In this time of uncertainty, homeowners are seeking to transform traditionally single-use spaces into mix-use environments that can seamlessly cater to their family’s multiple needs, while simultaneously maintaining the space’s original aesthetic. Redesigning a home space can undoubtedly pose a challenge to any homeowner – however, it does not need to be a struggle.
There are three key points homeowners ought to consider before starting any significant home remodeling project. First, homeowners have to ascertain the current limitations of the space they seek to transform, and clearly define the needs that the new space will need to meet. Second, homeowners should decide what items and furniture they will need to buy and/or refurbish in order to create a layout that will be conducive to their specific needs. And third, homeowners must establish a budget that will allow them some creative wiggle room to explore different design possibilities, but that won’t lead any undue financial strain. Luckily, there are many helpful resources available to the average homeowner, from online resources, websites and magazines, to knowledgeable and experienced industry professionals such as interior designers, cabinet makers, and associates at home improvement retail stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. Most people in the business will probably be willing to answer your questions free of charge, and they might even offer some useful advice to help you decide how to move forward with your project.
Then there is the issue of choosing which spaces to remodel. This will vary from household to household, but generally speaking, the home office has become a popular candidate for renovations. Previously used by the homeowners for light online work, paying bills, and online shopping, the home office space has shifted to a 9 to 5 workstation and impromptu Zoom conference room. This has created a whole host of new challenges to families, as many couples are now having to share a workspace. To reduce day-to-day stress, it might be useful to add an additional desk to the home office – or even create an entirely new workspace, instead of sharing. If this is not possible, we in the home décor and design business suggest reallocating a linen closet make room for a desk, shelving, and additional files in order to separate workstations and separate while not turning an additional room into another office. In one case, my team and I repurposed a walk-in closet by installing a workstation/desk, a comfortable chair, an ottoman, and shelving. The client needed both her own workspace and an area to relax and recharge away from her family, so we painted the walls in her favorite color, introduced some plants and scents, and selected the décor specifically with her needs in mind. In doing so, we created a special space where the client thought she had none.
Of course, creating new workspaces, or optimizing already existing ones for the demands of remote working, is not the only challenge that homeowners are currently facing. With schools closed throughout the country, homeowners also have to deal with piles of homework and school projects crowding their kitchen and dining room table. In order to deal with a new level of mess, many parents have opted for turning a room into a homework space for their children. The best rooms are the ones that can be closed off from the rest of the home, thereby allowing each child to have their own work and storage space, as well as a classroom-like environment that can help them stay focused and engaged. Many parents might opt to put desks in the child’s bedroom instead – however, a separate space like this gives both parent and child the ability to close the door and signal the end of the school day. After all, children also need to relax, recharge and get away from the stresses of the day.
There is no standardized way to optimize home spaces so that they are better at meeting the new demands imposed by semi-quarantine and social distancing. The work done on office spaces and schoolwork stations will differ from home to home, depending on each family’s particular needs. However, regardless of specificities, adapting a home to our new normal will always require that homeowners identify their current issues, define their goals and needs, be creative in their designs and budget according to their means. The new normal requires that we spend more time in our homes, and therefore it is up to us to transform our home environment to suit our new needs, without compromising that which makes it special.