The New [Normal] House

COVID-19 has changed our lives.  Just as we must adapt to this new normal so should the way we live.  Our homes should accommodate the ability for us to transition to a cleaner environment at the door, prepare us as we head back out, and allow us to work remotely.

But how do we do this?  Think about what your entry serves–it is the place for coats, shoes, bags and keys.   But now we need a spot for things to quarantine (Amazon boxes and the like), dirty masks to go, clean masks at the ready, gloves, and the general ability to buffer our home from the outside world. 

Le Corbusier was famous for putting a sink in the entry at the Villa Savoye.  The home was designed for a doctor who was concerned with cleanliness and keeping his family safe.  Now I’m not saying you need a sink by your front door but I think we do need to shift how we think about the entry and consider ways to make this vestibule space work better for us—a sink is a reminder we might all need.  Programmatically many have or already want to add a powder room at the entry space which does the job.  If you enter from the garage you can take this one step further—you could have a powder and laundry room near this entry.

Other qualities in our homes keep us healthy—natural light, fresh air, ease of keeping things tidy.  As we spend more time home and our home becomes our school and office spaces it is important we make it as healthy as we can.  Many mid-century homes had home offices near the entry or even with their own entry door.  Your home office or studio doesn’t need to be a big space but rather an efficient space with the basics for working.  It should be a comfortable, inspiring and have the ability to be closed off from the rest of the house if possible.  Being able to leave your work is mentally healthier long term—and it is important to design this threshold to tell your brain when it is time to do so (or not!).  And thinking about creative ways to help kids have a workspace that helps them disconnect are worth considering as well.

We will continue to discuss these ideas in the weeks and months to come so stay tuned on our social media accounts for ideas moving forward. 

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