How the Pandemic Made Us Rethink Functionality in the Modern Home

 The last two years have reshaped how we operate as a society. While much of normal life has returned in 2022, some aspects of daily life have been forever altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Covid hasn’t just affected the way people commute, work, and recreate, it has also shifted our values. For many, the pandemic brought healthy living back to the top of their priority list. While Covid locked us in our homes for weeks or months at a time, it allowed our minds to wander beyond our previous notions of what was possible. Suddenly, the collective will to live intentionally and spend our time wisely outgrew the urge to partake in the traditional work-life model. By 2021, companies saw large numbers of employees opting to continue working remotely. When that wasn’t an option, many chose to shift to careers offering a better work-life balance in what has been dubbed “the Great Resignation.” According to architect Alexandra Manacas, “architects are incorporating the renewed focus on healthy living that was born out of the pandemic into their designs.” This shift in values didn’t just affect how we live, but where we live. Suddenly, multifunctional spaces, dedicated home offices, and designs that connect us to nature are in high demand.

Multi-functional spaces are on the rise

Lockdown turned every living room into a multi-purpose space that served as the family room, the office, the home gym, the home theater, the classroom, and so much more. Working full-time from home requires a dedicated home office that increases productivity and heightens creativity. What was once relegated to windowless offices and sparsely furnished extra bedrooms is now seen in modern homes as a central design element. Architects are now approaching home design with an open mind, favoring the versatility of an open-floor plan where less is more and each space is used to its maximum potential. Spacious interiors with plenty of natural light allow homeowners to section off the interior of their homes to fit their diverse lifestyles. Given an open-floor plan, it’s unlikely two people will configure the same space. An engineer might arrange the room in the most space-conscious way, while an artist may focus on aligning seating areas to match the best sources of natural light. Using existing architectural features such as high ceilings or sunken floors can help elevate the functionality of a space. And with so many of us now working from home, the lines between work and recreational spaces have also been blurred. A family room should be able to transition to a workspace, a makeshift yoga studio, or an entertainment center. Modern spaces are therefore increasingly designed to provide effortless multifunctionality.

Room to unplug and unwind is a must.

When our work lives and our home lives collide in such a significant way as they have during the pandemic, having a dedicated space to unplug and unwind is a necessity. Spaces that prioritize air quality and serve as meditation rooms and breathing spaces are surging in popularity. Architects and decorators are now channeling these healthy lifestyle trends into their design decisions. These dedicated relaxation spaces allow us to decompress and separate our work life from our home life without changing locations. Magalie St-George, Project Manager at BONE Structure, reports that “since the pandemic began, the importance of air quality has been on everyone’s mind. Our homes balance a sealed thermal envelope that controls the air inlets and outlets with a design that also allows for natural ventilation through carefully considered openings.” The pandemic birthed a new wave of health consciousness that’s likely here to stay, and today’s leading architects are integrating post-pandemic priorities into their latest designs.

Homes that immerse us in the natural world

Seamless transitions from indoor to outdoor spaces allow homeowners to feel as close to nature as humanly possible, while retaining the comforts of a modern home. The pandemic made scores of city dwellers seek natural, wide-open space. Having been locked inside on and off for the better part of two years, many people realized that a connection to nature is a vital requirement for a fulfilling life. You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to immerse yourself in the natural world. Contemporary homes should allow homeowners to move effortlessly between indoor and outdoor spaces to enhance their physical and mental health. Well-designed homes should blend the interior living area with the available outdoor spaces, letting homeowners enjoy a perfect amount of sunshine and fresh air daily. Even during the harsh winter months, these mixed spaces have large windows that let in as much natural light as possible.

The MT Collection by BONE Structure represents the next generation of modern homes in Canada. After the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at BONE Structure went back to the drawing board to design homes that are health-conscious, close to nature, and that allow homeowners to live fully in each moment. These nature-focused homes feature a chic, minimalist aesthetic that honors the surrounding landscape. BONE Structure’s MT Collection homes are built using the BONE Structure steel construction technology, which combines the advantages of a post-and-beam structure with an integrated energy-efficient solution for the thermal envelope. BONE Structure houses are not just inspired by nature, they strive to protect it. Each BONE Structure home is Net Zero Energy Ready and can easily reach LEED Certification. With an emphasis on healthy living, proximity to nature, and innovative, multifunctional spaces, the MT Collection by BONE Structure stands as the home of the future.

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