It’s safe to say that 2020 has been defined by the coronavirus. The pandemic has driven us indoors, and now more than ever, we find our homes to be the centre of daily life. Once a respite from the outside world, it has become our entirety; a workspace for many, a classroom for some, a gym for the motivated. Initially, these makeshift spaces served their purpose, but with no end to COVID in sight, our homes may need more permanent solutions.
Like many, you may feel more compelled than ever to transform your home into more of a sanctuary that serves you better. Josephine Tovey of the Guardian even saying: “I trawl Facebook Marketplace at every hour of the day for bargains, like a teenager who has just discovered Pornhub. …the urge for comfort, to have a little corner of the world that feels like my own.” Not only does an interior facelift give us the feeling of control in a time where life feels unpredictable, but it also pulls us from monotony and allows a new way of life to take root.
Habits naturally form the way in which we exist within a space, and the pandemic has been food for thought on how our spaces should adapt. Your home may feel like a reflection of your being, tastes and stories.
The Spanish Flu popularised having a powder room, a room by the entrance where you could wash your hands. COVID may be the rise of smarter bathrooms. Along with installing things like a bidet, the entire concept of smart bathrooms has become sought after. Toilet seats that react to motion sensors making them contactless, floor integrated bathrooms scales and smart mirrors that help deliver news and calendar updates.
Terms like contactless deliveries have entered into the zeitgeist, and when you think of how many hands your delivery might pass through, it makes sense. Creating a space that allows for packages to be delivered and kept safe while you’re away may become the standard in the near future. Safe from germs and from mail thieves. Being able to avoid physical stores by purchasing goods online and sanitising deliveries on arrival really is the full package.
Using smart technology to automate the home could bring a whole age of healthy living. The ability to use voice control to open doors, touch aware surfaces that self sanitise, air quality monitors and UV air treatment systems will become the standard of high tech homes. Turning your home into a real bubble of safety from the outside world.
Even the home office can become a drag. The home of the future will definitely have a designated office, but almost all rooms will need to be accommodating for a work session. Moving from room to room can provide a sense of variety, a meeting in the kitchen, a writing session in the garden followed by a presentation review in the living room.
In the new age, we’re now able to see our loved ones at work in the home setting and catch a glimpse of our coworkers’ private lives in their homes. The tables have turned. While this new normal may be here to stay for a while, eventually the call back to the office will come. For it to feel safe, companies may need to adapt and offer social distancing methods, even in collaborative settings.
The current standard for culturally savvy offices usually follows an open plan formula to allow employees to feel approachable and in a community setting. However, this may soon be a thing of the distant past as offices shy away from open areas and opt for more socially distanced measures. This could take the form of glass panelling, adjustable partitions and teams more closely clustered in segregated areas.
Functionality may take precedence now more than ever. Take furniture that can be easily cleaned rather than a material that is naturally more comfortable. The ability to sanitise quickly, without causing damage to the material may lead the way to more plastic, acrylic or metal office furniture.
As companies have now had a taste of the remote working task force, there may be more remote positions or remote working days to be had. Namely, because this helps companies cut costs, mitigate the spread of infection and save money on office perks. It may be that your home office has become more permanent than you thought.
While the new standard for homes is getting smaller and smaller every year, the major flaws of this have been revealed. Not only will people expect more generosity in space going forward, but they will also demand more space for privacy. Particularly those who are living in multigenerational homes and want a semblance of solitude.
The home of the future will throw density out the window, something that no one will miss. The gold standard will embrace access to fresh air or a green space —the likes of balconies or even a conservatory filled with plants.
Wellness will take its form as an interior space that promotes peace and exercise —a designated spot to look inwards. Homes may see separate living rooms become the fashion, one that acts as a technology-free zone that compels conversations to unfold, reminiscent of the ’60s. In comparison, another operates as a basic living and working space, with TV, a dining table and other cushy additions.
No matter how the tides may turn, these practical additions are building blocks to a happier, healthier home. Ones that you may want to implement sooner rather than later.