There’s no denying keeping everyone at home for an extended period of time has meant we’ve all looked a little more inward of late. As I’ve been visiting clients and working on their homes I’ve certainly noticed changes in the past 12 months when it comes to the way we design and decorate homes. Social distancing, mandatory mask wearing and restrictions on capacities in venues has meant we’re suddenly asking a lot more of our homes and how they function. For some, they’ve always paid close attention to the way their family uses their home, for others it’s been a steep learning curve to rework their existing space to suit the changing needs of their family post Covid-19.
Changing home trends since Covid-19
I thought I’d write a little summary of some of the trends I’ve seen, some may stay for good, others may go but one thing is for certain, we’ve all found a new appreciation for the space we call home no matter how big or small it may be.
Working From Home
Ok so I’m starting with a very obvious one but it’s been interesting to see how people responded to this a year ago vs today. Often my clients would ask for a space to work from home pre-Covid days but now with so many big businesses offering more flexible working arrangements than ever before it’s become a big focus for my clients. The size of your home or room will have an obvious impact on where you set up a work from home station but what I’ve noticed when planning floor plans for clients who are renovating or building new homes is that the work from home space is now finding a completely dedicated room rather than just a nook or add on to a kitchen space. Often we’d jam a desk into a guest room to allow for a WFH space. Now we’re focusing on custom built joinery to provide large desk space for both working parents or couples to be able to comfortably work in the same room without stepping on each others toes. Or allowing for study space for high school aged children. We’ve also seen an increase in requests for dedicated study spaces or home offices when people are inspecting new homes to buy. So while the working from home thing is hardly a new trend, it’s certainly upped the ante when it comes to the space people are creating when working from home.
Formal Dining Rooms
Remember formal dining rooms? We spent most of the early 2000’s turning them into media rooms but now we’re seeing a come back for formal dining spaces in homes. For a while there I think many people forgot what it was like eating as a family at the same time at the dinner table and when stuck at home for months on end in 2020 there were far less distractions to take you out of the house of an evening which meant more and more dinners were had together in the same spot each night. A lot of my clients are now asking for formal dining spaces to be reinstated where we once would have removed them. I think this is one of the most positive things to have come from what was an all round shocking year for everyone and hope it lasts well into the future.
Most homes built in the past 20 years have had a huge focus on open plan living, since Covid hit and everyone found themselves working, studying, eating meals and entertaining the family in the same space it’s become apparent that having one massive open space with no doors to close for privacy or to listen in on Zoom calls to be rather frustrating. So we’re installing smart zoning into open plan spaces to allow for flexibility. So if Mum’s running a zoom meeting from the dining table while the teenager is laying out an art assignment on the rug in the lounge room neither will be distracted by the other.
With restrictions on numbers of people allowed into venues and just the change from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) changing to FOGO (Fear Of Going Out) we’ve found ourselves with a dilemma of where to entertain when you do want to invite some friends over. Aussies are lucky in that we aren’t as affected by the changes of seasons like our friends in the Northern Hemisphere so there’s only really a couple of months a year we aren’t able to entertain friends in outdoor spaces (and I know many clients who have purpose built outdoor spaces that can be used all year round). Many of my clients have been upgrading or updating their outdoor furniture with a focus on entertaining friends on weekends or having a space to eat as a family during the warmer months of an evening.
I’d love to know what you’ve noticed around the house about the way you live since our lives have been forever changed by Covid-19.
Love Emma x