What home design, technology and decor trends could emerge as a result of social distancing and staying at home? 13 ways “home” might be different after 2020.
As we’ve been spending more time at home and adjusting to life at the moment, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this will influence home design, decor and building trends in the future.
We are certain to see home design, decor, technology and architectural trends as a result of the pandemic. Coronavirus will change how and where we live, just as the Great Depression, World War II and other past societal milestones did in the past.
“Safe at home” has definitely taken on new meaning these last two months. More people than ever are working from home. Home is now also the classroom for kids from kindergarten to college. Everyone is spending more time at home. That has given us the unique opportunity to assess how our homes function and how they could function better.
Our current reality will impact not only how we decorate our homes and use our spaces in the future, but also the features and products we buy for them.
Below, I’m discussing 13 ways home might be different after 2020.
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Who would have ever imagined that toilet paper, and paper products in general, would become such a scarce commodity? Months into the pandemic, toilet paper shortages persist.
As a result, I think more U.S. homeowners will be installing bidet toilets in their bathrooms. Some may opt for separate bidets in new builds or as part of bathroom remodels,
At the very least, I think we’ll see people adding bidet seats to their existing toilets, in case of future shortages. Smart toilets, self-cleaning toilets and other plumbling fixtures are other trends we can expect to see increase in popularity.
Touchless & Bacteria-resistant Faucets
Every time I have to wash my hands after handling something from the “outside” world, I find myself wishing we had a touchless faucets.
Expect to see more homeowners opting for faucets that turn on and off automatically, including voice-activated models, for their kitchen and bathrooms. There likely will be incresed demand for bacteria-resistant faucets, antimicrobial shower heads and non-porous germ-resistant countertops and anti-microbial countertop materials, like silestone. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see more people buying touchless soap dispensers for their homes.
Some experts also predicted that more homes and businesses will be equipped with self-sanitizing door handles, like this award-winning design recognized with The James Dyson Award.
Smart Home features & Technology
Now more than ever, people are recognizing the importance and convenience of touchless devices.
Larger PANTRIES & Additional FOOD STORAGE
Our experiences over the last several months have likely taught us that it’s smart to have extra food and necessities on hand.
While hoarding food and toilet paper is not advisable because it stressed the supply chain and makes it hard for other people to find what they need, having a stockpile of pantry staples, favorite snacks, beverages and household essentials is probably a good idea.
Expect to see homes with larger, more efficient pantries and space for long-term bulk food storage. If your home doesn’t have space for a dedicated pantry, a food storage cabinet might be a good option for the kitchen, garage, laundry room or other space where you have the room.
Second Refrigerators and Freezers
Food shortages, the desire to have a stockpile to avoid nerve-wracking and potentially risky trips to the grocery store could result in increased demand for larger refrigerators, second refrigerators and chest freezers.
We have a second fridge, a hand-me-down from my grandmother, in our garage. It’s always been useful for storing extra drinks and overflow food, especially around the holidays. But it’s become really useful lately for storing food we’re not ready to bring into the house. When news of meat shortages began circulating, I thought about how nice it would be to have a stocked freezer.
I wouldn’t be suprised to see more people carving out spaces in their garages, pantries and kitchens for these appliances.
People who don’t have room for a second refrigerator or separate freezer, may consider designing their kitchens to accommodate larger-capacity refrigerators or professional refrigerator.
Generators & Solar Energy
After storms recently knocked out our power right after we had stocked our refrigerator, I realized it would be nice to have an emergency generator or a whole-house generator.
Power outages are never fun, but they’re particularly problematic in a pandemic. In the past, we’ve always stayed with family or friends when we’ve lost power for extended perios of time. But it’s difficult to do that and maintain social distancing. Thankfully, our power outage only lasted a few hours, and we didn’t lose any groceries.
But the experience showed me the importance of having a backup power source, in the form of a generator or solar energy. I suspect other homeowners will be looking for ways to keep their home’s essential systems running during power outages. Some may consider solar power options.
Dedicated Home Office Spaces
As many people have shifted to working from home, they are realizing the need for a dedicated office space where they can work without distraction and without disrupting the rest of the household.
Since I am self-employed, we made sure that our house had a separate home office space with a door I could close.
But we never anticipated that my husband would wind up working from our upstairs loft or that our pretty formal dining room would become our teenager’s main classroom.
Separate home offices and even homeschool classrooms are suddenly at the top of everyone’s home wishlists.
Some possible design trends we might see in home offices:
- desktop computers
- ergonomic chairs and desks
- lighting and design features specifically for video calls
outdoor living spaces
For a while now, well designed outdoor rooms have been popular. With vacations cancelled or curtailed and access to parks and community outdoor spaces limited, I think we’ll start seeing more emphasis on creating outdoor havens at home.
I’ve never been so thankful for our patio and pergola as I have been these last few months. We have been spending so much time in our backyard — relaxing, playing outdoor games, dining al fresco, planting our garden and flowers and hosting outdoor moving nights with a projector, a Fire TV Stick and a bedsheet hung from the pergola.
In anticipation of spending even more time at home, and outside, this summer, I just ordered an outdoor daybed for the patio. I’m looking forward to taking my laptop outside and working from the daybed. But I’m sure there will be lots of naps happening, too.
Here are a few projects and ideas you might want to consider for your outdoor oasis:
- Celebrity Style; Creating a Backyard Oasis
- Installing an Outdoor Solar Chandelier
- Painted Cornhole Boards
- DIY Potting Bench & Outdoor Buffet Server
- Painted Outdoor Furniture Makeovers
And these are some architectural touches, design features and perks you might want to consider for your backyard landscape.
Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Firepits and to outdoor fireplaces are already popular features in outdoor decor.
Expect their popularity to ramp up as we move into the fall and winter months.
A she-shed (or a he-shed) offers you a little getaway right in your backyard. Homeowners are seeing the value of these types of spaces.
You can convert a utility shed into a creative retreat, teen hangout, studio, potting shed, reading nook, guest house, home office, game room or another function. You will find lots of she-shed inspiration here.
It’s likely that many public and private pools will be closed this season because of stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols. Those that are able to reopen will likely have limited hours and capacity. As a result, there’s already been a run on above-ground pools and inflatable pools that are large enough to accommodate adults.
This reality also is likely to motivate homeowners who have the space and resources to add in-ground swimming pools. If you’re looking for swimming pool inspiration, check out these bloggers’ and designers’ spaces:
Backyard gardens & kitchen gardens
I have personally planted more vegetables, herbs and flowers this year than ever before, partly to avoid trips to the grocery store and also because I’m enjoying the mental release that digging in the dirt provides.
Inside the bundle, you’ll find eBooks and eCourses that teach you how to:
- Grow delicious vegetables (even if you’re short on space)
- Preserve food with canning, dehydrating, fermenting, etc
- Plan your garden so you don’t waste a square inch
- Homestead like it’s your job (seriously, you can make money from it)
- Raise animals, like goats, rabbits, and chickens
- And much more!
When you buy the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle, you’ll get access to:
- 21 eBooks
- 7 eCourses
- 5 printables & planners
I snagged the bundle early so I could get the free bonuses. like this self-watering seed planter. Grab yours by clicking on the photo below.
In the south, we’ve always been fans of big front porches.
A large porch is a great place to sit and relax and visit with neighbors and friends from a safe social distance. You can’t do that on a stoop or a small porch.
I predict a resurgence of wraparounds, farmhouse-style porches, colonial porches and bungalow porches that span the entire front of the house. These big, open spaces allow you to socialize without getting too close to others.
Enclosed Porticos or Anterooms
While it may not be necessary to quaratine packages, groceries and other items before bringing them inside, many people are doing so.
With so many people relying on delivery services for groceries and other shopping needs, experts like architect Sarah Susanka say we need places outside our homes to receive and secure these deliveries.
“We need to design in an area for package drop-off that is accessible by delivery people, but not accessible by thieves,” she told Forbes. “It should be a small room with a door to the outside [and] be able to receive drone deliveries. This room should also include a pass-through to the recycling bin so that unpacking can happen there before the contents are brought into the house.”
Cozy family rooms and multi-purpose rooms
Now that we’re spending more time at home with our families, it’s likely that many of us are rethinking how our homes function.
Open-concept floorplans, which have been coveted for a while, may fall somewhat out of favor as we realize the need for separate, private. enclosed spaces in our homes.
While homeowners may not resort to building walls, it’s likely we will start thinking more about how communal spaces function.
Having a cozy family room or bonus room where everyone can hang out together will become even more important. Comfortable furnishings and ample seating are a must.
Within those spaces, homeowners may carve out zones for different uses.
The new family room might include separate zones for relaxing, gaming, reading, schoolwork or homework and crafting. This gives family members the option of being alone, together.
home theaters & Home Gyms
It may be quite a while before movie theaters and gyms or workout facilities open.
This reality may motivate more people to dedicate rooms in their homes for working out and watching movies. Home gyms and home theaters are not new design trends, but they may become more coveted in the future.
mother-in-law suites & separate apartments
Many families have been faced with the challenge of quaratining from other familiy members. This may be because someone is sick or works in health care or another essential job.
Usually, this means that the sick or at-risk person is confined to a single room in the house. I’ve even heard about some medical professionals camping out in their garages or tents in the yard to keep their families safe.
The above scenarios are clearly not ideal. A separate living space would be a much better, more comfortable option.
In the past, people have built mother-in-law suites so aging relatives could come live with them. Separate garage or basement apartments are routinely used as income properties.
But going forward, architects and builders may include these separate, fully functional spaces in homes to give people more and safer options for quarantining.
How do you think the current health situation will impact home decor and design trends in the future. I’d love to have you weigh in on this topic and share your plans for your own home.