Pandemic Architecture – How Covid-19’s set to shape your space

And, staying true to form, our own quarantine time in 2020 is also impacting our architecture choices – many of us have been experienced working from home on a more serious level. We’re craving separatism from other spaces, better acoustics, and varied outdoor options to turn to. This ‘safe place is home’ mentality means we’re more in tune with our space than ever before, so those renovation ideas are coming hard and fast. We’re noticing the lack of daylight in certain rooms, the impractical flooring in another, the desperate need for another bathroom and an office space that’s completely separate to the open plan kitchen and dining. Covid or no Covid, 2020 has everyone thinking out loud – no tropical holiday but a possible house renovation – why not!

It’s happened before and it’s possibly happening now – disease is affecting our home design, not just our health. Say what! We hear you say – but we speak of nothing new. Let’s go way back to 1933 – to a time when tuberculosis caught hold on the world’s populace. But it also took a hold of modernist architecture and shaped the aesthetics of medical buildings for decades to come. Finnish Architect Hugo Henrik Aalto and his wife completed the Paimio Sanatorium – a tuberculosis facility – innately tailored to patients’ recovery. Think long walls of windows – to extend field of vision, light-coloured rooms – for quietness, large wide roofs, heating sources directed towards feet.

And, staying true to form, our own quarantine time in 2020 is also impacting our architecture choices – many of us have been experienced working from home on a more serious level. We’re craving separatism from other spaces, better acoustics, and varied outdoor options to turn to. This ‘safe place is home’ mentality means we’re more in tune with our space than ever before, so those renovation ideas are coming hard and fast. We’re noticing the lack of daylight in certain rooms, the impractical flooring in another, the desperate need for another bathroom and an office space that’s completely separate to the open plan kitchen and dining. Covid or no Covid, 2020 has everyone thinking out loud – no tropical holiday but a possible house renovation – why not!

Throw Us a Bone – What the Best Renos Are Made Of

We’ve all heard the tail-end of dad’s home buying advice time and time again – ‘Buy something with good bones.’ (Says the man still walking around in stubbies and socks and jandals in Winter!) We digress, but when you really want to bite down on a renovation and claim it as your own, what ‘bones’ should we be searching for when house hunting? And do you need a certain number of bones to make it a real treat? We thought we’d do some digging – not literally – and here’s what we fetched . . .

Perfect posy – Forget central, when it comes to layout, a home with good bones won’t make a wasteland of its section i.e. plonking itself centre stage leaving minimal opportunity to extend front or back. Ideally, if the home doesn’t have a garage you want enough space alongside or in front to construct one. Or if it doesn’t have a deck but the sunlight beams in the back, you want enough space to extend your outdoor living where it counts.

Look to the laundry – Older homes often had HUGE laundries. Nowadays, many of us are replete with a hot spot off the bathroom or garage – separated with a shutters/bifold. So, when seeking a home with potential, pin down one with a massive laundry and gauge where you could extend this space into others i.e. increase the size of the kitchen/dining/living.

Build em up – Often enough a home with ‘good bones’ isn’t averse to a good lift – up that is! When perusing potentials, consider the possibility to lift the whole place up and build underneath.

Bring in the experts – Goes without saying really. If you want to get as close to the nitty gritty of what’s going on in a place, then get a thorough building inspection done. We’re talking piling, moisture, plumbing and electrical. It may look solid from the outside but you just don’t know what’s lurking underneath and in between.

Lose the extra shift work – A home with ‘good bones’ shouldn’t leave you feeling skeletal. If you suddenly realise that to achieve the modern look you want, you’re going to have to destroy that structural wall, that wall, shift that wall, bowl that entrance and move the kitchen down the other end, then maybe it’s just not meant to be. Too much of anything isn’t always a good thing.