Jan/Feb HOME

Design trends for the new year and what we've learned from 2020.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about which home design trends are destined to be big in the coming year every year since I started at Pittsburgh Magazine (which was back in 2014) — and it never gets old, at least not for me.

I genuinely enjoy analyzing and writing about home styles (what’s in, what’s out) and this annual feature gives me a chance to nerd out over it.

This year was different, though. I’ve never had to think about how a pandemic could affect incoming home trends before. I mean, who would have guessed that at this time last year? Still, it was really interesting to talk to local interior designers about how stay-at-home orders influenced their practical design choices, such as an increase in demand for livable outdoor spaces and family lounge areas. To me, it makes total sense, particularly when it comes to home offices.

When we bought our current home two years ago, I never thought much about the first-floor office that came with it, other than wishing it didn’t interrupt my open-concept plan. I figured we’d throw a desk and our computers in there and call it a day.

Now, the office is a lifeline for my husband, who has worked from it every weekday since last March. I’m also grateful for its door, which I can close when he’s in Zoom meetings. Because I can’t see pre-COVID work life resuming any time soon, the office (including the one I fashioned for myself and my 7-year-old daughter in the former formal living room) has become the centerpiece of our house.

A few non-COVID related trends include the rise of moody dark paint colors and the resurgence of glam, 1980s-era (yes, you read that right) designs. You can read more about it here.

If you’ve ever been to Von Walter + funk|BALLOON in Lawrenceville, then you know what an eclectic, cool space it is. That style extends to the owners’ historic Victorian in Highland Park, as well as to their impeccably done kitchen renovation.

Shawn Aversa (one half of the couple) dubbed the updated space “The Rainbow Room,” and the name fits. Sure, there’s an actual rainbow on one of the walls, but the space, in general, conjures up a bright, airy feeling, which is a complete contrast to Pittsburgh’s dreary winter weather. Head here to see it for yourself.

I’m also pleased to introduce a new regular HOME feature for 2021, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property. A color expert for PPG Paints and former longtime writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rosa is a fixture on the local home scene. You can check out her new column here, as well as read her weekly contributions in the Nest newsletter.  Welcome, Rosa — and welcome 2021! Let’s hope it’s a good one because I truly hope not to be writing about pandemic-related trends at this time next year.

Jessica Sinichak, HOME Editor

Categories: HOME Editor