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The impact of COVID-19 on how we design our homes

History shows that pandemics have impacted a number of home designs. The modern bathroom was developed after the 19th century cholera outbreak to promote health and hygiene. After the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, homeowners built the powder rooms on the main floor to allow guests to wash up without having to go around the house.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on how we model our homes and may play a role in reshaping them. With social distancing and sheltering in place, our homes have become our office, learning and fitness center and more. Many predict that the reliance in our living space will continue and have an impact in innovating home designs.

Here are some home design ideas that will come to the fore because of the pandemic.

Hygiene and cleanliness in design

Design features focusing on hygiene and cleanliness are becoming more important. Materials with antimicrobial properties like copper and silver are becoming popular for high-touch surfaces such as faucet handles and doorknobs.

A mud room to disinfect packages and groceries or a drop zone to remove clothes, masks and shoes could become a more common design in homes. Even when the virus has gone, the impact of the virus on our collective psyche should mean homeowners will be more conscious about the entryways and what exactly gets into their home.

Touchless technology

Smart-home design features are expected to grow in demand. Touchless, voice and sensor control technology was already growing in popularity; Covid would have only accelerated the trend. Touch-free faucets, door handles, light switches, and self-cleaning toilets minimize contact points and the risk of contamination.

Another direction in SMART technology for the home has been it’s application as a medical tool. Biometric-sensors that track body temperature and other vital signs are expected to emerge in future home designs. Phones and watches can now link up to other SMART devices in the home to help you monitor and maintain your health.

Private and dedicated home offices

The pandemic has accelerated the remote set-up of working from home. This trend won’t only stay after the pandemic, it’s likely to become more pronounced. Homeowners have realized the need for a space specifically designed for their work needs while they work from home. This not only increases productivity, it also makes it much easier to separate home life from work life.

A dedicated and private work space will be a high priority among homebuyers.

Outdoor space

The pandemic brought to our attention that an outdoor space in our homes is a welcome asset. People have enjoyed being on their porch or balcony just to avoid being indoors.

Outdoor spaces allow homeowners to enjoy natural light and fresh air. They can entertain friends and family with a higher level of safety than when they go out to a restaurant or mall.

Home designers are integrating outdoor spaces like roof gardens, porches, balconies, backyards and patios. Designs can include a bar and an outdoor kitchen equipped with a cooking area.

Multigenerational living

The pandemic tragically drove home the fact that we could lose people without being able to be close to them nearing the end. This could have repercussions on how we orient our homes with extended family members living together.

Innovations in home designs allow different generations to live together in the same home. A granny flat or self-contained suites within the home provide solutions to overcrowding.

Multi-gen space has separate entrances for the different generations for privacy and accessibility. Dedicated living area, kitchenette and bedroom spread in different floors for each generation giving everyone enough space.

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