After months of extended work from home orders, flexibility is something every homeowner is crying out for. The home requirements have expanded beyond leisure, and with remote and flexible work here to stay, the home must adapt.
Expanded working areas are now a must for homes, and often for more than one occupant. Workspaces need to be conducive for productivity and in many instances, away from the main areas of the house.
‘We’ve seen a rise in interest for homes that can be adapted in the future, particularly modular designs, a term which is cropping up in more searches on Houzz,’ Tony says. ‘Professionals also tell us that their clients are requesting rooms that are suitable for multiple purposes.’
Non-permanent walls that can be shifted and inventive ways that rooms can be opened up and shut off as needed are proving to be increasingly popular, he adds. ‘Small spaces and awkward layouts are also common pain points, and we see renovators searching for solutions on Houzz.’
With some restrictions still in effect, dining out has become less frequent. Home entertaining has also become the norm; we have revived our home cooking, and entertaining skills and kitchen renovations are on the rise.
It isn’t all work and no play, however. Bathroom renovations are another area that many homeowners are focusing on. Desperate for relaxation, these spaces – once utilitarian – are being converted into functional and flexible sanctuaries of tranquillity.
Having so many requirements, it is unsurprising that storage and furniture must also be adaptable, with many requiring custom-built joinery that can be used as a solution for both.
The pandemic has shown us that maintaining wellbeing is vital and creating a healthy home should be a priority. When designing spaces, see where you can maximise natural light. Sunlight regulates moods and recharges energy, especially when spending the day in front of a screen or under artificial light.
Just like outdoor air pollution, low indoor air quality can be detrimental to the family’s health. Incorporate cross ventilation into your projects in order to create good airflow throughout the home. This will also have an added advantage of reducing heating and cooling costs for the owners. When choosing materials and finishes, look for natural stone, flooring and fibres – most are low maintenance and low toxic, promoting better health.
Nature also has a significant impact on our overall wellbeing, so we have begun to see a surge in outdoor renovations. This is not surprising given lockdowns have restricted people’s access to natural recreational areas typically sought after on weekends and holiday getaways. Creating a space that connects the indoors and outdoors will help air quality and occupants feeling closer to nature.