Finding enough space in which to perform almost all of the necessary functions in compact homes can easily be overcome with innovative design, despite the trend of housing being built smaller. But where space is at a premium, privacy often becomes the biggest issue faced by people who have chosen to lead more compact lives. Over the past few years we’ve seen a tendency in home design towards open-plan, multifunctional spaces, but that’s changing, and we’re seeing a return to more sanctuary-like interiors.


Examples of cocooning spaces can be seen in the shifts in spatial and furniture design. At international design shows such as Maison et Objet in Paris and Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year, statement partitions and screens were seen as key items. Used either as standalone pieces or worked into items of furniture, these objects help shield us, and define personal, private space.

_MATE _ round by Bram Boo for Bulo 2 copyright bulo

At the same time, furniture is becoming more accommodating and all embracing, with pieces around the home taking cues from soft bedding, to add a sense of comfort to thee private spaces we create for ourselves.


For years, South African designers have been remodelling homes to make them more and more open, or designing new places with cavernous interiors. It will be interesting to see how they pick up on the shift towards private sanctuaries, which is likely to define a major thread in interior design over the next few seasons.


Words: Chris Reid
Images: Sancal and Kirsten Thys Groot

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