7 Ways Home Design Will Forever Be Changed by Covid-19

Contributed by Neal Boyd

Bigham & Associates, LLC

If there is one thing everyone agrees on about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it has forced us to make many important changes to our way of life. Most of these changes are not likely to go away any time soon; things are not likely to ever return to how they used to be.

This will be true for the way we work, study, play, travel, and shop. And it will certainly be true for how we design our homes. The lockdown and need to shelter in place or self-isolate have shown us that our current way of designing homes needs a quick overhaul.

New home design must find ways to cater to some of the needs people used to leave their homes for, says Bigham & Associates from Austin. Architects and other home design professionals must come up with home designs that are more effective than the current ones. The good news is that they are already doing this.

Here are some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting home design.

1. Design for Emotional Wellbeing

With increasing uncertainty and ongoing disruptions in their lives, people are going to want their homes to be more of a safe haven than it was before. New home design must give lots of attention to people’s physical and emotional health.

This will mean including more of a natural feeling in homes by bringing in more plant life and using colors that reflect the natural world. It will also mean less clutter in home design as this can heighten anxiety.

 

2. A Movement Away From an Open Floor Plan

To increase privacy and productivity, there will be a clear movement away from the open floor plan. Privacy in an open floor plan is based on a pattern of occupation where all members of the household are not present in the area at once. This depended on family members being away at school or work at different hours of the day.

But now with people together in the home at all hours of the day, this design no longer works. Where this layout is not completely abandoned, it will be adapted.

3. Additions to Maximize Space

A lot of elderly folks are living with their grown-up children rather than moving into assisted living facilities. Parents are keeping their college-age children at home rather than letting them rent space near their schools. New homeowners will expect home design that maximizes their lot and square footage of their home.

People will expect more additions to their property in order to make room for the larger number of people who will be in the home at one time.

 

4. Fully-Equipped Home Offices

Work-from-home spaces were a reality in many homes even before the pandemic. But the previous iteration of the work-from-home space often had a makeshift nature. A part of the home was converted for work and it was prone to distractions from other areas of the home.

New designs for the home office will be total replicas of a fully-fledged office. Moreover, homes may require more than one of these spaces since there will often be more than one person in the home who needs to work from home.

 

5. More Space for Hobbies and DIY Projects

There will be more intentionality in the way people’s hobbies are accommodated in the home’s design.

Instead of being treated as an afterthought, hobbies will form an important criterion in home design. There will be elaborate home gyms and additional spaces for pursuing all kinds of activities.

Game rooms will become a standard fixture of homes. Additionally, people will tend toward more DIY activities, both as a way to keep busy and because they want to minimize exposure to strangers. As a result, many garages and sheds will house full-blown workshops.

6. Greater Emphasis on Energy-Efficiency

With more people working from home and larger households where everyone spends more time at home, the energy use of homes will increase. Prevailing harsh economic realities will force people to look for ways to maintain thermal comfort in their homes without spending extra money on energy.

This will lead to increased adoption of energy-efficient systems and renewable energy sources. Concerns over improved indoor air quality and noise pollution will also become stronger. These will also have their own impact on home design.

7. More Natural Lighting and Self-Sufficiency

A lot more people are going to take to growing food in their own homes. Instead of yards being used as lawns they are more likely to be used as gardens. Homeowners are also going to look for ways to grow more food using their limited space and this will reflect in the home designs they prefer.

Along with this trend, people will prioritize natural lighting in their homes over electric lights. This will partly be the result of their disinclination to leave the home and also from their desire to improve the home’s ambiance.