So what has lockdown taught us about our family homes?
1. Good quality outside space is important for homes. The quality is the vital bit here. It needs to be big enough to be usable and nice enough to want you to use it.
2. Sunlight. Good quality daylight is important inside and outside. No one wants to use a cold, shady and windy balcony. And rooms filled with sunlight are far more appealing than rooms the you feel you need to turn the light on in when you walk in the door. Sunlight is good for your mental and physical wellbeing, including helping improve your mood, help with better quality sleep, stronger bones and lower blood pressure.
There’s evidence from Office of National Statistics that death rates have risen whilst we have been on lockdown, and many of them not from Coronavirus.
Now, I’m not saying that there is any relationship between our houses and death rates, but at the moment our health and happiness is very much tied to the design of our homes.
There’s also the fact that our windows are now our link to the world. To our neighbours, waving as they go by. To see the rainbows in people’s windows. To look for the fabulous delivery drivers delivering that Tesco shop or that thing you needed from Amazon…
3. Sound insulation is important. We’re all on the conference call in our house, despite being on different floors.
4. Open plan living is all very well until you’re all living on top of each other. Having a space you can separate becomes more desirable. Whether that be for the conference call, exercise, to split home schooling from break space, for not watching Bing / Frozen / enter your child’s choice here for the millionth time this week.
5. Working from home is likely to be here to stay. Not all of the time, but for a some of the time for many of us. So that means room for a desk in a space with good wifi, good natural daylight and with space for a decent chair. I don’t mean all homes should be built with an office, but with the consideration that one / two / plus kids could be working from home at the same time.
Written from the doorstep of my house (not a decent chair). Because the sun’s in the front garden not in the back garden (which is also windy and cold), so my toddler wants to play out there. The wifi’s pretty good, but I can still hear the conference call upstairs.