Home is more than where the heart is: it’s a school, office, gym, cinema and so much more. This year, our homes have had the challenge of adapting to encompass all parts of our lives.

With lockdown, everyone was forced to adapt to new ways of living to make our space work for all of our daily activities. Our space had to become versatile, acting as much more than a place to rest your head. For some, it became the office, studio or gym, and for children, it became a school. Whatever your requirements, space has become increasingly important for many. Analysts predict a sharp rise in people looking to renovate, redecorate or otherwise adapt their homes in the next year, whether that’s to create a home office, build extra bedrooms or to optimise their living space.

 

covid value homesCatherine Smith, a Barista/Visual Artist co-housing in Hackney-Wick, London, has discussed how the pandemic affected her relationship with her home. “Before the coronavirus, I was hardly home. Once the lockdown began, I was definitely glad to have my housemates, and that social contact became much more important. I began to appreciate our small outdoor space on the balcony but having a garden would have been ideal. In fact, having more space, in general, became desirable and previously wouldn’t have crossed my mind.”

Many Britons like Catherine, living in bustling metropolitan locations, are now valuing their homes differently. The coronavirus has spurred a scramble to purchase homes outside of large urban cities in the UK. Most of the nation became accustomed to living and working from home, and began to prioritise how much space they have above the inner-city locations. More and more people are choosing to leave London after realising the potential of working from home or commuting once or twice a week. Londoners are now looking to quieter suburbs and smaller cities, widening the commuter belt. 

Since the onset of the coronavirus, Britons have been planning more home updates as we all spend more time at home. Catherine says: “Now that I was home all the time, I had the urge to work on the home and make it more comfortable to live in and do all of my daily activities. Beforehand, I didn’t think about or care about decorating, but the lockdown gave us time to get around to doing things around the house that we would have never done. We made all sorts of improvements. Such as getting new furniture: some new chairs. We replaced appliances: a new fridge. And, made some other home improvements, like putting up some new shelves. I even got around to changing the lightbulbs.”

Our relationships with our homes have evolved, and space is now expected to meet a greater range of needs. Numerous people took to redecorating, painting the walls, replacing furniture and smaller home improvements. Others are now looking at the possibility of adding extensions or loft conversions to their home to create offices or more comfortable living spaces. This has provided some support for businesses in a difficult time. During the lockdown, many along the supply chain benefitted from the demand for home improvements, including DIY and hardware stores, furniture makers and electrical appliance companies. The current trend for building extensions, conversions, garden rooms or conservatories also supports tradespeople like carpenters, bricklayers and decorators.