Our private escapes

Last year, while we were looking into various trends that will influence design schemes in 2016, maintaining privacy seemed to be one of the key factors to keep in mind when designing interiors for both residential and commercial projects.

In an era of social media oversharing, demand to have our private escapes and retreats may sound contradictory, but, in fact, it comes as a natural response to an increasingly diminished privacy.

Whether it is a home, office, restaurant or a spa, designers are increasingly responding to this demand, creating retreats that cater to end-users’ individual needs but which are also flexible enough to respond to different scenarios.

For most workplaces, for example, open-plan may be the prevailing layout, but there is a definite emergence of various breakout areas and multipurpose lounges where employees can both relax and work – alone or in a team.

A need to literally ‘cocoon ourselves’ from time to time was an inspiration behind some eclectic furniture pieces launched this year – from a Swaddle chair by Lebanese designer and architect Fadi Sarieddine (presented during Dubai Design Days) to Philippe Starck’s anthropomorphic chair ‘Lou Read’ (launched for Driade during Milan Design Week).

Keeping to this theme, but taking it a lot further, this month Commercial Interior Design magazine focuses on wellness and spa design. We explore the importance of spatial planning, which must cater to those who wish to socialise and those who want privacy. But away from the blueprints, overall design should provide the spaces we need to improve everyday quality of life.