Last year saw a dramatic shift in the day-to-day operations of the world – offices shut, we waved goodbye to daily commutes and we began to live every element of our lives from the comfort of our homes. With lockdown measures in place, many of us embraced the extra time at home (and the fact that home maintenance stores were classed as essential) by making domestic improvements and renovating spaces to suit our new way of living
As we looked to maximise the space in our homes, ensuring each space had more than one practical use, here are the trends we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic:
Work from home offices
With increasing numbers of remote workers and home-schooling parents, the demand for efficient working spaces continues to rise. As many empty rooms and current bedrooms are transformed, making upgrades within the home will aim to suit the reality of a new living-work environment that many are learning to adjust to. The focus shifted to develop rooms into multifunctional spaces, creating a room that can double as a living and work space. From this, we’ve seen a rise in built-in furniture that can be used as a home office and hidden away when not in use, as well as improved sound insulation in existing dwellings to create a quieter environment for longer working periods. For those lucky enough to have the space, garden offices have been extremely popular, especially as we come into the warmer months and the prospect of returning to offices feels distant.
A need for natural light
Sun-drenched work spaces are vital in boosting productivity and staying positive under lockdown restrictions. This year, larger windows are to be in the limelight to improve comfort and daylight experience for homeowners. As an ideal investment, not only do large windows freshen up the home and increase general well-being through their added natural light, but can be seen to improve energy efficiency, block exterior noise and improve ventilation when opting for double glazed windows. For our contemporary extension of a traditional cottage in Beachcomber, Goswick Sands, North Northumberland, aluminium windows were used to showcase the great availability of light in the space – an essential element in any modern home.
An emerging trend as a result of the pandemic is the notable rise of home designs incorporating space for multigenerational households to cohabit under one roof. Merging two households in one dwelling offers great benefits for families with ageing parents whose alternative is group living facilities.
Alternatively, homeowners with additional room can monetise the extra space for long-term rentals or an Airbnb style short-term form of leasing, with the likes of Shepherds Huts offering both extra under-roof space and a new potential income stream.
Extending the indoors into the outdoors
Creating a comfortable outdoor living space as an extension of your indoor home will remain popular in this year’s renovations, with gardens fast becoming one of the only spaces we can spend time mixing households. Whether you’re looking for a garden room or an outdoor entertainment area, designing an environment with a natural flow between the indoors and outdoors can offer the perfect spot to relax at home. Making these spaces useful for all seasons is essential and as a result outdoor fireplaces and heating lamps will become a necessary item for your outdoor space. For our internal regeneration in Greenhill Gardens, Edinburgh, we created a bespoke kitchen extension on the grounds of the garden to accompany the outdoor patio. With its large sliding glass doors, this renovation creates a seamless fusion of outdoor living and indoor space.
With the pandemic teaching many homeowners new ways to maximise their availability of space whilst spending many months at home, recreational room
designs will soar this year. Many have already begun to reimagine neglected rooms, transforming them into remodelled projects such as entertainment spaces, home gyms or even a private spa.
Giving rooms a new life has provided families with additional space dedicated to hours of enjoyment and relaxation, away from the work at home environment and focusing solely on post-work leisure. A great example of this is the stone extension we completed at Hermitage Drive, Edinburgh, that created additional flexible living space, gym extension and outdoor spa.
Open plan living spaces
With more time spent at home, the pandemic has encouraged homeowners to consider open plan spaces, with the kitchen becoming the designated space for families to gather and reconnect away from the working environment of the home.
As the heart of the home, an open plan kitchen offers a more flexible space central to the home, while creating the perfect opportunity to create flow between living areas. An open plan living space is a great option for families supervising children while working from home. For an internal development of a city centre flat in Moray Place, Edinburgh, utilising an open plan kitchen allowed for a kitchen island to be fitted with the space under the worktop perfect for ample storage.
As a result of the pandemic, it is essential for home living spaces to work twice as hard – with many areas of the home now required to serve multiple purposes. Our team has seen a number of renovation trends begin to emerge and we expect these to continue well in to the future.
If your home space is not working as well as it could be, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your next home renovation project.