Working from home. Home-schooling. The kitchen gym. Whilst some will wish away the pandemic hangovers, some will have fundamentally changed how they live, work and play. As a development professional, anticipating the visions your potential buyer as they walk around your final product is part science, part art, and frankly, part economics.
How we use our family homes will change. We asked five of the TrustedLand Approved Architects their view on where layouts and usage for the average 3-bed family house will change in line with new lifestyles in the UK.
Amos Goldreich of Amos Goldreich Architecture
‘Our homes have to allow us to be who we are, and who we want to be’ –
“Having spent more time at home, we have been sensing and learning its significance to our wellbeing and what we can improve. Homes will need to accommodate a greater number of services and uses, both for families and individuals: to dine, socialise, work, relax, exercise…
In order to keep homes safe and clean, entryways will become clearly-defined transitional spaces where one can remove shoes, hang jackets and sanitise hands upon entering.
All this may spell the end of completely open-plan homes, and see a move towards more traditional or flexible layouts where spaces are clearly defined, allowing for a clear separation between home and work life.”
Kristofer Adelaide of KA-A
“The Three bed home will need flexibility! The idea that the ‘room’ will need interchangeability into a makeshift office or school is going so much more prevalent. With Home school becoming the norm, all additional nooks of the 3-bed will required to be allow to have a new meaning.
Kitchen worktop or Islands created in a way that people can perch on them for laptop use seating areas will have a desk that can come in and out of the walls and dining rooms will be a place for teaching and learning where parents have to teach their kids if the pandemic continues in this way.
The typical 3 bed home as we know it will require to have outdoor space so if it is open plan walls that can be closed from noise penetrating from one place to another because people will be on zoom calls phone or just need some peace and quiet, or to keep a marriage in survival mode to have a place to be away from each other.”
Duncan Gunn of Gunn Associates
“With the increase in blended working patterns, and also the increase of alternative schooling methods, I think that the 3-bed family home will evolve into a far more flexible building type.
What ‘Lifetime Homes’ provided, we will now see far more often, in larger homes being adaptable for their immediate flexible uses, and also for the changes within families.
Blended living/working does not mean merely providing an occasional ‘workspace’; it means re-looking at how families can live and work in the same building, and how those needs may change over time.
This reinterpretation is not solely about space-design either, it is also about the ability of families to physically repurpose areas of their home as needed. Are the utilities and services adaptable and moveable? Are walls and surfaces demountable and can they be reinstated in different locations in the same house? Smarter tech homes will help in this.”
Tom Davies of Thomas Alexander
“Family dwellings now need to evolve to deliver efficient home working and homeschooling spaces, without compromising on the traditional living and sleeping areas.
Designers must respond to this whilst also generating value for developers in a strained market through efficient layout design.
A separate home office is the most straight forward approach. However, this increases the GIA of the dwelling and reduces the overall development density.
A more innovative solution is to provide fold away working spaces within built-in joinery in underutilised living spaces or circulation areas. The use of custom joinery allows the occupant to fold away their workspace at the end of the day helping them to maintain a separation between home and work.”
Chris Parker of InsideOut
“The current need for many people to work from home has had some positive impact, though for many the reality of WFH is not living up to the dream – with interruptions from family, lack of suitable workspace and loneliness all being factors.
It is likely however, that the desire for a better work / life balance and the need for flexible working and living solutions will remain strong post lockdown, but whether this impacts on people’s desire for a home office space is yet to be seen.
Factoring in most people’s desire for human contact, a full-time home office is unlikely to be the preferred solution, with well-designed, flexible working / multi-use spaces being good enough, and with little uplift in cost. Well-designed homes are ones that allow flexibility for them to change to suit a certain set of circumstances or allowing for change over time.
In our opinion therefore the biggest design trend we will see post-Covid is a desire for more space, and better design – allowing the flexibility to provide suitable working space – as opposed to simply the addition of a ‘.home office’.”
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