COVID has changed home design for good – Axios

The pandemic may be on the wane, but the appetite for homes where residents can each have their own space — and enjoy time indoors — will be a lingering legacy.

Why it matters: Builders, architects and interior designers are all adjusting to a new reality in which we spend more waking hours at home and don’t take for granted that household members will leave every day for work or school.

What’s happening: While the pandemic put a premium on outdoor features like pools and big backyards, it also nurtured a desire for large, flexible interiors — like open-plan living rooms — and rooms that can be repurposed as conditions change.

  • An example is a home office that can be redone as a kids’ playroom when its occupant returns to the “real” office.
  • Spacious kitchen islands — and “double” islands that are parallel or side-by-side — are in hot demand as people grow accustomed to cooking at home and wean themselves from takeout.
  • Projects like closet renovations and “smart home” installations are on the upswing, according to Thumbtack, which connects homeowners with contractors.

In a RentCafe survey of people looking for rental apartments online — taken a year after the pandemic started — “more space” was a priority over “cheaper,” reflecting a long-term view that cocooning is