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2020 in Review: Looking Back at How the Year Changed our Home

The idea that the end of one year offers a clean break into the next is definitely wishful thinking. But we still love to use the new year as a point of reference to review the past year and hopefully start afresh for the next. For many us, a review of 2020 is probably one that we would rather not have. It has been a year when almost the entire planet went into a lockdown of sorts and we were forced to drastically alter our lifestyles. Many had to cope with difficult times and personal tragedy. Yet, it has been a year that demands a lookback from architectural and design standpoint considering the huge impact that it has had on homes and the way we plan for future residences.

Indoor porches with smart seating are making a small comeback of sorts [From: Allison Ramsey Architects]

There are several facets of our homes that felt inconvenient when a raging pandemic landed at out doorsteps. Everything from the living room and dining space to kitchen and mudroom were found wanting and we have had to come up with smart and adaptive solutions that helped us temporarily. But with time on our side now, we take a look at all the lessons from 2020 and the ways in which we need to adapt for a healthier tomorrow –

When Home Office Became a Must

How many of us have really worked for home for any considerable amount of time before 2020? That was definitely a small section of the workforce and even many among them probably did it for just a few days each month. But 2020 with its unending (yet needed) lockdowns and a scary pandemic has accelerated the shift towards work from home. In fact, many have now started understanding the benefits of the idea from both employer and employee point-of-view. And this has meant everything from the small corner in the bedroom to that additional guest room has been transformed into a place for work! Post 2020, home offices are as much of a staple in most houses as is the dining room or the second bedroom.

Exquisite shelves and smart desk create an ergonomic home office [From: Interior Motifs]
Finding unique shelves for the fabulous modern home office [From: Eisenmann Architecture]
Modern Scandinavian style home office in Russian home in neutral hues with pattern in the backdrop [From: Anna Koroleva]

Mudrooms and an Indoor Porch

For long architecture has been moving towards more and more open spaces. That one large living area with open plan and kitchen and dining space next to it has become a norm of sorts. But with 2020, people seemed to have realized the value of a few boundaries and a bi of isolation! An indoor porch or mudroom is another feature that has made comeback of sorts. People now want a small area before guests or they themselves enter into the living area where one can hang their coats, leave their footwear and tidy up a bit.

Spacious porch allows you to hosts guests, friends and family without having to use the living room [From: Bethesda Builders]
Dark gray custom unit for the entry adds modernity to the small space
Even the smallest of homes can easily feature a functional mudroom that has it all

Bringing outdoors Inside

Do not confuse this with spaces for interaction since many of us still want nature to be a big part of our life. Glass walls, sliding glass doors, skylights and other avenues that bring the outdoors inside are all very much welcome. They take away from any sense of gloom and brighten spaces by ushering in different sights and sounds across changing seasons.

Fabulous series of floor-to-ceiling glass walls connects the interior with the outdoors [From: Greey Pickett]
Mid-century modern home with river views that steal the spotlight [From: Wiedemann Architects]
Skylight illuminates this contemporary bathroom beautifully [From: J. F. Roesemann Builders]
Use glass walls to usher in freshness and ample natural light [From: FINNE Architects]

Stocking Up in the Kitchen

A trip to the nearest supermarket never seemed as daunting as it did in 2020 and idea that fewer trips were better meant there was a need for more storage space. Those who felt that a pantry was waste of space in the kitchen gave the idea a rethink while smart kitchen storage systems and modular shelves were more popular than even before. Kitchen moved from being the heart and soul of the house to the traditional and functional ‘engine’ that kept it running.

A pantry in the kitchen allows you to stock up and organize with ease
Super-slim pantry units can be part of any kitchen with ease [From: Murray & Ball Furniture]

Spaces for Interaction and Isolation

We did touch on this a bit earlier and homeowners who can afford to have a dedicated room that allows them to move away from their usual life definitely wanted one in 2020. It is not just a place to isolate oneself in the times of a pandemic. But the additional room upstairs with bathroom or a garden escape ensure that you have a getaway that provides privacy when needed. A home is no longer a series of endless open living areas coupled with private bedroom wings.

Little unit in the backyard allows you to isolate with comfort and ease!
Backyard office is also a wonderful little refuge when you need it to be [From: Fivedot]

Cleaner Air and Fresher Homes

Indoor plants, herbs, cleaner countertops, sanitized mudrooms, glass doors connecting the bedrooms with the backyard and a much, much better ventilation system – 2020 has turned our focus towards the quality of air indoors. People are looking for a healthier lifestyle that comes on a budget and air purifiers have been under bit of a spotlight during second half of the year. Aesthetics, ergonomics now need to be coupled with a more health-conscious living environment when planning for the ideal future home.

Plants improve the quality of air inside this home immensely [From: Joel Sanders Architect]
Invest in an air purifier for healthier living

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