Modifying Yesterday’s Homes for Today’s Reality

It’s likely that the more time you spend at home the more attuned you’re becoming to any flaws in your home. Suddenly, minor things that wouldn’t have pushed you into action are propelling you into transformative design change. 

Part of this is due to the fact that the growing COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a feeling of unrest among the public, the other is that many are seeking a creative outlet and real world solutions to ensure that their homes are meeting all of their new demands. After all, what you’re really after is a functional sanctuary during uncertain times that works for you and your loved ones.

Does Your Home Layout Work For You?

If you’ve spent any extended period of time working from home, you’ve probably come across a number of frustrations, especially if you’re sharing your living space with other working adults or young children. Should you be lucky enough to have the dedicated space for a home office or workshop, it may not be the worst-case scenario. But if you don’t, your kitchen table has likely become a hub for conference calls, team meetings, family dinners and homework help. The spaces you already have in your home are being forced to work double duty. For some, the flexibility of the oh so popular open floor plans in modern homes works well; allowing working parents the ability to supervise school aged, independent children at a distance. For others, it’s become even more difficult than ever to separate work from home, creating difficulties in logging off since your home is now your office and to separate home from work as your new colleagues are prone to interrupting your pre-COVID daily routine. Open floor plans function on the premise that the family unit comes together to socialise traditionally after 5pm. But today’s habits have many family members occupying the home simultaneously.

If your home layout isn’t working for you you may have to reinvent the intended use of any given room. What does this mean for home design? You’re likely to see the rise of dedicated multi-use spaces, including the creation of family friendly work stations. Think along the lines of hot desk solutions that provide a dedicated space for family members to get things done when they need to be online. Adjustable desks, neutral decor and accessible materials for all ages (including access to high-speed internet) enable you to self-isolate with limited space. Some creative homeowners have taken to setting up these areas in a small alcove, foyer or reinventing their existing secondary living spaces. 

And for those of you who are feeling constrained by the walls around you, it may be time to consider revisiting your outdoor space. As the weather allows, consider adopting your outdoor living areas to serve multiple purposes from physical fitness stations to play stations (we love a good DIY rock climbing wall) to alfresco dining areas.

If you’re still struggling with making any of the rooms in your home into multi-use hubs, it may be time to consider a larger renovation project. The addition or removal of walls can help you create distinguished areas that serve desiccated purposes or create larger open spaces for easier management of family day-to-day activities. But before you take on any renovation project it’s important to have an understanding of your budget, how you’ll live in your home during renovations, what precautions you’ll need to keep yourself and tradies safe, and the resale value of such an investment.

Is it Worthwhile to Add an Extension?

If you have the resources and the space to do so adding an extension to your home may be a worthwhile investment both in terms of the resale value it offers and the functionality it will offer you in the immediate future. The biggest things to consider when undertaking an extension project in a COVID environment are the ability of tradesmen to safely work at your project site, how the noise and disruption of a construction project will impact your day to day routine, and whether or not you’ll be able to obtain the materials needed 

The Rise of Small to Midsize DIY Projects

For many of you, a massive renovation or extension project is just too much work to wrap your head around with so much uncertainty ongoing. But we know that you’re restless for change. 

You want your home to be an oasis, somewhere that you feel less “stuck” and more “safe.” If that’s the case, consider your extended time sheltering in place as a great opportunity to tackle any long-avoided home projects. Some of our favourite, easy-to-accomplish updates include: 

  • Rearrange things for fresh perspective. Pillows. Decorative items. Furniture. Don’t be afraid to play with new layouts.
  • Organize your kitchen drawers, your dresser drawers, your kid’s toys. This is a great time to really get into your “stuff” and figure out what you’re really using and what’s just taking up much needed space. Go ahead and put it into three easy sorting piles: keep, donate, rubbish.
  • Pay attention to your walls? Do they evoke a sense of calm? Consider adding neutral colour palettes that incorporate textures and tones of the outdoors to create a sense of renewed calm. Natural elements, lights and mirrors are great ways to make smaller spaces appear larger.
  • Refresh your lighting. You’ve likely been on a Zoom call where your face lights up in bright flashes or is hidden behind dark shadows. Consider updating your lighting to include dimmers and new sconces or features that brighten up your home and serve a much needed function.
  • Clean up your yard. Now more than ever if you have access to outdoor space, you’re going to want to use it. Add a dining table as room allows. Get on top of lawn maintenance. Create a DIY rock climbing wall for your little ones to keep them (and you) from climbing the walls inside your home.

The Demands of a Post-Pandemic Home

By now you’re well aware that the demands of a post-pandemic home have radically changed over the last couple of months. But it’s not just the features of the homes themselves that are shifting.Historically people have chosen to buy or rent their homes in a particular location either due to the proximity to good schools and easy commutes to work by car or public methods of transportation, and pay a premium to do so. But with fewer people commuting both to work and school, where people choose to live may become more of a decision around how they need their homes to function than where they need their homes to be located. We’ve seen this shift already, with the rise of city dwellers escaping to the countryside which offers them a lower cost of living, more space and increased access to larger, safer outdoor areas.

If you’re reconsidering your living situation and curious about whether a kit home can be a viable option for you and your family, contact us today.