The idea of home as sanctuary has never resonated as deeply as it does today, with social distancing measures our collective new normal since March. Being quarantined has forced us all to confront our spaces and rethink how we live in them. As we enter the fourth month of hunkering down in our respective abodes, one thing is perpetually top of mind: how trends in home renovations and interior design could shift in a post-Covid world.

Residential Cleanrooms

Reimagined mudroom, antechamber, cleanroom, scrub station, sanitary zone, waiting room – whatever we call it, the growing need for a pre-entry zone is clear. As architects and designers pivot to the new normal, we predict a rise in a type of service-oriented space that will serve as a precursor to indoor entry. Accessed directly from the garage or a door other than the main entrance, these rooms will function almost like in-between areas where residents can wash hands, prep and sanitize groceries, and take off shoes prior to going inside. The rooms could serve as dual-purpose laundry areas as well. They could integrate stainless steel storage, antimicrobial surfaces like copper and soapstone, and a seamless mix of products like work sinks and washbasins with built-in draining boards or surfaces, touchless faucets and soap dispensers, specialized trash containers, air purifiers and even UV sanitizers.


Hastings Tile & Bath Urban Wash Collection provides all the elements needed for the new multi-use clean rooms.

Farewell, Open Floor Plan?

Living, working, exercising, and in some cases homeschooling in the same room has created an argument against the ubiquity of open floor plans. We predict a swift return to the more defined spaces of older homes, which tend to have smaller, dedicated rooms. Carving out specific areas to live, eat, work and play is a must when spending so much time at home, especially now that boundaries are so blurred. Eschewing an existing open floor plan for a more defined space can be as simple as putting up dividers, partitions or folding screens in smaller rooms and creating zones in larger rooms, with multiple setups for dining, working, and lounging, and rugs for clearer definition of space.


Smarter Home Offices

Remote work has had its moment to shine, and given the benefits (no commute and fewer distractions, to start), it’ll likely remain the norm – at least to some capacity. Those fortunate to work from home may opt to do so permanently or on a part-time basis, and this shift will demand dedicated home office spaces moving forward. High on the wish list for WFH employees? Quiet and privacy – with a specific need for a workspace that’s closed off to sound to minimize interruptions during Zoom meetings. If that’s not possible, people may also opt to carve out offices from closets or unused niches and nooks.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Herman Miller (@hermanmiller) on

Hardworking Outdoor Spaces

With the outdoors deemed safest for socially distanced gatherings with small groups of family and friends, having a patio or backyard is a refuge for homeowners and non-negotiable for house hunters. With space at a premium and more outdoor entertaining taking place than ever before, a renewed focus on outdoor living rooms is inevitable – for instance, treating them like “break rooms” and installing dining tables for alfresco entertaining (or even a change of scenery for working). Aside from a focus on beautifying yards and patios to extend the footprint of a home, we also see an uptick in outdoor sink areas for easy-access hand washing before heading indoors.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Westwing (@westwingnl) on

Dining Room Comebacks (with a Caveat)

Veranda Magazine predicts that dedicated dining rooms will become far more ubiquitous – but they will be multifunctional, not necessarily reserved for formal sit-down meals. A generous conference-sized dining table can serve as a shared office space for more than one household member, for example. And it can also be a great place to homeschool, if you don’t have a separate room or hallway that can serve as a remote learning and homework station.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by bulthaup (@bulthaup.official) on

Creative Garage or ADU Conversions

With people craving both privacy and tranquil places to work, exercise, or meditate, garages are quickly being transformed into home offices and gyms. Accessory dwelling units or ADU’s have been on the uptick for years, with people opting to rent them out to offset their mortgages. Now, ADUs are getting a new lease on life as secondary living spaces for adult children or parents displaced by the pandemic, as well as standing in for home offices and workout studios for those short on space. Separation from the main house is key, as it creates a destination with a purpose.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Francis Laplante (@tranche_de_pain) on

Hygge is Here to Stay

With so much uncertainty clouding our everyday, the need to create a sense of refuge at home is undeniable. In recent years, we’ve seen amplified interest in the hygge movement, which comes from Danish culture and embraces all things warm, cozy and comfortable. We expect that designers will inject more of this philosophy in the spaces they curate, through soft textiles, soothing colors, and an overall more comfortable and livable approach to interiors.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Buster + Punch™ (@busterandpunch) on

2020 has been an experiment in slowing down, focusing inward, and retreating indoors. We’re excited to witness the new era of home design that this collective experience will undoubtedly bring.