Guest Post sponsored & provided by Empire Movers & Storage
The function of the home environment is more crucial than ever in this period of uncertainty. Our homes have become so much more than just houses. Since the pandemic started, our homes have pretty much become our own little universe, incorporating everything from an office, a full-time restaurant, an entertainment venue, and a place of calm. It can be a challenge, but can also be very achievable to have one home act in all these seemingly contradictory positions.
The past year has influenced every aspect of our lives and has most definitely changed our habits and everything we’ve known, probably forever. It’s only natural that it influences the way we decorate our houses and even their architecture from now on. It’s very probable that some of the trends are here to stay for a while and that more and more households will start adopting them. So let’s check it out and see exactly how the pandemic has influenced home designs!
The home office
The majority of people are now working from their homes as conventional offices remain closed. Until the pandemic hit, a home office was seen as a much more informal venue for payment of bills, emails or conducting the occasional calls. But since home offices are now more permanent offices, they need to be comfortable, fitted with spacious working areas, comfortable chairs and increased storage to accommodate significantly more heavy uses.
Going forward, the real concern is how to handle two adults working from home and two children studying from home at the same time. A home office with a door is a must. A smart solution is flexible spaces and nooks in the entire home that can be used as an office if necessary. But a spare bedroom, or loft space, would be ideal for this. Create an in-home working area that is free from distractions, comfortable and that can feel separate from the home environment. If you don’t have a spare room available and you are short on space, even a partition can do the trick!
Kids learning and playing spaces
With school moving to zoom, it is necessary to try and minimize distraction for the little ones as well, as much as possible. Now, many recognize the need to have a dedicated room equipped with everything needed to be able to function to full capacity. The kids learning space may not, however, be a large, traditional room. These spaces can be made more like objects or pods, floating in the yard or attached to a garage with new furniture.
If the family stays home, having a special place to play for your kids can be very useful. The separation of the playground from the bedrooms would help arrange things and keep the children occupied. If you happen to have a room under your stairs, that can be an excellent way to use it - turning it into a kid’s play area. The Narnia wardrobe to a secret playroom can be a perfect way to make the room exciting for children.
Multiple use spaces
The more we sit at home, the more we feel the need for versatility in our homes. The living room is no longer just a living room or just a dining room. These multifunctional areas take account of this new reality and integrate innovative ways to turn an appropriate area quickly into a home office, a classroom, lounge, fitness center or a playroom. A lot of light, efficient artificial lighting, storage and Internet access are key to make living spaces work for a variety of purposes.
The open plan was a movement that resisted the time test, whether it is the first building of a house or a renovation. But the open plan doesn't always succeed when it comes to privacy – and efficiency drops without privacy for work or schools. The open plan has to be rethought as families continue to work and school from home.
The modern home must be multifunctional, both before and after the pandemic. By redefining these wide open spaces, we are better equipped to live, learn, operate and play in one place: our homes. For instance, a family may replace an extensive dining table with an optional drop-out to create room for a nook or an office, if a house contains an eatery as well as a formal dining area.
New colors and quality furniture
New decorative design patterns have already started in COVID-19. People want to build a peaceful place at home in calm colors. Softer fabrics, brighter colors, and more natural light become common in the middle of the confusion and turmoil outside to create a relaxed environment. On the other hand, bold colors encourage homeowners to celebrate new ideas and cultures from the comfort of their homes instead of traveling or spending time on events. They can stimulate imagination that helps people in the same routine.
With people spending more time at home, they want to invest in quality furniture that will be able to endure heavy usage and last for years. This applies in particular to home offices, where cheap desks were once very popular. But remote employees are investing in quality desks, chairs and storage because they expect to operate from home in foresight.
It might not have been seen so before the pandemic (well, at least not for those not passionate about cooking) but a big kitchen makes a huge difference. Especially when you have a bigger family for which you are cooking every meal. It can be difficult to prepare every meal at home in a small kitchen. Not to mention that if you have repurposed your dining room, your kitchen might need to double as that as well. A walk-in cupboard and a large island will make an enormous difference. Any other things to search for are double islands, kitchen wine rooms, hot drills, double ovens, pans and personalized cabinets with personal storage when designing larger kitchens.
Our homes and backyards become cultural centers for those who engage in social distance, as restaurants, pubs, and other places become difficult to navigate—if not completely shut down. Home outdoor areas fill a void of missed outdoor opportunities and create a safer space for meetings with friends or neighbors.
Our love of nature and of the outside seems to have improved considerably after the start of the pandemic. As a result, there is a growing demand for home designers to provide private exterior spaces for all kinds of homes. The architects will be responsible for developing ways in which the outside can be integrated into even the compact houses, testing roof gardens, micro-backyards, porches and balconies.
About the Author
Michaela Smith is the marketing director of Empire Movers, a well known commercial moving company based in New York, with over 15 years of experience on the market.
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!