In the post-COVID world, it’s clearer than ever that home designs are flawed — they’re not designed for quarantine, social distancing, or being there all the time. Before COVID, we would be at home outside of working hours and during the weekend and it fit our needs. Now that many of us worked from home for long stretches of time (some still are) and were unable to leave due to government restrictions, it’s obvious houses aren’t built to be lived in 24/7.
If you worked from home, are still working at home, or are a parent who had to homeschool your children during quarantine, you know that the dining room table suddenly became everyone’s office. The entryway was soon piled with unused shoes, jackets, and masks. And your office transitioned from an area of quiet to a playground for you and your children.
It’s undeniable that home designs need to change in the post-pandemic world. Houses will need dedicated work areas, larger entryways, more accessible areas that allow for proper social distancing, and more. That’s why we at Urban Design Associates are adapting our home designs to prepare for uncertain times, though we hope none lingering on the horizon.
Home Design Tip 1: Design a Dedicated Office
Think about your current office setup. Are you in a dedicated office room? Are you in a bedroom? In a closet? Or in a corner of the house? You’re going to spend a lot of time there, so you’ll want to pick a place where you can focus and a room that allows you to fully utilize the other dedicated rooms in your home. For example, having a home office in the bedroom disallows you from fully relaxing at night, as work is just a few steps away.
When it comes to a productive working environment, location is key. Home design gives you that luxury.
If you need a more isolated workplace, we recommend choosing a spot in the house far from high trafficked areas and has a lot of natural light.
On the other hand, if you have clients visiting your home office, it’s best to place it near the front door. The space should be cozy and inviting, it should also incorporate natural light, a professional sitting area, and a double-door entry to welcome them into your space.
In both cases, you’ll want to balance beauty and functionality. Design a space you want to be in, not one you have to be in. This means throwing out the “office beige” paint and bringing in an inviting wall color that reflects your business and your personality. Don’t be afraid of color — it’s scientifically proven that color has an impact on your mood, so match the walls to the tone you want to set.
Lastly, give yourself the light you deserve. From windows with a lot of natural light, to overhead lights or a desk lamp, you deserve to be able to work without eye strain and headaches. Position your computer monitor so it doesn’t reflect your window or give off a glare and have your desk oriented in a way where the natural light doesn’t blind you when the sun is rising or setting.
To add some feng shui to your space, add a small water fountain to bring in prosperity and abundance!
Design Tip 2: a Larger Entryway
A larger entryway can help maximize your home’s efficiency and your family’s safety. First, a larger entryway provides more area for storage. This allows you to properly store unused shoes, jackets, masks, cleaning supplies — anything your family is in immediate need of when they enter or leave the home.
It also allows for extra space to contain anything that may have been contaminated before it is washed and disinfected. If there is room, consider adding a hidden sink the entryway of your home so you can wash and disinfect immediately upon entering.
A larger entryway also allows for proper social distancing. Whether you’re talking to a delivery person or catching up with a friend, you won’t all be crammed in the doorway.
Design Tip 3: Design a Livable Outdoor Space
Home design encompasses both the interior and exterior of the property. A larger and livable outdoor space allows for two things: a safe retreat when you’re tired of being inside all day, and an area allowing for social distancing with all the amenities found inside your home. If you’re new to the concept of indoor-outdoor living, check out our blog on the topic.
An outdoor living space has areas for entertaining yourself and visitors. Add an outdoor bathroom, a pool, and an outdoor kitchen and you can keep the party 100% outside. This is a safer alternative to having a gathering inside due to how your home’s HVAC system functions. An HVAC system basically automates the flow of air in your home and takes air from one room to another. If someone who has a cold enters your home, the air system can pick up their respiratory particles and allows them to travel around the home.
Outside, this is not the case. There is more fresh air in an open system. So give yourself a retreat and create a dedicated space that is easy to clean, easy to isolate in, and fun to hang out in.
Urban Design Associates can do all of this for you and more. Contact us today to begin the process of building your dream home.