The past year has found us spending far more hours at home. People are working from home, children are attending school at home, we're exercising at home and socializing with family and friends online … from home. So it's time to identify the changing house features we need to accommodate our new/changing lifestyles.
With more people working from home, they now have more options about where to live. Many people in cities are moving to homes with more space for a home office, home schooling and easy access to the outdoors. Houses in the future will offer more outdoor space whether it's balconies, larger yards and/or communities with amenities.
The changing home features covered in this article are mostly ones you can easily add to an existing home. Some ideas like eliminating an open floor plan might take more remodeling to change existing homes, although adding an interior wall isn't that difficult.
Changing House Features for Work, School & Relaxation
Today's houses were designed for families that spend the majority of their waking hours away from home – at work, school, volunteering, shopping and more. Now many of these activities are happening at home so multiple people have to share space all day long.
That makes the privacy offered by rooms with doors more important so people can work in parallel without bothering each other. You can create dedicated work spaces (read: Find the Best Home Schooling Space in Your House) but without doors, you'll find noise is a problem. That means the trend towards open floor plans might wane.
While individual family members have their work/school spaces, you may also want to create a family Zoom zone to connect with family and friends. This should be a shared “presentable” space for teleconferencing that hides the dirty dishes and unmade beds, LOL.
Storing Food, Office Supplies & More
Remember the good old days when you ate out frequently? You're probably not doing that during the pandemic. That means you're buying, storing and preparing a whole lot more food at home. This change requires new house features at home. Why?
Let's look at the numbers:
- A family of four eating 5 lunches and 2 dinners out per week = 56 meals at home.
- That family of four eating all their meals at home = 84 meals, a difference of 28 meals plus snacks.
This means you need to buy and store, thirty-three percent more food and don't forget other things like toilet paper. If you've got room in the kitchen, you might expand the pantry or add some cabinets. Otherwise, there's always the garage where many families have installed extra cabinets and a second refrigerator/freezer.
Safe Deliveries at Home
In addition to changing house features, we're changing how we shop. What happens when packages get delivered and no one is home? New houses should include a delivery box built into the house. In the meantime, there are all sorts of delivery boxes available (the one from Yale shown above found on Amazon) to place near your front door.
Changing House Features to Stay Safe
The pandemic has taught us the importance of minimizing our exposure to germs. Hand washing will remain a priority and new homes will have more sinks, one near the front door. We'll also start using hands-free faucets (kitchen and bathrooms) which you can install now or when you're remodeling your current house.
Changing house features will also include features like the hands-free garbage can above, automatic flush toilets and many voice activated home fixtures including coffee makers, doors, sound systems and even your lighting. Keyless doors will become more common, controlled by your smart phone and/or infrared detection systems (read: How Smart Locks are Changing Home Security).
Wishing you luck navigating your new lifestyle and evolving changes at home.