Home Design Change the New Normal


Emily Zhu 6/16/2020


As anyone who lives in a big city knows, space is a valuable commodity. Whether you are in a minuscule studio or a classic 6 with too few closets, there is rarely enough of it. With fewer opportunities to leave homes, the pandemic has forced renters and homeowners to take a second look at their living spaces, which now serves as offices, gyms, classrooms, storage lockers and art studios. Most of us try to make the best of what we have got, embracing our tiny kitchens, and eking out storage where we can. But there is a remarkably interesting intersection between architecture, health and design that inspired many of the most sought-after design trends featured in our homes today. Let us see what design trends will remain long after the lockdown, and what will be adding to the evolving world of the interior design.

Safe and Stylish Surface Materials Surface materials are steering in a new direction due to increased awareness of germs and how we can avoid spreading them. By and large, home designers are predicting an uptick in copper and ceramic surfaces, especially far faucets and basins in bathrooms and kitchens. Not only are copper and ceramic surfaces antimicrobial says New England Journal of Medicine (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973) , they also evoke an atmosphere of warmth and tranquility while adding elegance to any space. If you are beginning a remodel or upgrade and are looking to sell soon, these are certainly things to consider.

Reimaging Home Entryways With Mudrooms Having a place for everything is key, but hygiene is the new luxury. At the fear of spreading germs, people are adapting to a new and more complex routine upon entering their homes – remove mask, clothing, shoes and sanitize and wash hands – causing a new demand. Mudrooms. Designers predict that mudrooms will become a top priority in new homes and renovations and foresee layouts of new builds being arrange to accommodate mudrooms in the homes’ highest-traffic entry point.

Into the Closet With over 50 percent of American population currently under mandatory stay-at-home orders, anyone with a nonessential job has suddenly found some extra downtime around the house. While it’s difficult not to feel completely overwhelmed by stress, anxiety and uncertain, our homes are the one thing we have control over. The optimal home living environment will create the perfect balance of comfort and productivity. ‘I know exactly where everything is’ is what millions of Americans would love to say. The quest for the well-ordered closet has grown from a simple home design trend into a national preoccupation. For some, an organized closet is the key to a freer, less stressful life, and it is ‘not just a place for clothes anymore, but a meditation area with Tibetan Bells, Buddha statutes, and a cream-colored candle’ said Ting Lei, a mother of two and a designer at Congoleum Corporation.

The Collapse of Single Purpose Rooms The term “WFH” saw its day in early March and it is very much here to stay. With large company that employ thousands, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, announcing a WFH policy applies until the end of 2020, we are becoming intensively aware of our home’s suitability as a workspace. For those who are workingfrom- home for the foreseeable future and want to transform your pace into a multi-purpose fortress, these are some tips on how to achieve an ergonomic home office set up:

Give yourself a natural light source. Find the right location in your home where you can benefit from adequate lighting for virtual meetings.

The chair is kind of a big deal. Invest in pieces such as an office chair that allows for mobility and height adjustment for the sake of your mental health and your neck.

Don’t sacrifice form for function. Just because this may be temporary doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to work in a beautiful office. Paint the walls in an inspiring color. Mount wall shelves and invest in a few desk accessories that are as eye-catching as they are practical. The complicated history of health and design continues to transform the way we live, inside and out of our homes. And while it might seem stressful now, we remain optimistic at the fact that once this is all over, our homes will not be going back to normal, but back to better. For Ting, it comes down to a simple philosophy – ‘love more and have less’.


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