How COVID-19 is Shaping What People Want from Their Homes
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2020
Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic has put our living spaces under the microscope, highlighting what’s working and what’s not as we quarantine in the safety of our homes. What was once functional pre-COVID may now be impractical as we adapt to new routines, schedules, and an unusual lifestyle.
Many homeowners have used this as an opportunity to improve their spaces to adapt to their needs, while others are looking to move altogether. COVID has brought forth a new set of preferences and priorities for homeowners, which are sure to shape home design and real estate trends moving forward.
Home Office Space
When the pandemic first began, many workers had to trade in their long commutes and corner offices for a spot on the couch at home. Months later, working from home remains the new normal for employees, thus highlighting the need for a dedicated home office space that doesn’t occupy a corner of the dining table or kitchen island. For some, that has resulted in converting an unused guest room into an office or renovating a basement or bonus room into a suitable work area. For many homebuyers, a dedicated home office is now a top priority.
Physical Room Separation
Now that families are spending more time working, learning, and playing at home, some people are finding that the open-concept floor plan is losing its lustre. Open-concept spaces remove doors and walls in favour of combined living spaces, providing a sense of togetherness while people go about their activities. However, these open spaces can also lack privacy and a defined function, as well as noise control. Having separate rooms, like a walled-off kitchen, dedicated guest washroom, or a mudroom, are also growing in popularity as homeowners are looking for ways to contain the spread of germs.
More buyers are interested in flex space that can adapt to their changing hobbies and interests to get the most function out of their homes. Some homeowners are staging these flex areas to act as playrooms for the kids and home gyms for grown-ups with a pull-out couch or Murphy bed that can accommodate guests. Craft areas, reading nooks, gaming zones, and art studios are popular too as we spend more time at home rediscovering long-lost pastimes.
This spring and summer, pool and spa retailers in Ontario have seen a drastic increase in sales as more people stay close to home during the pandemic. Nurseries and landscape companies are also bustling with business, as homeowners look for ways to spruce up their outdoor areas. On the real estate front, having a private outdoor escape is a top priority with many homebuyers who crave more fresh air and green space. Travel restrictions are keeping Canadians close to home, too. Instead of saving for airfare and accommodations, homeowners are reinvesting these funds into their outdoor spaces by creating open-air living areas to cook, dine, rest, exercise, and play in.
Pet Grooming Stations
Believe it or not, at-home pet grooming stations have seen a resurgence since the start of the pandemic. With more people fostering and adopting pets for companionship during this time of social distancing, the need for pet care areas in the home has become a priority. This can include outdoor stations, like a raised freestanding bath with a showerhead to rinse off muddy paws, or even a pet shower stall in the mudroom for year-round grooming ease.
New needs and routines are emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, which are creating innovative trends in home renovation and design, as well as real estate. If you require a new home to suit your changing lifestyle, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative, ASA at Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario, for sound advice to guide you home.