None of us have ever experienced a year like 2020. It has changed the way we live, socialise, and the topic of conversation at the dinner table.
But is it all bad? More importantly, as things begin to return to some form of normality (whatever that might be), how will our lives, values, and habits change?
This has really got us thinking at Modern Homes. What will life after the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns be like, exactly? For instance – how will it impact our homes and the way we live in the future?
Life isn’t going to be quite the same
There are far too many clichés about the Coronavirus situation, therefore we’ll do our best to avoid adding to them, but there’s no ignoring the fact that life isn’t going to get back to exactly what it was before.
Some forecasts for the future are optimistic, others not so much. Despite this, most people agree that the human race has the strength needed to recover and forge a new path after the worst of the pandemic passes.
Let’s look at how one of the most important elements (our homes) might change.
Less focus on apartment living
High-rise accommodation has always been intended to organise as many people as possible in one place. And they did a brilliant job at it – until social distancing became part and parcel of everyday life.
Now, human contact is being reduced, which means multi-storey buildings with elevators, door handles, and multiple surfaces that are likely to be touched by countless people, are suddenly less than ideal.
Similarly, the lockdown period forced many apartment renters and owners into an enforced hibernation. It’s fair to assume that many of those people will now be craving a house with outdoor space.
This doesn’t mean the end of apartments and high-rise buildings, but we expect more people to focus on buying houses in the future, simply because of the freedom they afford.
Self-sufficient power, water, and broadband
It’s likely that the buildings of the future will be far more self-sufficient when it comes to water and heating supplies.
This is why geothermal wells are already gaining in popularity. They work by partially providing homes with both water and heating and are far more sustainable as a result.
We’ll probably also see new sources of heating arrive on the market to satisfy the increasing desire for back-ups. For instance, solid fuel boilers, fuel generators, and solar panels may become more commonplace as people look to minimise any risk in the event of a full shutdown among current power providers.
There’s likely to be a shift to alternative broadband supplies, too. While satellite internet is currently expensive and only available to the likes of maritime transport and the military, developments for home use will probably be accelerated, offering fast, convenient access to the internet.
Filtration and neutralisation
Water and air filtration systems are understandably seen as an unnecessary cost and are often abandoned after planning, as a result.
We think this pandemic might buck that trend, as people begin to worry about what might happen if the virus gets into the water supply. For that reason, some people may be willing to pay for the filtration systems needed to install a well.
The result will be home filtration systems that allow control of air temperature and quality inside homes. These can then be paired with ultraviolet lamps which kill harmful organisms and bacteria.
The home continues to be the new office
Make no mistake – the current working from home trend is something that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future for many of us.
Of course, there will be plenty of people who can’t wait to get back into the hustle and bustle of the office, but if home working has proved more productive for you, and your employers agree, it’s probably something you can continue to take advantage of.
This will probably lead to more attention on the arrangement of workspaces at home. Spatial organisation will change, with hastily configured kitchen working areas swapped for dedicated home office areas, complete with comfortable furniture, blackout curtains and all the tech needed to get the job done.
Urban farming goes global
It was once only the trendiest of trendsetters who would start small gardens near their homes or on balconies, but the lockdown period has initiated an urban farming boom.
We bet you know someone who has started to grow their own herbs and vegetables, right? Maybe you’ve done it yourself.
Growing what you eat provides an enormous sense of wellbeing and is proven to be great for mental health. Quarantine was a great time for many people to get to know their gardens, but why should that stop now?
As time moves on, growing plants from seeds and creating food rations (there’s no harm in using that word at the moment), is a great way to unwind, learn a new skill, and provide for your family.
Going deeper is also an option. If you have the budget, why not create an underground basement within your garden in which to house a mini cheese factory or winery? It could even turn into a nice little side earner!
Rejection of mass industry
It’s hard not to be struck by the photos that have emerged this year of smog-free cities.
After two months of forced abandonment of mass production, the air became far cleaner than it once was, and you could finally see to the bottom of many rivers and streams.
We need mass industry, of course, but there’s a lot to be said for living off the land and living more responsibly. It’s why more questions over the sustainability or products and services will continue to be voiced from 2020 onwards.
There are many pleasant discoveries ahead in this new way of living.
And if that coincides with a bout of home improvements to make the most of where you’re living, be sure to get in touch with the Modern Homes team!