Homeowners adapting creatively to the demands of working from home

Have any shelves, nooks, or unused closets lying around? Designers are looking for new ways to get the most out of tight interior spaces. With many people still forced to work, learn, and socialize from home, there is a strongly felt need to maximize the use of those spaces we do still have access to—namely, our homes.

There is currently a quest among to designers to build spaces that are high in utility, but without feeling cramped or unwieldy. Some are taking inspiration from tiny homes. According to the Wall Street Journal, California designer, Vina Lustado, drew on her own tiny home to create prefabricated, modular workspaces. These can be installed in people’s yards and used as home workspaces. Companies such as Lustado’s firm, Sol Haus Design, are seeing a huge increase in business currently.

For those who do not have a yard in which to house such an office (or the $120,000 plus budget to afford them), there are subtler ways of adapting your home or apartment. Use of mirrors, lighter shades, and transparent surfaces can make interiors feel a lot more open and full of light. Some designers are also converting unused closets or empty nooks—the space underneath a staircase maybe—to small workspaces or more efficient storage spaces.

Homeowners and buyers are thinking about home differently. Some real estate agents are starting to pitch what were once unwieldy guest bedrooms or nurseries as potential home offices. The meaning of “home” itself is changing, adapting to current events, something which may last far into the future.

The key takeaway is, like last week, homeowners are focusing more and more on the use of space. In a world where the next spike or shelter in place order feel right around the corner, it is critical that your home is versatile and adaptable. Converting that old closet into a miniature workspace or installing a prefab office into your yard could make a huge difference, if you’re still struggling to make the move to working from home. The much talked about “new normal” may or may not come to pass, but make sure you’re really using the space you have to its fullest potential.

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