Adapting To Homes In Transformation

Dianne M. Pogoda

That homes, design and overall lifestyles have experienced a dramatic change in the past two years are undeniable, but nuances about how the design community has adapted are a hot topic. While some people are returning to city living, the city apartment is becoming the once-or twice-a-week spot, and the main home base is located in the country, beach, mountains or suburbs.

Part of the nurturing function of homes ties into a closer connection with nature. The shift away from cities has emphasized the desire to use more outdoor space for cooking, eating and entertaining. Some nature-focused trends include:

  • Biophilia, incorporating natural elements in design, means using lots of wood surfaces, capitalizing on uplifting wood energy;
  • Feng shui décor is on the rise;
  • Green is the “colour of the year” for so many companies, and it’s manifesting in a significant resurgence of green, with paint, plants and in overall design schemes;
  • Natural light via large windows, but you can create privacy with landscaping. You don’t need a huge yard; green of any kind adds to the bottom line. Even a 10- or 15-foot side yard is cozy and natural.
  • Self-Sufficiency: 81% of the people polled said they would pay $7,500 for a Tesla battery for their homes.

Solutions for mental health at home are also critical in wellness design, as 55% of adults report they have been experiencing mental health issues since the start of the pandemic. Other transformation categories are vacant office buildings converted to residential spaces and the increase in new construction for the single-family rental market and ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. This is today’s version of an in-law suite, or space for college-age or older children coming back to live with their parents — separate but on the property, where zoning allows.

Repurposing space and making it more personal, as well as creating safe and accessible homes for everyone from toddlers to seniors, are other ways home environments are changing, especially concerning the increase in multigenerational living. Many challenges in society today, like caring for elderly parents, or childcare issues for two working parents, can be solved by living together.

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