The coronavirus pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives. It has dramatically altered the way we interact with others, the way we work, the way our kids go to school and the way we live our day-to-day lives.
The pandemic has dragged on for more than five months in the United States so far, and at times, it feels like it’ll never end. There will come a day when the pandemic ends – no matter how and when it does.
Even after the pandemic ends, it will leave long-lasting effects on our lives, especially how and where we live. Here are four the pandemic will affect our homes.
People Will Flee Cities for Suburban Life
Modern U.S. cities were built to cram a lot of people into a little bit of space. Just look at some of the major metropolises in the U.S. New York City, for example, is a city that has used vertical buildings to fit millions of people into not a lot of ground space.
City living is great because it’s convenient. It’s close to work, close to major transportation, close to amenities such as restaurants and parks, close to people. But “close” isn’t something people will likely desire post-pandemic.
Being close to other people is risky during a pandemic. As is being forced to physically interact with communal things such as lobby doors, elevator buttons, door handles and other surfaces.
Statewide stay-at-home orders forced people to remain in their homes. For people who live in cities, that meant possibly spending a lot of extra time inside a relatively small apartment.
Some of these dwellings don’t have balconies, patios, courtyards or other outdoor spaces. Quarantine for these people literally meant remaining inside.
The pandemic has already influenced people to flee from the city and look for homes in suburban areas. Not only does this give families more room to live – and to separate from each other when needed – but also provides outdoor spaces.
Parents can have their morning coffee on a patio, porch or deck. Kids can play out back in lush yards.
As people flee the city for bigger homes, they’ll start to acquire more stuff. They’ll also be stockpiling supplies such as toilet paper, water and other non-perishables in case there’s a future shortage on goods. This will require people to have garages and make sure their garage organization plan is well thought out.
People Will Want Homes with Offices
Before the pandemic, homeowners would often turn an extra room in their house into a quasi-office. In this extra room, there’d be a desk, a computer and maybe some bookshelves.
As the family needed the room for something else – to be used as a bedroom or a playroom for kids – that “office” was re-purposed.
Post-pandemic, though, it’s likely that people will desire a separate office space that remains for that purpose indefinitely. Offices will become an essential feature of homes going forward because of the movement to work from home.
While people will certainly return to the office once the pandemic is over, it’s likely that many companies will embrace a hybrid model that allows people to work from home at least a few days each week.
People searching for a new home to buy will be making sure the home has enough space for their family’s needs PLUS an office. People who already own a home will be looking for creative ways to transform a space into a permanent office.
People Will Prefer Rooms with Separation
The trend in homes recently has been creating open floor plans. People have desired rooms that flow into each other and that open into each other. New home construction has this open design built into it. People buying existing homes are knocking down walls to create new open concepts.
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to change this trend in a few ways.
First, people will desire privacy that is needed for a home office. Since they’ll be working from home more consistently, they’ll need to be able to shut the space off from the rest of the house while they conduct video calls, take phone calls and just generally try to concentrate.
Another necessity of the pandemic has been safe spaces. Unfortunately, many people have been forced to isolate in separate spaces within their homes, and that was likely difficult for many people. If all bedrooms of the house were occupied, for example, where did these people go.
In the future, people could look to convert extra spaces such as basements into livable spaces that can be used in an emergency to isolate. This could include finishing the basement to include a kitchenette with a fridge and a separate bathroom.
Finally, people are likely to desire general separation. Open floor plans encourage crowds of people to congregate in one space. Kitchens flowed into dining rooms, living rooms and other living space so everyone could partake in the intermingling. Expect to see some homes go the opposite route.
People Will Want More Light, Sustainable Energy
Since people are likely to spend more times in their homes than they did before, they’ll want to make their homes into calm sanctuaries. This could mean improving natural light -- something that was already a desire -- and brightening up rooms with color choices.
More time at home also means higher costs of running the home in terms of energy. This could lead to more people looking at sustainable energy sources and energy-efficient appliances to lower monthly costs.
This could result in people replacing older appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters and air conditioners with energy-efficient models. Energy-efficient windows are also a great investment.
It could also mean a complete shift to solar energy – and possibly even wind or thermal energy depending on the location. This could help cut down on the monthly utility bills as energy usage increases.
Another big energy saver would be insulating a garage to keep the heat in for winter and out for summer. Once the garage is insulated and drywall is up, you’ll also have the ability to master a garage organization project with a pegboard that allows you to organize all your tools and other supplies using pegboard hooks, pegboard attachments and pegboard accessories.
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed life around the world forever. While these are some of the ways that our homes will be affected going forward, there are plenty of others that are likely to arise as developments are made.