Priorities for home space and functionality have changed significantly during 2020. As more companies commit to long term or permanent home working, and lockdown measures phase in and out, we continue to adapt to the ongoing lifestyle changes.
More focus is being put on our homes to work for us as an office, entertainment and social space affording enough room for immediate, and sometimes extended, family members.
What was once a ‘nice to have’ is now largely essential, and not just one office but two, for both adults. The ideal home office has a door for privacy and peace on zoom calls. Garden offices are very popular as they give that feeling of leaving the house and going to the office, so properties with enough space or convertible space for a home office are attracting more interest.
With families separated during lockdown and concern over elderly relatives, significantly more families are looking to combine multiple generations in one property. This puts them in your ‘social bubble’ and has the benefit of combined financial and childcare resources.
Alternatively, annexes are popular with families wishing to use the space as an office or entertainment space for teenage or young adult children.
This is the ideal way to create a multi-purpose social space bringing a cinema, theatre or concert experience into the home along with an immersive gaming zone.
This type of room works best as a dedicated room inside the house, however they can be incorporated into a living room or garden pub, depending how weather friendly your garden pub is! As we enter winter with dark nights in lockdown, this is a great way to create a social space for family and friends for a special night in.
A hidden benefit of smart home technology in the house can be increased broadband speeds. This is more crucial now than ever as we work, school, relax and socialise at home across multiple devices, simultaneously.
In addition to this, the right lighting with motion sensors can reduce electricity bills, which may well be higher than usual due to more time spent at home.
Going into lockdown most of us had the opportunity to get fitter, or fatter. We may have planned to achieve the former, but may have accidentally achieved the latter! With gyms a hot-bed of germs, home gyms are growing in popularity not only as a place to exercise, but as a retreat for constructive personal time.
Sociable homeowners have been busy creating their own ‘pub’ at home, providing a dedicated social space with the feeling of going out, without the aggravation of reduced opening hours, limited seating and uncertainty over who you’re mixing with. This turned out to be great for parents as there’s no need for a babysitter!
A garden pub can be purpose built with heating, mood lighting and media, or an existing summer house or even a shed can be converted into a unique social space.
Some tips for creating an all weather, year-round garden pub:
- Add a gazebo, covered pergola or patio umbrella for bad weather. Ideally one that is compatible with some form of heating
- Add a fire-pit for cold nights, or just as a beautiful feature
- Furnish with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating
With trips to the supermarket more arduous, home deliveries scarce and more time at home, we saw a boom in vegetable gardening. Time outside is good for our health and fun for kids. Not to mention it could save you a few trips to the supermarket next summer. The vegetable garden is another lockdown trend that may continue.
Let’s not forget fruit trees. If you don’t have any, your neighbours or public green areas may have an abundance of fruit. Home-made apple & blackberry pie anyone?!
Designed to complement and work with nature, swimming ponds require less maintenance than a traditional swimming pool. The pond zone can support British native pond plants and flowers, attractive dragonflies and pond skaters while the swimming zone provides silky smooth water to bathe and exercise in.
Natural swimming ponds are usually easier to get planning permission for too, due to the positive rather than negative effect on the local environment.
So what have you seen that would work for you and your family? Do you have the space in your current home or are you considering moving to a property that can accommodate your changing lifestyle?
If you’d like advice on the potential value-add of work to your current property, or would like a preview of houses coming to market, please get in touch.