Did we ever think we would be living in our homes 24 hours a day?
No one could have imagined rarely leaving the house, but here we are.
And as we are confined to our homes, we have become more aware of how our indoor surroundings affect our moods, our ability to separate leisure from work, and our overall physical comfort.
The most immediate change will be how we work from home. Sitting at the kitchen table or balancing a laptop from a recliner will give way not to home offices, but offices at home.
Interior designers and homeowners will give significant consideration to creating functional, yet beautiful dedicated offices at home.
Video conferencing is making us all aware of how sound and lighting affect how others perceive us. Therefore, future work-at-home spaces will consider ambient noise, echoes, and harsh and inadequate light.
There will likely be a rise in the need for comfortable office seating, ergonomic desks, and efficient storage.
These additions may be challenging in smaller spaces where the office may be a desk in the corner of a bedroom or living room. To be productive, workers need to have an area that is separate from the rest of the house.
Another clear separation that will appear in homes will be those that delineate between working hours and non-working, relaxing hours.
Homes will likely start to incorporate quiet spaces as a way to decompress, whether from work or from the stress of feeling unproductive in quarantine.
Sanctuary-like spaces, as simple as a chair and lamp in a reading corner to a full-on meditation room will help us relate to the concepts of mindfulness and wellness, and embrace our slower pace.
Another change we may see is the end of the open floorplan in homes. A need for privacy could lead to a return of closed schemes.
This may happen because of the need to not disturb other family members, as well as a need to isolate a member of the family infected by a virus.
And we will become more aware of circumstances that could lead to the spread of disease. We will install air purifiers and air-quality monitoring systems, and install surfaces that are germ-resistant and easy to clean.
And our homes will become smarter. As we avoid touching surfaces, voice-control technologies will help us perform tasks ranging from ringing doorbells to opening the refrigerator.
And speaking of refrigerators, homes may have several, as well as ample pantry and storage areas, so that fewer trips to the grocery store are needed.
The pandemic has changed the way we interact with the world outside. It has altered the way we live and work inside our homes, and soon it may also change the way interior designers and architects create and build the homes we live in, too.