Covid-19 has brought about a revolution in the way we think about home. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our homes have been serving as temporary workplaces, schools, gyms and bars, and many of us are spending more time in them than ever before. How we use our homes – and how we feel about them – has changed dramatically for many people. We have all begun to think about what makes us happy, what makes us comfortable, and what is important for us in our home. The new normal will see many more of us needing permanent and flexible home-working, exercise and schooling areas, in energy-efficient properties and with outside space being a must.
- More Multifunctional Spaces
It is crucial for future homes to be designed for multiple uses, as more of our daily activities now take place in our homes. Future homes are expected to be designed with this in mind, with clever joinery to create rooms that are easy to rearrange depending on the time of day.
Smart aesthetically pleasing bespoke furniture will always improve your way of living and can be used to transform a room into different functions.
For example, in a spare bedroom a fixed-frame bed can be replaced with a bed that seamlessly folds away to become a study area. Home gym with equipment such as bikes, dumbbells and mats now need a dedicated space – and with smart storage options to hide them away when not in use.
Kids bedrooms ideally need to incorporate a play area, considered storage and sleeping solution. A poorly used living or dining room can be given new life with a different configuration and a flexible desk space for remote working, which can be tidied away when not in use. The addition of built-in cabinets, or coat and shoe storage under the stairs can really make a difference in decluttering your home.
We’ll start to see the incorporation of desks and workspaces into bedrooms and living rooms as part of the norm, because even those who continue to work in an office will likely have more flexibility to engage in remote work.
- The Kitchen, a House’s Crowning Glory
The kitchen is the part of the house where we’ve spent the most time during lockdown. Many people have taken advantage of the free time we’ve had during the pandemic to get cooking and baking. As restaurants closed, the joy of eating out was no longer an option. Rather than turning to takeaways and fast-food, the British public were experimenting in their kitchens. Cakes, bread, family recipes, the kitchen has become the centre of the house, allowing us to experience the warmth of home cooking and it looks that this trend is here to stay.
Kitchens are no longer purely a practical space, they are the central hub of our homes, a place to socialise, work and relax so moving forward people will aim to create a kitchen for all purposes. Creating a kitchen with a welcoming environment that you can share with your family and friends can have a real positive impact on our mental health. Having a fully functional kitchen that you love where spatial planning has been considered and all aspects of design ticked off can make your day that extra bit easier and better.
Zoning your space is a step towards broken-plan design that aims to improve open-plan living. By creating defined areas in your kitchen design such as a prep and cooking zone, dining area, and a space for relaxing can help define a boundary between cooking and social areas. The best way to achieve this zoning effect is by including a kitchen island into your design. Placing seating around the island creates a fantastic space for dining, socialising or even working.
- Natural light
Your home is a sanctuary to you. It is a place that you want to relax and enjoy, a space to unwind after the long working day. Sharing some areas of your house such as the kitchen with your family brings a positive mood, but one aspect that people have started to find lacking in their home is natural light and space. Enhance this further by introducing plenty of natural light into your design.
In London terraced properties, this can be a challenge, but there are many ways to make this possible. An easy way to allow more natural light to flood into your home is through larger glazing options.
Replacing your double French door at the back of your property with a side return extension and full width bi-folding doors allows a whole wall of light to enter the back of your property. Bringing more light into your home will create a fresh and healthy ambience and improved views into your garden will create a closer connection with your environment.
Glazing can also be added to your interior space, partitioning off areas and creating that separation between zones but allowing light to enter the room beyond.
- Hallways Will Have Greater Appeal
As awareness for how we bring germs into our homes rises, the change in the way we design our homes could start from the very entrance. We will all want an area where we can store goods on delivery, that can then be safely taken to a utility room or space to be disinfected.
People may rethink entryways, with mudrooms and larger porches becoming the new norm. Closed off from the rest of the house, these spaces will allow us to remove and store outerwear, leaving germs at the door.
- Connecting To The Outdoors Will Be In High Demand
Access and connection to outdoor space has become far more valuable. Connecting kitchens to the outdoors has been a popular trend for the last few years. Linking internal and external areas provides the impression of greater space and significantly reduces the feeling of being cooped up and restrained.
Having a room that’s connected to the garden is a winner at any time of year, making great use of space in the summer and allowing spirit-lifting views of nature in winter. Extending your kitchen and introducing large format glazed, crittal, pivot or sliding doors will add more light to both your new and existing spaces. Simply enlarging a traditional small window, or by adding a projecting window with a reading seat will create an impact.
- Antimicrobial Materials Will Feature More
As we become more aware of how germs live on the objects we regularly touch, a trend towards materials with natural antimicrobial properties is also expected. In the kitchen and bathroom, we could begin to see copper, brass or bronze fixtures replacing stainless steel counterparts.
- Small Changes Make A Big Difference
Smaller changes like giving your space a furnishing upgrade and revamping your walls with textured wallpaper, adding print and pattern to your chairs and sofas, or simply by placing a colourful rug under the coffee table. When all the elements work together the space feels like a home and the design complete.
Adding curated accessories and soft furnishings is another very effective way to make your space feel complete and yours. Add built-in bookcases and cabinetry filled with books and decorative items to make the space feel more designed and bespoke to you. If you ‘re not into colour on your walls and furniture but still want to incorporate it into your scheme, artwork is a fantastic way to do so. Adding large prints can make a huge difference to your space.
Making a calming almost ethereal space to switch off for a relaxing night’s rest is very important. Aspects like lighting, a good bed, a built-in wardrobe to hide away all your clutter is key. The layout and design of your bedroom, and how you feel in your bedroom, can have a huge impact on your night’s sleep.
The experience of lockdown will, no doubt, have a lasting effect on us all. And many will be rethinking the kind of life they want to live post-pandemic, along with the role their homes could play in this. With a new perspective on your home, now is the ideal time to rethink your design and use it to enhance your wellbeing, whether that means creating more space for family activities, a private space to work or a stress-free cooking station.