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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.