Multi-Purpose Living Spaces: An Evolving Trend The past year has shown a substantial shift in demand for suburban residences and an uptick in home renovation projects, resulting in homeowners reevaluating their home spaces in 2021. Through a virtual panel discussion organized by New England Home Connecticut Magazine, home design and real estate professionals were brought together to discuss the effects the pandemic has had on the industry along with the innovative trends for the future of home design. In this blog, we’ll hear from the following contributors and discuss how multi-purpose living spaces are becoming an evolving trend. Moderator Tyra Dellacroce | Connecticut Stone Panelists Robin Kencel | The Robin Kencel Group Tara Vincenta | Artemis Landscape Architects Jeff Kaufman | JMKA architects Beth Krupa | Beth Krupa Interiors, President ASID CT Before Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit, many people had a daily schedule that looked something like this: get up, commute to work, spend eight hours in the office, come home, and go to bed. Today, however, more people are spending the majority of their days inside the home — and as a result, they’re beginning to see the need for a dedicated place to work, exercise, study, and entertain. Likewise, homeowners now need to make sure everybody in the family (children and aging parents included) has their own individual space for privacy and respite. As a result, we’re beginning to see more homeowners renovating and redesigning their existing homes and properties to suit these requirements. In a recent virtual panel on home design hosted by Tyra Dellacroce of Connecticut Stone, several industry professionals weighed in on this subject. When Can a Space Be Redesigned? With the right planning and help from professionals, nearly any indoor or outdoor space can be successfully redesigned to meet a family’s needs. However, it is helpful if a few key factors are already in place. This includes the overall proportions of the room or space, the natural light available, and the overall technology infrastructure. “If these three things are already working in your favor,” then Robin Kencel of The Robin Kencel Group explains that “a space can become just about anything you need it to be.” This is exactly the reason we see, for example, so many garage spaces being retrofitted to be used as home offices, yoga studios, gyms, and more. What About Outdoor Spaces? Since work, studying, and other activities are now taking place more frequently inside the home, the need for an outdoor respite has become increasingly obvious. Being able to step outside and take in the natural light or otherwise connect with nature can have drastic impacts on a person’s mood and productivity. So homeowners are now focusing more on getting the most of their outdoor spaces. “In the past, large outdoor gathering spaces (such as patios) may have been sufficient — but today,” Tara Vincenta of Artemis Landscape Architects explains that “more homeowners are looking to create multi-use spaces outdoors to get the most out of their properties.” For example, these spaces may serve as centers for socially distanced entertainment and areas for children to study or adults to enjoy a quick yoga exercise. Accommodating Every Family Member “Having dedicated space for every member of the home has also become more important than ever,” said Beth Krupa of Beth Krupa Interiors. This includes not only children and parents but aging grandparents who may be moving in. As a result, we see a greater need for adaptable space. Jeff Kaufman of JMKA Architects provides a specific example, discussing “how it is not uncommon to see dining rooms transformed into home offices by-day and entertainment hubs by evening time.” Meanwhile, interior designers mention that they’re more frequently using tools like portable partitions to separate larger spaces to serve multiple purposes. This is especially true as people who are “stuck at home” begin getting into new hobbies and need dedicated spaces to practice them. The Final Word on Adaptable Living Spaces Homes are no longer just places to eat and sleep in between chaotic workdays at the office. Today, homes have become the true center of our everyday lives — and because of this, homeowners can no longer ignore design shortcomings. The good news is that with the right “bones” and help from a professional designer, making just about any space work to suit a homeowner’s changing needs is possible. Through the use of creative planning, partitioning, and renovations, our homes can serve all our functional purposes not just during the Coronavirus pandemic but as we move back to a “normal” way of life. Regardless of what the future may hold, it’s fairly safe to say that our definitions of the word “home” has been changed forever. Thinking of updating an area of your home? Contact one of our natural stone professionals at Connecticut Stone to get started.