As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” And for the past year or so, it’s where you probably where you were more than you ever thought you’d be.
COVID-19 has caused us to adapt how we live: how we shop, how we work, how we entertain. And though we are seeing progress toward a return to pre-coronavirus times, that transition has rightfully changed what we expect from our homes. Living rooms now double as gyms, and dining rooms can now add being office furniture to their resumes.
This change in what we need from our homes isn’t new, though. Each change in our culture, environment and technology has impacted how Americans design homes. Living rooms are now designed to focus on television screens, and kitchens now include spaces for dishwashers – aspects of our homes that Americans 100 years ago would not have even been able to dream. Similarly, COVID-19 will likely leave an impact on how we design, furnish and equip our homes for decades to come, if not permanently.
Home Layout Changes
You can hardly make it through an HGTV show without hearing the words “open concept.” But do you know what can make working from home with children difficult? Open concept living areas can. While this may mean that older homes with more “choppy” layouts make a comeback, it could also make moveable walls and retractable doors become as standard as a spot for the television in today’s living rooms. Remodeling Magazine explains in an article about shifting home design trends: “The modern home, both during and post-pandemic, must be multifunctional. By understanding how to redefine these large, open spaces, we will be better prepared to live, learn, work, and play in a single location: our homes.”
Just like with our homes, we are now asking more of our furniture. Because rooms are now having to transition from work to play and back, we will likely see a rise in the popularity of furniture that can do the same. Guest rooms turned offices can use a desk as a bedside table. Play areas turned guest bedrooms can use trundle beds, murphy beds or sleeper sofas to make the transition more seamless. Dining room tables may begin to include small cabinets and folding dining room chairs may become more popular. The key to pulling off multifunctional rooms will be furniture with storage options, like using a dining room buffet table to hold both cutlery and office supplies or a coffee table that can also hold some of the kids’ school supplies.
The need to easily sanitize surfaces within our homes is likely not going away, and this could mean that common materials we see in our homes may be changing. For example, wood floors are beautiful but are not easy to sanitize without risking damage. Tile made to look like wood could see an even greater increase in popularity as a result. A Forbes.com article about home design trends during COVID notes, “Materials like copper, brass and bronze, which have natural antimicrobial properties, are seeing a boost in popularity.” We can also expect a rise in touch-free home technology for everything from sinks to thermostats.
These changes are an integral part of home design: homes must adapt to meet the needs of its occupants. And that adaptation is happening right now.