After all the months in lockdown staring at the same four walls — and with the prospect of a long winter doing even more of the same — it’s no wonder Montrealers have got the itch to spruce up their space.
When everyone is at home all the time, priorities change. Montrealers are eager to spend their vacation budgets to create “staycation” spaces, local designers say, and desperate to find room for everyone to work and learn from home without driving each other mad.
“We’ve had a crazy amount of requests for renovations and decor projects, including a larger-than-normal request for home offices. There’s a major demand just to make their houses cozy,” said interior designer Sun Ah Brock of Lux Decor.
Basements and bonus rooms are being converted to offices, homeschool rooms, and playful spaces, Brock said. Existing rooms are being given new purpose: dining rooms become playrooms, dinner tables become workstations, and pool sheds become “she-sheds” where Mom can get away from the chaos for a while.
If basement conversions and other major renovations are out of your budget, there are many simple ways you can transform your space, Brock noted. Little touches can spark joy in your home. Paint an old coffee table or end table a fun, bright colour. Add some boldly patterned throw pillows and blankets. Wallpaper the back of a bookshelf. Move your furniture around.
Sometimes it’s not a big investment in furniture that enlivens a space: it’s just adding something fun. Brock is seeing more clients do things like add a candy bar or popcorn machine in the family room to make it feel more like a movie theatre, or making room for a ping-pong or pool table in the basement.
“In times of crisis, people get more playful,” she said.