Context Magazine

The interiors fixer

Edition 2 - The family issue

We talk to Anna Daccache of Atelier Ada about how the pandemic has changed approaches to interior design.

What have been the most commonly tackled home and garden design projects since the pandemic started?

Anna Daccache (AC) Many people are in a place of transition, so might be moving and need somewhere to rent short term. We’ve been asked to do a lot of luxury staging, filling the house with high-end pieces so it sells quickly, and we’ve also been asked to fill rented homes with rented furniture. People want to live in a beautiful place, but they are renting furniture instead of buying new.?

For those staying put, many used their homes in different ways. I had projects where all I did was go in and reshuffle – for instance, moving the gym from the basement to the second floor, where it overlooks the garden. The basement might then be dedicated to home schooling, while parents’ offices are on the third floor. Post-pandemic, few people want to go back to the office full-time – I don’t think I will be asked to put things back how they were.

What do you think spending more time at home has taught people about where they live?

AD No matter how big a house is, it could still feel like a golden prison during the lockdowns. Lots of people found it felt good to have dedicated spaces for different activities and, for my clients, spaces such as cinema rooms and gyms took on a new importance.

Plus, of course, everyone wants more space. Everyone is looking for options and are much less tied to central London. London is not empty, but I can see it becoming a second home for many. However, you do still have the schools in central London, and the younger generation – those in their 20s – want to be here because they want the vibe and excitement of the city.

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, what can people do to ensure their homes fit their new ways of life?

AD It’s important to rethink the spaces in your home – you can change a lot without necessarily moving walls or refurbishing. A drawing room can become a home office; what was an office could become a spa room. Little changes can make a big difference.

What is the biggest change you’ve made to a home during the pandemic?

AD Taking everything out of every space, relabelling everything, and putting everything back again. Then I was asked to add to it – for example, buying coffee table books. Clients haven’t been able to go to shops and galleries where they would normally get these things. So, I’ve been asked to source very specific things relating to art, culture and entertainment. I get to know clients very well and source books and items that respond to their personality. Before, this was unusual, but it has suddenly become part of the interior design package.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP