Even after the novel coronavirus pandemic ends, many people may continue working from home for the long-term. That could mean more houses will be designed to function not only as a home, but as a work environment.
Architects Steve Perce and Chris Gray with Boulder-based Bldg.Collective said they’ve been focusing on creating more flexible, adaptable spaces in the homes they design.
“That type of space could be used for an office, it could be used for yoga, stretching, or exercise space, it could be used for a place to put the kids when they need to go do school work,” Perce said.
Gray added that creating these spaces adjacent to the main living area of the home allows people to stay connected, rather than be banished to a basement office.
“A lot of times when people want to be away, they don’t want to be completely isolated,” Gray said.
Perce said clients aren’t asking for design changes specifically related to the pandemic, but they always advise clients to consider how their future needs could change.
“Especially in times like (right now), we’ve had clients where their children have been away at college, but they had to come home,” said Gray.
He said a main floor bedroom could accommodate an adult child living at home, or an older relative who may come to live with a family.
Perce said other features that can make a home more adaptable in the future include wide hallways and doorways, and showers with walls that allow for grab bars to be installed.
For people working at home, things like hard-wired ethernet will become more important features. And while parks and recreation centers are closed, more people are looking to invest in their own back yards.
“It doesn’t have to be completely manicured or perfect, it just has to be functional,” Gray said.