I have been working from home for over 4 months now. Like many of you, in fact ''70% of Brits'' according to the Office for National Statistics, I have never worked from home before COVID-19.
Luckily, as an Interior Designer, I have the knowledge and space to design designated areas within my house to allow for various activities. I am sure many of you have had to adapt your homes to accommodate exercise, learning spaces for your children as well as quiet working spaces and areas for 'downtime'. This can be difficult when space is limited, family is around and your kitchen table was previously used to eat at only!
The future is changing. Now is the time to review our home space and decor. Prior to the pandemic, home was where we retreated to relax and have quality time with our friends and family. It is likely that architects and designers will change how they design residential developments to incorporate adaptable spaces for a range of activities. We might see a rise in house extensions and internal remodeling also.
From an interior design point of view, ''Lockdown'' has allowed us to spend more time with our interior decor and gardens (if you are lucky to have one of course!). It has also allowed people via virtual technology to see into our homes. Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings are encouraging people to present a more attractive working space to their associates from home.
Flexible space, hygiene, home entertaining, colour, and Biophilia are definitely elements that I and my colleagues will be looking to incorporate and consider further when designing homes for our clients.
Flexible space - More companies will be considering flexible home working solutions. This means we will be looking at clever space saving solutions, for example, workspace furniture which can also be used as storage.
Image found via Oliverleech.com/parsonsgreen
Hygiene - This is being promoted to us more than ever. We may want to opt for more germ-resistant fabrics, finishes which are easy to clean and smart technology. Clients may look to incorporate decorative ''boot rooms'' - an area where outdoor coats and shoes can be removed and stored away from the safe environment of our home. We might look to buy fancy sensor activated soap dispensers and take a more creative approach to our bathrooms.
Image by Ariana Tennyson via domino.com
Home Entertaining - With a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars having been closed down, we are likely to spend more time in our gardens, kitchens and living spaces entertaining. We may look to incorporate larger dining tables, more attractive crockery and a fancy home bar to accommodate our gin bottle collection! (I confess that I already had one of these pre-pandemic!)
Image of Alana Drinks Trolley at MADE.com
Colour - This plays a huge part in emotion and we understand how this can trigger feelings of calm, anger or happiness. Choosing different decor and furniture for each area or room can define 'zones' for work, play, relaxing and learning.
Image found at Designseeds.com / @Zurichwonderland
'Biophilia' is a professional word for 'bringing the outside-in' and this has major benefits for the wellbeing of people. The term is used when we introduce natural elements and textures into our internal spaces to make it feel as though we are working in an external environment. Plants are a quick and easy way to increase well-being. Better still, we might look to introduce a dedicated outdoor space for working or relaxing.
Image by Margarita Khamidulinagetty Images
The last few months have taught us that our homes not only have to look good, but need to have the ability to quickly transform from social spaces, to productive home offices and classroom environments.
Our homes have played a pivotal role during the coronavirus crisis. No longer just a place to rest our weary heads at the end of a long day, since lockdown began they have transformed into makeshift offices, gyms and even classrooms.