44 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • OCTOBER 2020
HOW SHELTERING IN PLACE CHANGED HOME DESIGN
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A Zillow survey found that after
spending more time stuck at home,
one of the top reasons for considering
a move is to get a place with more
rooms. And, as people continue to
work from home and start online
schooling, more private spaces will
“Rooms have been repurposed,”
Oman says. “I hear about a lot of people
finishing basements or repainting
rooms to create added space or a
much-needed sense of comfort and
coziness. Putting energy into being
home-focused in this way also provides
some sense of well-being and
agency where there is little of those
feelings to be found in the greater
world right now.”
Designers and architects have been
busy rethinking (pandemic-driven)
home design and coming up with
great ideas and solutions.
“With so much uncertainty, the importance
of home as one constant has
heightened,” Oman adds. “When the
world feels overwhelming, retreating
to what we know is a basic instinct,
not just a COVID-mandated necessity.”
Think fluid and multifunctional spaces.
Living rooms that transition into
work, study, play, exercise/yoga areas
or ”stations” for busy families; changes
to the “home office” idea, i.e. mudrooms
that serve as a temporary office space;
adding/upgrading guest bedrooms.
Flexibility is key in limited quarters,
so a dining room table can become a
workspace with flexible partitions.
“While open floor plans soared in popularity
in the last few decades, there’s
a lack of privacy that comes with these
open spaces, and sheltering at home emphasized
for many a loss of quiet spaces
to work, reflect, and take a break from
the chaos of life,” says Haley Johnson,
communications coordinator of the real
estate and rental marketplace Zillow.
CONNECTING WITH NATURE
While New York City apartment dwellers
yearned for design elements that
merged indoor with outdoor living, i.e.
sunrooms, rooftop terraces/gardens,
lots of greenery, Long Island homeowners
turned patios and backyards into
“This pandemic serves to remind us
how important our houses are to our
daily well-being,” Vicki Yuan, associate
at Lake|Flato Architects, told design
and architecture platform Dwell.com.
“We delight in natural daylighting,
quality materials, healthy indoor air
quality, and access to livable outdoor
spaces. In many ways, this analog moment
is a return to simple living, and
in designing future homes, we will
think more about what is essential to
the experience of how we want to live.”
Thoughtful design and retrofitting
homes with technology offer new
ways to conserve energy with projects
that incorporate solar panels,
battery-charging stations, and air
“As the pandemic emphasized the need
to keep our homes as clean and germ
free as possible, smart home features
like touchless faucets, bidets, and
self-cleaning toilets will start to become
increasingly popular to help maintain
a safe and healthy home,” Johnson says.
“Life will be much different on the other
side of this,” says Oman. “But a definite
constant will be the value most of us
place on ‘home’ and what that means
both practically and emotionally.”
“Home became a necessary refuge,”
says Jennifer Lock Oman.
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