Pandemic Interior Design Impact: How Far Have We Come?

A few months ago, we surveyed over 1000 Americans, asking questions regarding how the pandemic has affected their work lives. The questions included topics such as home office space and how employers should treat those working at home. 

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The survey got enough attention that we thought we’d go over a few things regarding the pandemic and how it has affected home life. In particular, how it has affected interior design and how this has impacted our lives.

The Pandemic’s Affect On Homeowners

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Let’s begin with the effect that the pandemic has had on housing in general. At the beginning of 2021, we saw a 50% increase in Zillow traffic to listings in vacation destinations with the number compared to 2020. 

The reason for this is likely because people are looking for vacation homes to get away from the pressure of the pandemic. It makes a lot of sense because we all needed to vacation in 2021, but vacationing isn’t the same as it was in 2019. 

Another interesting fact is that people paid $966 per one thousand board feet of lumber in February 2021, which is a record high. So lumber prices have shot up with so many people looking for new properties. 

Speaking of, the price of a home in the United States went up at least 13% in 2021 due to the demand of the market.  People are looking for more affordable and more rural housing options during the pandemic. 

How Has The Pandemic Changed Interior Design? 

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Now that we’ve gotten general housing statistics out of the way, let’s move on to interior design. The pandemic has severely changed the way that interior designers work and the requests that they have been given.

You probably have at least a few of these in mind when you imagine how your life as changed and the pandemic’s impact on interior design in your home. But just in case, let’s see if they match up with your concerns. 

The Home With Every Purpose

First up, let’s talk about the home with every purpose. This generalizes the rest of our list because it blankets most changes, which all involve ensuring that you can stay at home as peacefully and as long as possible.

On average, people spend much more time at home now than they did before the pandemic. This is wonderful news as more people are trying to change their lives temporarily to help those unable to handle the toll COVID takes on their bodies. 

Home Without Visitors In Mind

Before the pandemic, people received visitors much more often than they do now. So things were designed with these visitors in mind. But now? People get fewer visitors so they are focusing more on their families. 

Instead of focusing on guest rooms, half-bathrooms, and mudrooms, the focus is on the family room, game rooms, and everyone has their own space. This can be a pleasant change for those used to caring for others’ needs first. 

Everyone In The Family

Again, this blankets a lot of other ways that the pandemic has changed the interior design. When everyone is spending more time at home, everyone needs to be accounted for in terms of comfort and entertainment. 

Parents are at home, working in their office. Kids are at home, doing school from their rooms. Perhaps even in-laws have moved in to prevent the spread and the need to visit back and forth. So everyone needs to be considered. 

Office Space Is A Must

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It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have, chances are, there are people finding ways to work from home. These people, perhaps you or a family member, need someplace to work at home in peace.

Home offices have become the norm so much so that realtors are now listing them in their house listings instead of listing the extra rooms as guest rooms. You can see how this correlates with the previous changes.

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Ensuring You Have Zoom Room

Almost everyone in America has had at least one Zoom call in 2021. This could be to talk to family, for work, for school, or something else entirely. But the truth is that almost everyone has the Zoom app. 

When it comes to video calls, it can be quite embarrassing to have a messy background. That’s why designers have created dedicated Zoom spaces with aesthetically pleasing yet non-distracting backgrounds. 

Stress-Free Zones

As wonderful as family and home-life can be, it’s important that everyone has a place they can be alone to relax. This can be the same place for everyone or a unique place for each person to get away for a while.

Man caves and she-sheds are wonderful options. But you can really transform any room into a place that anyone can relax. Add some comfortable beds, a TV, a gaming system, and perhaps some great candles and lighting. 

The Quarantine Room

This is sadly important. Every home needs a room for people to be able to quarantine if one person is exposed but no one else is. As hard as it is, you can make it easier by creating a comfortable space for this person. 

Do this by adding a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a bed, and any amenities that you can think of. This type of room is much more common than you might think and is almost necessary in times like these. 

Selling A Home During The Pandemic

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Selling a house during the pandemic sounds easy due to the demand for houses at the time and the spike in prices. But it can still be a hassle, just as it always is when you are selling a house. Here are a few tips.

Advertise The Above Notes

Take a look at the notes we mentioned above again, write them down if you need to. The important part is to list the things that people are currently looking for in a house and trying to meet those needs. 

Even if you don’t initially have these things, they are all easy to take care of. Stage your house as if you do have an office space, a quarantine space, and plenty of places to relax. Advertise your house to sell your house.

Distance When Showing Houses

If you are present when showing your home, ask the prospects to wear masks, even offering them masks if they don’t have any. If they refuse, then have the realtor show the house if you don’t feel comfortable entering with them.

There is nothing wrong with this and it is always okay to refuse to show it to them alone if you aren’t all wearing masks. In any case, it is better if the realtor is present when the house is being shown.

Zoom Call With Your Realtor

If you need to speak to your realtor or if the realtor needs to see the house, it’s perfectly okay to let them view the house via Zoom. Most realtors are experienced enough to survey the house via a good Zoom call.

Make sure you take classes on how to take a good video with Zoom so you can show them properly. If they need to visit, feel free to tag along and show them or go to the park while they view your house.

Check The Latest Market Prices

Although your realtor will help you out with this, the market is changing so fast that it can be difficult to keep up with. Take a look at how prices are looking in your area, taking special care to look at your specifications.

Take a look at square footage, distance from town, area of town, and how new the house is. Things like hardwood floors and granite countertops also add to the value of a home so don’t count them out.

Finding A Home During The Pandemic

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Finding a home during the pandemic seems impossible. But it can be done. People are constantly on Zillow these days but half of them are just browsing and dreaming. Your opportunity will arise soon enough. 

Broaden Your Horizons

Before you get stuck in one small neighborhood, try to change the area you are looking at to make it larger. On Zillow, you will simply make the circle larger and you will be able to find different houses.

Because simply changing the neighborhood can change the price of the home. This works out perfectly because you may not even know that you didn’t care as much about the neighborhood as you first thought. 

Go Small And Add On Later

It’s a good idea to move into something smaller than you wanted to in the first place and add on later once lumber prices have dropped. This can save you so much money over time that it’s a great steal.

This is especially true if you don’t quite need the space yet. For example, if you are pregnant but don’t need toe bedroom space quite yet then you can buy smaller and add on when it’s time to build the nursery. 

Check Your Loan Offers

Always keep an eye out for loan offers and have someone you trust go over them with you. It can be difficult to get a loan at times but in the end, almost anyone can get one, they just might have to pay a little more interest.

So even before you want to buy a house, you can keep an eye on loan companies that have been at you to get a loan from them. They are more likely to give you an offer again if they already have in the past.

Consider Building

If buying is too expensive and you have the time to build, then slowly do so by building your own house. Property prices are not exceedingly high, it is simply the houses that are skyrocketing right now.

Although plots are higher than usual, you can afford one easier than you can afford a house. So take your time and build slowly to finally have that dream home. Calculate your costs now with our cost of building a home guide