presence isn’t uncommon. Most already have online portfolios, video content and professional photos. Rethinking presentation styles to stand out and engage from a far will be a key focus for design businesses and brands moving forward.

Like most industries, Interior Design has had and will continue to have some negative impacts due to COVID19. But the increase in time spent at home and new measures for workplaces means Interior Designers are seeing a growth in demand. 

“In this brave new world, we’ll see that the skills and abilities design affords to us—empathy, curiosity, patience, common sense, problem-solving—are more crucial than ever.”  Cheryl Durst, executive vice president of IIDA.


Are you interested in studying Interior Design? Do you want to know more about our online courses and where a career in interior design could take you? Contact one of our course advisors today.



Diplomas and Certificates:

Diploma of Interior Design (MSF50218)

Certificate in Interior Decoration (MSF40118)

Short Courses:


Surface Design

Colour Design