covid-19 and home design

All posts tagged covid-19 and home design

Home Thoughts & Trends for 2021

by Bevony on December 30, 2020 No comments
Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

We had a very rough year in 2020. As we look to 2021 we are entering a new year with COVID-19. Vaccines are now available, but right away a new strain of the virus emerged. Our future is very unpredictable. Our new normal is sanitizing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. What we do know is that COVID-19 will have a long-lasting effect on how we design our houses, neighborhoods, and cities. 

Previous Pandemics/Epidemics and House Design 

If we think of the tuberculosis epidemic in the 19th and 20th centuries. In a time before antibiotics, people started spending more time outside. This was because the best known cure was fresh air and sunlight. Designers introduced sleeping porches on the upper floors of Victorian style houses so people could get fresher air and sunlight. This is no longer seen in our current homes, but we do have decks and balconies. 

The flu pandemic of 1918 introduced “powder rooms” into houses so that guests would not have to use the main bathrooms. This was also a time of transformation for the main bathrooms. White toilet seats replaced wooden ones and more built-in bathtubs and white tiles replaced those of the previous era. All this was done to minimize the spread of germs.

Le Corbusier, a French-Swiss architect, urged residents to get rid of clutter. He urged people to get rid of heavy furniture, and carpets. This while urging them to keep their walls and floors clear to eliminate dark and dirty corners. 

Design Before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Before the onset of COVID-19, several developments in the Metro Vancouver area offered clean white interiors and exteriors. When we look at single-family homes, on the other hand, they are designed for another era. 

Many people have started to work from home and so homeowners are revamping their homes to include dedicated office space. Now we are seeing the need for more dedicated office spaces that are quieter and away from your family. Because these types of set-ups are more conducive to work. A separate home office is the most ideal scenario, but smaller apartments will prove difficult to make this a reality. The aim would then be to modify the layout of a living room to offer a space for work. 

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Previous epidemics and pandemics have transformed our built environments. The Cholera pandemic of the 19th century caused urban parks around the world to incorporate tree-lined boulevards. Central Park was created in the 1850s by the New York City’s Board of Health. This was the first public park in the United States. 

Vancouver Changes

Years ago Vancouver established a requirement for 2.75 acres of park space for every 1,000 residents. This seems to be forgotten, but we expect in the coming year that many municipalities will start to create more public open spaces, plazas, and parks. 

We may see road space reallocated to allow for wider footpaths which would reduce driving lanes for vehicular traffic. Like major European cities, we may even find some streets converted into pedestrian zones. 

Historical data shows that with the increases in the prices of lower mainland homes, commuting times have also increased. For potential homeowners to find something they can afford they would have to drive further. 

We find many households moving away from the lower mainland to Pemberton and Squamish which are smaller communities. We even see households moving away from Victoria on Vancouver Island.  

The use of video conferencing tools has increased during the pandemic. As such, more and more families are realizing there is no need for them to live physically close to their jobs. We expect in the coming years to see many communities’ housing prices become more affordable. 

COVID-19 and Urban Density

There are questions about how COVID-19 will affect urban density and apartment living. We think many residents will prefer to opt for ground housing over apartments that are accessed by elevators. But these high-density developments won’t become obsolete in the near or distant future.  

There is talk about “the 15-minute city”. This refers to living in an area where residents can get to work, leisure activities, and shopping whether by walk or a short bike ride. 

2020 was an awful year for many of us. But happily the pandemic has changed our focus. Now we all want healthier homes and communities in 2021 and beyond. 

On a positive note, the team here at Silver Beam wishes you a Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2021. 

Image by monicore from Pixabay
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BevonyHome Thoughts & Trends for 2021

How the COVID Pandemic is Affecting Home Design

by Bevony on May 21, 2020 No comments

The home design industry experts have always had to be at the forefront of innovation. It is necessary for the nature of their work. They have to be innovative to find ways around roadblocks such as clients’ budgets, regulation restrictions as well as size restrictions. They have to be creative and quick with their thinking in order to find alternative ways to do things. The current COVID pandemic has made it necessary for those in the home design industry to start thinking of ways for us to move forward with the changes in lifestyle that must be brought about due to the COVID 19 outbreak. 

Home Builders and designers are now having to strategize innovations into new home designs. With many people now needing to work from home there is the need for home offices more than ever. We also find many couples sharing whatever office space was already present in the home. This has created the need for additional space. With many people not having the financial or time capital to expand their homes, now we have to be looking into designing flex rooms. 

A flex room can be used in an office during working hours and can double as a guest room at other times as well as a game or playroom for kids as well. Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms are ideal for cross use as an office as they allow for working individuals the type of environment they need to work in especially if there are kids at home. These bedrooms are also ideal for persons that may need to self-isolate if showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. 

Equipping your Home with a Decontamination Room 

We can kick things up a notch by investing in ultraviolet light incorporations for foyers or mudrooms. Ultraviolet light is currently being used in hospital settings as a means of decontaminating items. There are of course safety implications so these rooms would have to be entirely lockable if ultraviolet light will be used within. 

Equipping Your Home for Deliveries

The option is being explored to have a lockable box built into an exterior envelope on your home. This will allow delivery people to securely leave your deliveries without having to come into contact with you, your home, or vice versa. 

Considering New Materials to Use

Surfaces, paints, and other materials that can handle a lot of cleaning will now be essential. This may mean more synthetic materials than natural products. We would have to be moving away from porous surfaces such as natural stones. The move would be towards surfaces such as standard quartz which may prove more durable to repetitive chemical cleaning.  

When it comes to color, white may be better for kitchens and bathrooms which must be cleaned often. 

New technology comes at a cost. There are now door handles that self sanitize but it is still very early for residential projects. The cost of these times and implementing these new designs could add up and many people are already low on income. We see where people have had to cut costs. We now see more people planting vegetable gardens even when working with limited outdoor space. Those who don’t have space are looking towards growing vertical gardens, garden walls, and garden windowsills.

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BevonyHow the COVID Pandemic is Affecting Home Design