COVID has changed home design for good

The pandemic may be on the wane, but the appetite for homes where residents can each have their own space — and enjoy time indoors — will be a lingering legacy.

Why is this important: Builders, architects and interior designers are all adjusting to a new reality in which we are spending more waking hours at home and not taking it for granted that household members will be leaving for work every day. work or school.

What is happening: While the pandemic has emphasized outdoor features like swimming pools and large backyards, it has also fueled the desire for large, flexible interiors — like open-plan living rooms — and rooms that can be rearranged as conditions change. change.

  • An example is a home office that can be transformed into a children’s playroom when its occupant returns to the “real” office.
  • Spacious kitchen islands — and parallel or side-by-side “double” islands — are in high demand as people get used to cooking at home and wean themselves off takeout.
  • Projects such as closet renovations and “smart home” installations are booming, according to Thumbtack, which connects homeowners with contractors.

In a RentCafe survey of people looking for apartments to rent online – taken a year into the pandemic – “more space” was prioritized over “cheaper”, reflecting a long-term view that cocooning is here to stay.

What they say : Before COVID-19, your home “was a place to run home from work, drop things off, grab a quick bite to eat if you’re lucky, and take the kids out for sports,” says Laurel Vernazza, an expert in interior design. Axios.

“The pandemic has forced people to stay home and reevaluate their space and say, damn it, we don’t really have space for everyone to decompress and do their own thing.”

  • His company, The Plan Collection, sells pre-made house plans to builders and middle-income consumers looking for ready-made designs.
  • Lately, they’ve seen more demand for home plans with bigger outdoor spaces and easier access to them — “not just French doors, but those big floor-to-ceiling door sliders,” a said Vernazza.
  • Game rooms and multi-purpose “bonus” rooms are hot. “After months at the dining room table, people are kind of like, okay, I have to reevaluate our house and make room for everyone, and make it comfortable,” Vernazza said.

The details: Interior designers agree on some trends that have emerged at this stage of the pandemic.

  • Curves, in the furnishings, the moldings, arched openings and barrel-vaulted ceilings, are chic.
  • “Biophilic” design, or elements taken from nature – like exterior-looking houseplants and the use of natural, organic wood – is too.
  • Larger and more permanent WFH spaces, sometimes with bookcases or lounge areas, are here to stay.
  • Recycled materials and accents: Broken supply chains and wood shortages are pushing homeowners toward flea market finds and other “novelty” alternatives.

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