With the ‘end’ of Coronavirus nowhere in sight and scientists warning that pandemics may become more common, we’ve been thinking about the resulting changes that may be needed to residential design.
Each pandemic will have different symptoms, issues and precautions but common approaches such as locking down/ hand-washing and distancing are likely to become standard practice in future pandemics. There are factors to bear in mind when planning or designing your home, which we have put together below:
A key consideration is to ensure ‘germs’ from outside are easily and conveniently eliminated when you enter a home. Entrance hallways or porches would ideally be large, open and possibly separated from the rest of the house/ living areas.
- Hands- you may consider moving your WC or a (discretely designed) basin closer to the front door to allow hand washing upon arrival.
- Storage/ clothing – ensure you create plenty of space to tidy away clothes, shoes and other equipment which you use outside only. A large space for changing/ washing to avoid cross contamination from the outside may also be of interest to those who are, or who live with, key workers.
- Receiving deliveries- You may consider adding a porch or allowing space inside your existing hallway to receive contactless deliveries. This could be unlocked when deliveries are expected but would have a separate locked door to the interior of the house. Finishes inside should be easy to clean. A wifi video doorbell may be particularly useful.
Working from home
If you’re working from home for long periods, we suggest carving out a dedicated working area, or storage area for work paraphernalia.
- Ensure you have good wifi connections throughout your home. Discuss fibre broadband in your area with your supplier and if undertaking a larger renovation, consider adding data cabling to each room.
- Good lighting and task lighting where necessary
- Ensure your furnishings are fit for purpose- good sized desk, comfortable, ergonomic chair.
- Placement and flexibility-
- For calls and meetings you might want to select a quiet/ undisturbed part of your home- ensure the background is tidy and attractive/ neutral.
- At other times and when also overseeing schooling- you may need a larger shared area for work. Ideally this is away from typical distractions such as the TV/ kitchen and has neutral calming colours and plants to aid concentration.
During lockdown we’ve all realised the huge benefit of having outdoor space or even a little greenery inside.
- Consider how you can improve your home’s connection to the outside, either by considering layouts which make the most of views or by adding more greenery in your living spaces.
- If you have a garden, you could consider growing your own fruit and vegetables- this could also prove to be a great learning activity with children
Designing a home which is easy to clean and maintain yourself has never been more important.
- Choose materials which are long lasting and easy to clean. Honed stone and tiles (properly treated) are particularly good, both for splashbacks, flooring and worktops.
- Consider the maintenance required when choosing fittings and appliances and consider whether it is practical that you can undertake this yourself. See our journal on designing a hygienic bathroom here.
If you’re going to be in the house more often, you want to ensure your homes interiors bring you joy. Now is the time to fix the niggly things which you’ve always planned to deal with, or embark on more significant renovations so that next time there’s a lockdown- you can spend it in your dream home.
If you need help with your renovation in London or Brighton, contact us now!