• Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

‘Cloffices,’ Sweat Rooms, and DIY Determination: 11 Ways the Pandemic Changed Our Lives at Home Forever

Over the past year-plus of the COVID-19 pandemic, homes were the one constant. It’s where people hunkered down, faced massive upheavals to their routines, and adjusted to accommodate several new demands in their personal spaces. In a recent Realtor.com article, contributor Margaret Heidenry identified 11 ways the pandemic has changed homes forever. From “cloffices” to sweat rooms, the following design trends emerged and may be here to stay.

The rise of the ‘cloffice’
Not everyone has the room for a dedicated home office. The “cloffice” (aka a closet transformed into an office) was the perfect solution. “It’s small and compact enough to hold a work area that can be really efficient,” says Mark Cutler of Los Angeles’ Mark Cutler Design. And now that we’ve discovered the cloffice, many people may be loath to give it up.

Closing off open floor plans
Having your family around is wonderful. But the pandemic showed us that having your family around all. the. time—well, let’s just say that was an interesting social experiment. So it was little wonder that people began putting up walls in their previously open-concept homes, creating more traditional—and private—spaces. “I’ve always felt that the large, open-plan homes ignore basic ideas of how a family really lives,” says Cutler. “Each family member has different agendas, whether it’s cooking, studying, relaxing, or watching TV.” And these activities are best served in their own space.

Supersized outdoor spaces
All that time indoors made many of us want to spend more time outdoors gardening, relaxing, and entertaining. “People built outdoor spaces that included kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms with fireplaces,” says Sunny Wroten, head of homebuilding at Atmos. More space outside allowed homeowners to easily entertain family and friends safely.

“We’ve seen a sharp increase of home buyers with front porches on their wish lists,” adds Susan Moguel, marketing director at Arden, a residential agrihood community in Palm Beach County. “I believe that this trend will be sure to last. After all, once we see the added benefits these spaces bring to our lifestyles, it will be difficult to go back.”