New Home Trends Post Lockdown

Buyers looking for homes are going to have a different set of priorities than before COVID-19 era.

KITCHENS: kitchens and bathrooms sell the house, we all know that. But while socially distancing and only doing take out if that we have all spent much more time in our kitchens than before. Cooking several meals a day, preparing snacks, using kitchen island as a makeshift study area for kids, etc. Buyers will be looking for a spacious open kitchen layout with lot sof natural light, energy-efficient appliances, easy to clean counters and cabinets. Pantry space is in high demand as some of us have turned linen closets or basements into corona-closets where we store extra food items and oh, all the toilet paper. One of the best things I did was take on the drawers, clean it out, insert dividers and will it all sorts of bars for kids for an easy snack. An extra fridge or freezer is always nice but especially now when we are all trying to limit trips to grocery stores.


HOME OFFICES: not everyone can skip going to office but for those who can having an home office is more important than ever. Many companies are looking into having employees work from home for foreseeable future and even predicting they will work from home 2-3 days a week in the future. Highspeed wifi is crucial. Perhaps there’s a guest room that doesn’t get much use which could serve as a home office (with a pull out couch for those visitors) or unused dining room that would add more functionality to your home as a dedicated work space.

GYMS: We are not going to public gyms or taking classes so having a home gym is really in high demand. Usually it’s in the basement but at a recent home I worked on we turned an unused guest room on 3rd floor into gym. Floor mats, wall mirrors, Peloton or treadmill, weight bench with free weights and yoga mat. Adding a smart TV would be great as lot of people are streaming their workouts. Whatever you do do not have a stationary bike in your bedroom. Noone is looking for a master bedroom/gym combo.

OUTDOOR AREAS: private outdoor space with play areas for kids are in high demand. Not only is everyone looking for trampolines and zip lines etc, many are taking up gardening and maybe even trying to grow some vegetables and herbs for the first time. When you are considering selling your home, take a critical look of your outside space – how can you make it more attractive? Adding a firepit area is a doable weekend project.

PLAYROOMS: designated space for kids to play in has always been a must for families but much more so now. Buyers are looking for an organized well lit space where kids can have separate craft and study areas. Many are adding TVs in those rooms so that kids can watch their shows while parents work or use family room themselves. Separate and well thought out zones are increasingly important.

MUDROOMS: the entry area from garage to the house has become more important than ever. Removing shoes before coming in, dropping off all packages, having a designated area for purses, backbags, chargers, and bug spray/sun screen and all that Lysol.

Mudroom

Mudroom by HDS Design

FUNCTIONALITY: now that people spend pretty much all their time at home, they need spaces that work for their family. If you need help figuring out how to best use your home, give us a call for a consultation! Contact us at info@haikudurden.com or at 203-434-3745.

 

How to set up children’s space during COVID-19.

Now that we know kids are not going back to school this semester and potentially will spend more time studying from home in the fall, let’s look at some strategies for setting up a more functional space.

Home Office: something you need to get creative.

You will most likely need some storage items. Online ordering takes longer but most stores still do it and Wayfair and Hayneedle ship pretty fast. You can also find a lot in Walmart or Home Depot, if I have to go I shop during bad weather as there are less people out then. Wear a mask and disaposable gloves and most importantly, measure and write down what you need so you don’t need to go back several times.

  1. Set up areas for play and study, ideally separate spaces. The designated study area can be a desk in their room, playroom or at the dining table. It’s fine to utilize different areas of the home as kids will prefer to move as much as possible and not be cooped up in one room all the time.

    Photo credit: HGTV

    If you can’t separate study and play areas, do what this creative New Canaan mom did and hang sheets or curtains up to defince spaces.

  2. If the kids study in the kitchen or at the dining table, have a basket for each child to put away their books etc at the end of school so the space doesn’t become cluttered and your house doesn’t feel like class is in session.
  3. Clear out toys and books that your children have aged out of or have no interest in. Give away or sell on tagsale sites, you can do contactless pickup from your front door. Kids play more when there is less to play with. You can also pack away some toys for now and rotate them back later.

    Photo credit: HGTV

  4. If the children are more than 2-3 years apart in age, set up separate play areas for them and group their toys there.
  5. Buy them headphones if you haven’t already. These from Amazon are inexpensive and work well.
  6. Clear off the floor space as much as possible so they can play and run around. My youngest is constantly hanging off of the gymnastics bar and my oldest is throwing the basketball into the mini hoop hanging over the door. This was the layout before Covid shutdown. Now the sectional has been moved against the wall to the right, gymnastics mat and bar are in the middle of the room, play kitchen shelving is now used to store craft supplies and craft/study table is on the left.
  7. Make the kids clean up before they leave the space. This will go on for another month and a half, you are not going to be tidying up around the clock. This is somewhat hard to implement but in our house it goes something like that: I yell from the top of the lungs: Put away the ipads and clear the room!!!!!!! Sometimes they do it.
  8. Ask for your kids input: what works, what is difficult, what do they need. My oldest is playing with non-sticky slime while listening to all kinds of Zoom webinars, my youngest takes frequent movement breaks and both love having their favorite teddy bears on the table.

We are lucky to have a large playroom and both kids have desks in their own rooms also. Playroom has 2 desks which for some reason they are not using and prefer to use a large craft table which is an old dining table. I purchased 2 adjustable height swivel chairs for the table and each sits at the end of table, leaving plenty of room for books, laptops and notepads. I highly recommend getting swivel chairs, especially if your child has trouble staying still for awhile.

Flash Furniture Contemporary Horizontal Line Design Adjustable Bar Stool with Chrome Base

 

Few products from Ikea that I have found helpful.

IKEA TROFAST Storage combination with boxes

IKEA TROFAST Storage combination with boxes: I used a label maker and labeled the pullout bins.

IKEA TJILLEVIPS Basket

IKEA TJILLEVIPS Basket for storing toys.

IKEA MOSSLANDA Picture ledge

IKEA MOSSLANDA Picture ledge: these come in different lengths and are great for storing your child’s favorite books in narrow areas. Longest is 45″ so mount 5 or more on the wall.

IKEA MÅLA Paper

IKEA MÅLA Paper

IKEA FLISAT Children's desk

IKEA FLISAT Children’s desk: width is 36 and depth 29, fits into small spaces and height is adjustable. Paper roll doesnt come with it but Ikea sells those also. Make sure to get a trash can also where all the used paper can go.

I hope you’ll find these ideas useful. Let me know in the comments what creative solutions have you come up with when homeschooling kids, it may help others. Hang in there – I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

x

-haiku