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2020-07-22 Property Tips
Author: Satterley

How COVID-19 Changed The Future of Home Design

The COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed the way we live. And not just for now, but into the future.

With Australians spending more time at home, they are re-imagining the spaces they want to live in. And for those about to build, the impacts of coronavirus may have changed their dream interior design and put a new focus on maximising space.

An intelligent home design not only allows for space to work from home, but areas to relax and be entertained such as generous theatre rooms and spacious backyards.

With a raft of government-backed incentives, many aimed at new home buyers, it’s never been a better time to build. These include the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme, which offers $25,000 to those building new homes, and first home buyer grants across the states and territories.

Before signing off on your new build, it’s critical to get the design right. Now more than ever, our homes need to be flexible. We need them to offer functional spaces where the family can gather and smaller spaces that offer sanctuary.

Here, we look at some features to consider when designing your new home to suit a post-COVID world.

Time to build your perfect home? Let's look at what the future of home design will look like.

Theatre rooms

Anyone who has done their research on floorplans will know how common theatre or media rooms are in new homes. This is where the feet go up, the popcorn comes out and the big screen lights up.

It really is the closest thing to having a cinema in your own home and you can customise it as much or as little as you like.

The key to getting a theatre room right is not forgoing size. It should allow enough space for every member of the family to make themselves comfortable. And if you want the room to accommodate guests as well, you need to think about the size of the seating arrangements.

If you are planning to fill the room with reclining seats, ensure there is enough space for the chairs to fully recline without coming too close to the screen.

Backyard bliss

With the advent of coronavirus, the once humble backyard has undergone something of a transformation.

It’s now a veritable extension of the home’s interior space and this is why it is important that it offers enough space to meet your family’s lifestyle needs.

A multifunctional backyard should offer separate zones. These include a calm zone for activities like meditation or yoga as well as veggie patches where keen gardeners can escape.

Gathering zones offer the family a place to come together and this might be in a pool, around a dining or outdoor lounge suite, barbecue or a firepit. These also double as excellent places to entertain.

A play zone is an excellent idea for young families and a great space for children to spend their energy. This could include a trampoline, swing set or climbing frame.

The types of planting chosen around these zones comes down to individual choice, but many opt for fast-growing, tall shrubs that block neighbouring views.

Well designed backyards are perfect for growing families

More storage

It’s easy to overlook storage when designing your new home. With all the excitement of designing the larger rooms of the house, ensuring there’s enough storage often comes as an afterthought.

But when you think about how many belongings you have and how many need to be tucked out of sight, storage needs to be a high priority. This is particularly the case during pandemic times when video meetings are more common and a minimal backdrop is preferable over a surrounding full of clutter.

When it comes to storage, everything from linen closets to garage space, pantry shelves to wardrobes needs to be taken into account. Using clever design, storage spaces can be found in wall niches, under stairs and even in the roof.

Flexible spaces

Often budget dictates the amount of interior space in a house. So as much as we’d like to have an infinite amount of rooms to suit different purposes, it’s much more realistic to design flexible spaces.

This means a guest room can double as a sewing room or yoga studio or reading space. If there’s no spare room, a study with enough space can accommodate a futon couch for guests.  

Stacking doors between indoor and outdoor spaces are another effective way to transform a small room into a much larger room. These exterior meets interior areas make a wider range of activities possible for the entire family.

Ensure your design builds flexibility into your interiors by including large spaces that take multipurposes into account.

Working from home

If there’s one thing coronavirus has stamped on our psyche, it’s working from home. It’s taught us that working from a dining table or couch is equal parts counter-productive and frustrating.

This is why a well designed home office is essential to efficiency, not to mention a health work life balance.

Determine the space you will need in your study by the size of furniture or equipment it will need to contain. How big is your desk? Do you need space for a filing cabinet, printer or other office essentials?

Natural light is a big must-have in any home office. Positioning your desk next to a window is an excellent way to break up your exposure to the blue lights on screens, which means less stress on your eyes and less headaches or migraines.

If you want sound protection, consider positioning your study away from the main living areas.

COVID-19 has put more demands on our houses and forced us all to cast a critical eye over interior design. The increased reliance on our living spaces demands smart design that accommodates luxury as well as productivity.

The new realities of the pandemic era have shifted our collective focus on living in homes that are comfortable for now and into the foreseeable future.

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