Nothing in our lives has gone untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Work, school, church, sports, family, social gatherings, and commutes have all been impacted. Many of us have embraced work-from-home routines while also focusing on the needs of children’s education and care for others in our homes. Work/life balance has gained a new perspective.
Those balancing acts and changes in everyday life haven’t gone unnoticed. Architects have responded to these needs by adjusting their home designs to accommodate these needs.
Here are some of the most significant areas of impact in home design.
A short time ago, we filled our travel mugs with morning beverages, filled our kids' backpacks for school, and went out the door for pursuits elsewhere. Now those morning commutes may be only a few steps, and school has been zoomified. We’re in our homes for more hours of the day.
This requires rethinking large shared spaces and igniting the need for dedicated spaces for work, school, home gyms, and various things we ventured out for. It may have been an inconvenience to share a desk with your spouse or a home office with online learners when the pandemic started, but not now. Work-from-home and school-from-home are likely to continue, and workforce experts Robert Half report that 74% of workers would like to continue their remote work when restrictions are lifted.
Architects are responding by designing more dedicated spaces. Home office, learning centers, at-home gyms, and the like are now more of the design considerations for architects. They are seeking the balance of open, shared space, and smaller dedicated spaces.
Being safe is a concern for everyone. Frequent hand washing, sanitizer use, being careful of what we touch, and the air we breathe are all habits and top of mind activities. Architects keep these things in mind in home design, and the impact is felt in two highly prominent places: kitchens and HVAC systems.
The kitchen is the center of the HOME (include link to previous blog post). Designing this space with safety in mind has never been more critical. Safety thinking includes materials for countertops and cabinets that diminish the spread of virus material, larger spaces needed for gatherings, and adequate ventilation.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will also be impacted by home design. While research is still ongoing, many believe that more fresh air will positively impact healthy living space. Circulating more external air will place a higher strain on heating and air conditioning units and increase the need for better ventilation and filtration systems.
Flexibility and adaptability will also have an impact on home design. If a space can be converted into multiple uses, it will ease the need for additional square footage (think affordability).
Creative thinking by architects may allow you to have a mixed-use space that solves a multitude of needs. A workout space in the morning, converted to school space during the day, and then into an isolated recreation space in the evening will provide significant utility and value to homeowners.
Additionally, rooms that open to exterior spaces should be considered. Extending living space into private patios and yard space can ease the stress of being “in the house” all day without the need for excursions.
An architect can take these considerations into your design and make it easier for you to achieve these transitions.
If you need help building or remodeling your living space for the post-COVID future, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss your needs and provide guidance and assistance to give you the best living space possible.
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We are a small Design-Centered Practice Studio that promotes cost effective Green Building technologies.
We provide a wide range of services, and no job is too big or too small for our experience. With over 15 years of commercial experience, we can design a wide variety of architectural styles that can fit most needs or tastes.