Look for food safe and easy-to-clean surfaces that reduce bacterial growth and consider upgrading your doors to better sound-proof certain areas of the home. Photo: solid core interior doors from Masonite.
After the toilet paper shortage, and the fact that so many people have traveled to places where bidets are commonplace, more buyers are asking for them. Less travel has meant that outdoor spaces have taken on greater significance with an emphasis on privacy. More cooking at home means more interest in commercial style ranges and combo ovens.
Things that are high on the home improvement wish list for most homeowners are:
A Better Lighting Plan
First and foremost, your home design should capture daylight to supplement electric light. But does your home still hold the same beauty and functionality when there is no natural light? Ask your remodeler or electrician about virtual tools that can help eliminate guesswork by letting you see what your space will look like with various lighting, electrical, and home technology packages.
Make sure your lighting plan is adaptable. Progress Lighting, a manufacturer of lighting fixtures, says it is important to consider that seniors need about 75% more light than the average 25-year-old. As our eyes age, it is easier to perceive cooler, brighter colors than warmer ones because our eyes cannot absorb as much light. LEDs are available in specific color temperatures with warmer ranges indicated by a 2700K – 3000K bulb and 4000K and higher for cooler colors. LED lights and new LED technology is now available that offers color-changing abilities within the bulb itself, so color temperatures can be precisely controlled to a color that works best for the individual and the space.
Making The Home Work-Ready
Rethink your use of flexible space to create zones for working from home. For example, parents who prefer the school work zones close to the kitchen may wish to turn a formal dining room into an office. Do you have an attic space under the roofline that allows for future expansion? Now is the time to upgrade your WiFi service and add sound dampening materials for specifically designated work areas.
Additional Storage and Catch-All Spaces
In a space where work and play are one, it is important to have a plan for reducing clutter. Is it time to upgrade your cabinets for the latest with designated cubbies and organizers inside the drawers? Can you reconfigure your utility area so that it can include locker area near the family’s primary entrance point?
A Safer, Germ-Free Environment
Non-porous quartz is a good choice for food safe and easy-to-clean surfaces that reduce bacterial growth. Hands-free faucets that turn on with a wave are now widely available as are luxury vinyl tiles that can offer the look of traditional hardwood while providing an antimicrobial surface that can safely be cleaned with bleach and disinfectant.
Advanced residential HVAC equipment, including the Napoleon® gas furnaces with Phillips UV-C technology, implements similar technology to that used in hospitals to kill all viruses and pathogens quickly and prevent them from re-circulating and being transferred between rooms. Existing ductwork can safely be fogged to kill mold and fungus spores, bacteria, viruses, and odors. Commonly used in hospitals to clean equipment and tools, Envirocon is chlorine dioxide that is safe for humans to breathe and leaves surfaces clean with virtually no residue. It is EPA approved to be sprayed in air duct systems with occupants present.
The Bottom Line: While we pray that the pandemic will soon be past us, the design and architectural community predicts that many of the high-demand priorities that have changed due to Covid-19 will be lasting.