How COVID will Change Our Homes
Just as the Spanish flu gave us the powder room, which originated as a hand-washing basin immediately inside the front entry of a home, COVID-19 will influence innovation in home design. So what are we seeing 6 months into the pandemic, and what do I anticipate in the future? Read on for advice and predictions.
The immediate requests that are coming in to Beautiful Habitat are creating space for home working and/or home learning, home gyms, and mudrooms.
Many experts are predicting the American open-floor plan with vast great rooms will go away. Open plan living often involves opening up several ground floor rooms to create a single, open plan, multi-functional space – usually a kitchen, dining, living, and work space. In the world of COVID, with the whole family at home together – working and learning, we are seeing a greater need for personal space. Will this lead to walls around the dining room? Or a greater separation between kitchen and living areas? I do not see the great room disappearing completely. However, it has become clear that more personal and quiet space is needed.
I have long preached that your whole home should function for the way you live every day. That includes redesigning unused guest bedrooms or formal living rooms into spaces that you need and will actually use frequently. And now, more than ever, I am advocating for making your home work for you. Do you have an unused room that you can tap into to create more personal spaces for your family?
This guest bedroom in West Arvada does so much more than just host guests because we designed it with a sofa bed instead of a traditional bed. This room could function as a home office or learning space, or an ad hoc yoga studio. Even just having a sofa in the room creates a quiet space for reading or phone calls.
Even without a separate room, you can create private spaces for family members. A reading nook is a quiet spot for both adults and children to focus or a great spot to decompress or meditate.
Dining rooms are being used less frequently to entertain, while home offices are in demand. Below is a city duplex we designed in 2017 in the Wash Park neighborhood of Denver. The smaller home meant that we created a double duty space by adding a home office to the dining room. The shelving units include file cabinets in the bases. We kept the shelving above for decoration and display so that the room felt more like a dining room than an office. The desk was selected because it can easily transition to a serving buffet for dinner parties.
In other cases, our clients already have a dedicated home office, but it’s just not meeting expectations. Perhaps it’s because they did not work in it full time before. Other times it is because the office is now on display via zoom meetings. Either way – it needs a functional or aesthetic redesign. If you need advice or inspiration on your home office, check out our previous articles on home office design.
COVID-19 has made me so much aware of the things I touch and the germs we could potentially bring into our homes. A mudroom is the ideal transition space from the dirt and danger of the outside to the safety and clean of your home interior. A well-designed mudroom creates the ideal place to remove face masks and set down items that came into contact with germy surfaces before washing hands.
See our previous blog post for Mudroom interior design inspiration.
We’re all cooking and eating more at home; both as a result of the early shutdown orders and with restaurants offering limited seating, as well as a desire to stay safer at home. This increased use of kitchens is drawing attention to bad kitchen designs that may include lack of storage, inefficient layout and inability to have multiple cooks working together.
This Boulder kitchen design included 2 large pantry cabinets and a 48” wide refrigerator to maximize food storage. Meanwhile, there is an efficient tight work triangle between the gas range, refrigerator and 2 sinks.
Whether you NEVER cooked before COIVD or COVID is just giving you a reason to try new things and expand your culinary skills, did you know you can get help directly from smart appliances? That’s right; your appliances can teach you to cook! WAY back in January, a lifetime ago, I went to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.
There I watched a demonstration by GE Monogram of a microwave hood with a screen on which you can watch cooking videos as well as face time with your mom for instructions.
Dacor has taken this a step further with an induction cooktop featuring a 7” LCD screen. The app recognizes your recipe and will adjust as needed. For example, when the pot starts to boil, the cooktop will drop it to a simmer per the recipe instructions.
Home gyms can be a big undertaking of building a new room and adding equipment, or as simple as a quiet, yet inspiring corner of a room to become a yoga studio for virtual classes. If you need home Gym Design, check out our article on Home Gym Interior Design.
More at home entertaining, and Staycations
Many people are opting to staycation and/or to entertain at home. This is creating more interior design demand for home theater rooms, home bars and wine cellars.
The Take Away
There is so much unknown, so much that we cannot control right now, but our homes are a space where we do have control over what we put in it, how we design it, and how it makes us feel. Our homes are integral to our quality of life, particularly now, when we are spending so much time indoors.
For More Home Design Inspiration:
Don’t forget your master suite! With everyone at home, you need a private retreat to relax and unwind from your day.