Living in the time of COVID-19 means that our health must take precedence over everything else, and that includes making home design choices that will boost our physical health and well-being. We may not know it, but many of the design elements in our home can affect its indoor air quality, ergonomics, and other aspects of living that may not always be at the top of our list of considerations when making these choices. If you’re buying a new home or simply doing some upgrades in your current one, here are some area-to-area considerations you have to make in light of the current pandemic.
There’s a reason why huge windows and natural light are a huge draw in the real estate market; they’re a natural source for vitamin D, significantly decrease energy costs, and they can make any living room look good. If you’re re-modeling your home or choosing a new residential property, choose a property with living rooms that allow for natural light. You’ll need it more especially in the time of COVID-19 when we’re forced to spend the majority of our time at home.
At the same time, don’t shy away from a traditional floor plan. An open space plan was always created with the idea of entertaining a lot of guests, and that’s something that’s out of the cards for us for now. At the same time, a traditional floor plan can allow for more privacy and physical distancing, which will come in handy when a family member needs to self-isolate when they’re exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
The kind of materials you choose for your kitchen can greatly impact the residents’ health. For example, countertops with grouts are prone to accumulating oil, food particles, fatty substances, and other microorganisms when they fall in the gaps. They are also the ideal breeding ground for mold to grow, especially in humid rooms. For this reason, installing a stone countertop could be the better option, because flat and solid surfaces are much easier to clean and wipe. The shiny and seamless surface greatly reduces the risk of mold growth and is much easier to maintain, providing a level of convenience that traditional tiles never could.
Working from home does not necessarily translate to better rest and sleep. While it’s true that those who work remotely may have more time because the commute has been taken out of the equation, more people still report experiencing burnout symptoms like extreme exhaustion, feeling jaded about their current job, and decreased confidence in their professional ability. The reasons for this are varied, but it’s mostly because the work-from-home setup often blurs the lines between our professional and personal lives, making it hard for us to set boundaries and say no when we need to rest.
To combat this, make sure to choose colors for your room that lean neutral and warm. This is because your bedroom needs to feel like a retreat and an escape from the rest of your home, where you have to work, do chores, attend to your familial duties, and work on your professional responsibilities. Your bedroom should feel like an oasis from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life—and opting for overly bright colors and primary hues like red and yellow can help interrupt what should be a calming environment that promotes a healthy sleep schedule. Choose colors in nudes, blush, and warm tones, shades that give you a calm and relaxing feeling. The same goes for lighting—don’t go for a harsh, bright, and white light that can interrupt your sleep cycle. Opt for warm and relaxing hues, and lighting fixtures that can be controlled by a dimmer.
The bathroom is the place in our home that generates the most amount of moisture each day, which is why it’s also the place where mold and mildew can grow. The bathroom surfaces and ceiling and in-wall cavities need to be properly vented to avoid this because if not, mold and mildew can cause significant problems for our respiratory system, and the replacement of materials can be costly.
Another problem is the off-gassing from building materials, which can cause a toxic build-up of compounds in our bathroom’s indoor air quality. What will solve both problems is sufficient ventilation and choosing construction materials that will not negatively impact our home’s indoor air quality in the air in the first place.
Invest in Your Home and Health
Throughout history, architecture and interior design have always adjusted to facilitate the prevention of diseases and to stop pandemics. So don’t hesitate to make the necessary changes in your home to keep yourself and your family healthy as you wait out this pandemic.