Pandemic trends will stick, design expert says
March 16, 2021
Double kitchen islands seen as a design trend with staying power. | Plan Collection.
A top U.S. home design firm, which works with number of architects and designers, says trends that emerged during the pandemic will become part of North American home designs for years.
New York-based Plan Collection has developed some 22,000 home designs and contends some virus-induced plans have become too popular to ignore.
“Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been reimagining their floor plans on the fly. A number of these changes are now showing up in the latest house design plans,” said Plan Collection publishing director Tim Bakke.
Here are among the new trends that are expected to stick in detached house designs.
Bigger windows. Larger, even floor-to-ceiling, windows that allow more natural light into a home are seen as important as people spend more time at home.
Double kitchen islands. Since kitchens have become flexible space that transition from meal preparation to study space or a home office, two kitchen islands ensure free space is always available for preparing meals. In some cases, a second island with stools replaces the kitchen table.
Flexible floor plans. Open floor plans are being replaced with flexible designs that include a closed-off classroom or “Zoom” room, or dining rooms that morph into a home office, or bedrooms that can become a temporary gym.
Expanded garages. Garages can also serve as workshops and, increasingly, casual gathering spaces. “The three-car garage has shifted from a luxury to a necessity. It has become a significant feature in multi-generational homes, in which several adults may require space for their vehicles,” according to Bakke.
Emphasis on outdoor space. Socially-distanced gatherings in the backyard spurred demand for covered porches and decks with an all-season flair. This means built-in outside heaters and firepits are a trend that is here to stay.