Designing homes post pandemic
We’ve all heard how design of offices and public spaces will change due to COVID-19. But a bigger impact will be how this virus will change the way we design and live in our homes forever. We are working from home, learning from home, eating at home and spending more time in our homes and with our family members than ever before. Some changes will be faster, others will be slower to adopt. But here are some key points of how our homes will change:
Working and learning from home
Not all homes have the space to accommodate a separate home office or homework room. Rooms that function as an office by day and living room by night, a console desk in a quiet hallway, or a fold-away surface that disappears into a wall are all creative solutions that will help us carve out spaces throughout our homes to promote work and learning.
We’re also going to crave clean and healthy homes. We want surfaces that are anti-microbial and that can be cleaned very easily without damaging them. We want clean air within our homes and want to ensure good filtration and ventilation. Every home will yearn for access to the outside. Our yards, balconies and patios will become an important part of our homes.
One of the key changes we will see will be a shift from open concept spaces to more adaptable spaces. I’m not suggesting that we will be rid of beautiful open concept homes, but we are going to see a lot more adaptability in the way we design our spaces. We’re going to see aspects such as moveable walls, doors that disappear into walls, and rooms that can convert from one function to another swiftly and easily. As we live, work, learn and relax at home, we need flexible and multi-functional spaces that can accommodate quiet and privacy for working and learning, and the comfort and openness when entertaining.
Co-living and multi-generational living
While co-living has seen a growing popularity in Canada, the aftermath of this virus will help propagate both co-living and multi-generational living. I saw friends who lived alone experience more loneliness than friends with partners or roommates. Grandparents were missing their children and grandchildren. We were lonely and missing human connection. Renovating our homes for co-living or multi-generational living will allow us to live happily and comfortably.
One fun and refreshing facet really coming back into our homes because of our isolation is colour – we are craving colour. We want to feel good in our homes and colour is one of the easiest ways to transform and cheer up any space. Whether it’s wall colour, art, a toss cushion, or flowers, bringing in your favourite colour will instantly boost your mood.
Green spaces, roofs and walls
Green spaces, roofs and walls will become essential. Not only are they good for the environment, they lend to our well-being. Especially if a home has little access to the outdoors, green roofs and walls can provide much needed and desired connection to open-air space.
Michelle Mawby is a Registered Interior Designer with 20 years’ experience in residential interior design. She is the Principal of the interior design and architecture team at Georgian Group.
An award-winning interior designer, NCIDQ certified ARIDO & IDC member, and BCIN qualified designer, Michelle is also a nationally renowned design expert frequently called on to share her expertise and knowledge on TV and in print.