2020 has changed how we live. The pandemic has many people spending more time at home, requiring flexibility in our home space. What we once traveled to - corporate offices, public gyms, and schools - we are now staying in for. Finding space to work, study, and exercise at home is the new norm, at least for the foreseeable future.
How will these new demands we're putting on our homes shape new home construction and renovation projects? The answer is, vastly.
Building a custom home with Simonini, or taking on a renovation project, allows you to have these spaces that serve many aspects of your life. Let’s explore the ways you can adapt plans for new construction or renovation project to get the most out of your home.
Planning a Home Office for Work and Schooling
Pre-pandemic, some may have worked at home occasionally, and the space in which they worked was more fluid. A laptop at the kitchen island or sorting files in the formal dining room were temporary accommodations. Now with many needing to keep a 5-day, work-at-home schedule, having a dedicated space to set up a home office is a new requirement. For school-aged children, the area where they may have completed their homework now needs to become all-day virtual classrooms.
While you may have space to create a custom area for a home office, you may also need to decide to take over an existing room, such as a guest bedroom or sitting room. No matter where you construct your space, one’s environment affects productivity, so creating a pleasing and efficient work-from-home setup is key. Consider these elements, regardless of the age of the inhabitant:
- Natural light and air
- Ergonomic seating and flexible work surfaces for standing or sitting
- Access to office equipment like printers, and streamlined cord management
- Proper lighting and audio for video calls
- Ability to block out sound from others
When creating your custom work-from-home space, consider architectural elements that will also keep you organized, such as built-in bookshelves, custom cabinetry with closed storage, and file drawers.
A benefit of creating a custom home office is imparting your style to your space. While previously you may have been in a sterile office environment, the home office you create can be a reflection of your style. Choosing colors, furnishings, and art that makes you happy can also increase your productivity.
Creating a Custom, At-Home Gym
With gyms having limited hours or closed altogether in some areas, working out at home is gaining appeal. When you have a home gym, exercising regularly becomes even more convenient. Home gyms allow you to work out whenever you want while reducing your risk of getting sick. If you’re thinking of adding a gym to your current home or your new custom home, keep the following in mind.
Adding an at-home gym to your house might mean that you’ll need to give up some of your current living space. If you’re building a custom home, deciding to include a gym may require some changes to your layout. Having a gym in your new custom home gives you a chance to add the elements you want or need for an ideal workout. You have control over the layout of your home gym, its size, and the features and amenities it includes when you’re planning from scratch. This gives you a wider range of options to consider in terms of how many different workout areas or zones you want your gym space to have, and where you want your gym to be located inside your home.
What kinds of equipment and amenities should you include in your home gym? While there are many possibilities to consider, there are some essentials you should plan to have. Your gym should have adequate lighting, proper flooring for safe workouts, and ceiling fans, and air conditioning to alleviate overheating while exercising. You may also want to include mirrors and bars for certain activities, such as barre workouts. AV equipment can be useful if you plan to listen to music or watch a show.
You may include traditional gym equipment, such as treadmills or exercise bikes if you want to focus on cardio workouts. If you plan to do strength training, you should include a weight bench. Keep in mind that your gym should have different zones for various exercises, such as a zone for weightlifting and a zone for cardio activities. Other ideas include a yoga area with mats or interactive fitness equipment, such as Mirror workout systems.
Renovating to Create Dedicated Spaces
When you’re renovating an existing home to add a dedicated space, you might only have a few practical options to choose from for location, layout, and size. Your renovations might take any of the following approaches:
- Adding an office or gym to part of your current living space: You’ll need to consider space constraints with this approach. It may require repurposing a spare room or guest bedroom, adding doors, cabinetry, and finishes.
- Building a home or gym in an unfinished attic or basement: This approach involves making changes to these areas to create a comfortable and practical space. For example, you might need to ensure that this area has heating and cooling, as well as wiring for lighting and outlets.
- Building an addition to your home: If you’re planning to expand your living space or add a primary suite, consider including an office or gym as part of it.
Even when we are told “all is clear” and we can return to public spaces, our new habits may be here to stay. The benefits of doing so much in our homes may become conveniences we can’t give up.
Creating multi-functional, dedicated spaces involves expertise, so that you end up with a home that meets your needs. At Simonini Homes, our team of experts will work with you to design the ideal functionality for your current home or new custom home. Please contact us to learn more about our custom home and renovation services.