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5 Surprising Design Trends Being Reshaped By The Pandemic

Posted by Karen on September 16, 2020

Written by Karen Hutchinson, REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

The pandemic has influenced so many areas of our lives these past several months. Should we be surprised though that the design features of our homes are being affected as well?

Here’s a look at some of the biggest home design trends currently under the influence of the pandemic.

Open Concept Floor Plan

You must be shocked by this one! After years and years of this design element being so popular, the pandemic has us re-thinking the whole layout of our homes.

From cooking to dining, to watching TV, or quietly reading a book… where’s the privacy? Where’s the separation?

This is not so bad of an arrangement when you’re entertaining, or have been at work or school all day.

It’s lovely and healthy to gather together to swap tales from our time apart. But cooped up together day in and day out, for months… maybe not so much!

As well, there’s a new growing complaint with the open floor plan: It’s noisy! As many people transitioned to remote work and school, a lack of barriers to buffer noise has become a real problem.

If the open floor plan really wanes in popularity, it will become apparent first in new-home construction and then in home remodelling. In new homes, we may start to see more pocket doors used to close off open spaces, kitchens slightly angled off from the living room, and privacy nooks.

But current homeowners aren’t rushing to add walls just yet. Instead, they’re turning to privacy screens to section off areas, or they’re adding in large area rugs or artwork to help absorb noise. The good news is that everything is figure-out-able!

More Storage!

While I am a very strong believer in “your home is a living space, not a storage space”, this pandemic has me rethinking that notion.

During the pandemic, many people rushed to stock up on food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. So, the need for storage became greater. Homeowners added extra shelving to pantries or overflow storage in laundry rooms and garages.

A New Favourite Hobby: Gardening!

The backyard is getting more attention while we spend more time at home.

Our thoughts are also turning to being able to be more self-sufficient when it comes to our fruits and vegetables.

Homeowners are now planting their own gardens. They can be either expansive or fit in the tightest of spots, such as a vertical garden or inside a patio container.

Homeowners may favour some of the fastest-growing vegetables in their gardens, such as lettuce, radishes, carrots, spinach, and bell peppers.

This trend is definitely a throw-back to more traditional and simpler times. It won’t come as much of a surprise next year is we see this trend continue to “grow”!

Sprucing Up Our Outdoor Spaces

Again, an outdoor-related trend! Also not surprising.

Our Canadian winters are long and cold. When the beautiful spring temperatures hit, we bolted for the outdoors!

We had a hunch we would be spending as much time as possible in our yards, so we wanted to make them as comfy and pleasing as possible.

It didn’t matter if our yards were large or small, it was being in the great outdoors that mattered.

Backyards both big and small got spruced up. Fire pits have become particularly popular. Outdoor furnishings are being used to create cozier spaces, and hammocks add to a serene ambiance. A pergola provides a covered space overhead, and homeowners use overgrown trees in their yard as a canopy for a small dining space or cozy seating area.

We did everything from simple to complex landscaping projects. We implemented more privacy-from-the-neighbours features, added more things to amuse the kids such as climbing structures, water features for those hot summer days, and home-made games that we found on Pinterest when we were endlessly scrolling through the internet in the dead of winter, cooking and dining options have been added, as well as lounging features for reading and napping.

In my own yard I was happy to receive a home-made picnic table for my birthday in April. We knew that our picnic destinations would be limited for a while, so with his craftsmanship, the Mr. brought the picnics to us!

My yard at its best! More colourful this year than it has been in quite awhile!

The back yard was not the only winner when it came to sprucing things up. The front porch has become important as a place where you can be outside and connect with neighbours from at least six feet apart. It’s also a popular backdrop for family photos. I can’t wait to see the festive winter versions of the porches in my neighbourhood!

And last but NOT LEAST… The growth of home offices!

With more homeowners working remotely, the home office has grown in importance.

In fact, many households are finding that having just one home office isn’t enough. The pop-up home office is emerging, turning small closets into an extra office nook or sectioning off corners of a room to add a workspace that blends in with the rest of the space.

As remote work surges, the home office will likely remain important and become a huge selling point in real estate moving forward.

Please contact me here if you are feeling like you need more than just a design change in your own home, and want to discuss selling or buying a home, or both!

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