Rethinking Home Design as More Flexible

It’s times like these we reset the clock. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take stock; to determine what’s important and what’s disposable in our lives. Despite our rapidly changing world, what is evident and consistent is people’s desire to feel connected to a larger network. Not just our family networks, but our work and sport environments; our local neighbourhoods too. Just as the pandemic magnified our need for social interaction, it also highlighted the need to rethink the way we design our homes. In the future, we can expect to see home design that is flexible and considerate, that is focused on community, Nature and well-being. We can expect to reshape the way we design our homes to focus on the following elements:

Rethinking Home Design as More Flexible

Connection: Making allowances for different social interactions will be critically important in future home designs; such as a place to greet guests and entertain, whether it’s for big celebrations or intimate dinner parties.

Work/life balance: Design needs to facilitate connection with our community through spaces and scales. To provide inviting spaces that engage all the senses; these spaces can be private or public. Acoustics, light and space all play their role in the quality of the engagement.
Tim Boekhoorn, Hames Sharley
As we now look to life beyond lockdown, the changing values of consumers will impact the way we design homes for the future, and I, for one, believe it’s a change for the better

Residential Portfolio Leader
Tim Boekhoorn, Hames Sharley

Flexibility in design: Future home design should us allow the flexibility and the understanding that you need a balance of open plan living for connectivity and compartmentalisation for concentration and contemplation. Clever use of space, storage and IT that allows us to be adaptable and the ability to put our things away at the end of the day will be important. The home office may return as people have found huge advantages from working from home, but there will always be a need to connect with the workplace so this space should be usable but flexible in its approach

Rethinking Home Design as More FlexibleEssence Apartments in Perth, WA. Photos by Douglas Mark Black

Landscape: Mental and physical health is directly linked with our ability to connect to Nature, so as we move forward, we can expect to see the integration of landscape in both the public and private realm, such as edible gardens, urban orchards and a general intertwining of nature and design a real focus for developers and residents.

Health and wellness: Just as we saw a reconnection with nature, the pandemic also created a renewed focus on health. Post-pandemic we can also expect to see home design shift to ensure appropriate spaces for wellness and exercise.
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