No Place Like Home

Cocooning at home has revealed a sure sign of the times – the home improvement industry has exploded whether that consists of the “Do It Yourself” big box stores or specialty hardware stores, to home improvement contractors, to vendors delivering services to the comfort of your home.   Due to several months of required or voluntary confinement, our homes have provided peace of mind insulation from rising levels of uncertainty and anxiety.   Travel (whether within the U.S. or globally) for most, had either decreased significantly or stopped entirely which means those funds are being diverted into other areas.

Data researchers who track search engines have seen significant monthly upticks in searches for home improvement contractors in areas such as roofing replacement or window upgrades.  In addition, home owners are investing in desired renovation projects addressing home upgrades in the areas of office workspaces, classroom space for adults and children, entertainment/leisure spaces, security, and health/wellness.  Until the day a vaccine has been approved and produced, residences will continue to be transformed into family headquarters for all areas of work and play for every member (humans and animals) of the household.  

According to industry professionals in architecture, interior design, technology, and lifestyle management concierges, these are the emerging or growing trends with regards to homes:

Smart Home Devices

–         Lighting – Lights for lamps to control mood or timing house lights to deter burglars or motion sensored lights for night bathroom visits

–         Programmable Thermostats  

–         Locks – to open garage doors for deliveries or track your children’s arrivals with passcodes or fingerprint-enabled locks

–         Smart plugs – to eliminate the neverending amount of wires and batteries dispersed around a home; replaced by wireless chargers that plug into a socket to charge all devices using infrared beams  not just for mobile phones, but speakers, headphones, and voice control assistants such as Alexis or Siri.

–         Toasters with sensors to toast a bagel at the right temperature and preferred length of time. 

–         Home health products to improve air quality and water quality.  Bathtubs that autofill and autostop with recorded temperature settings.  Moen created a Smart hands-free faucet with settings to measure specific water levels for cooking.   

Healthy Homes

–         Homeowners have become more sensitive than ever within an environment which impacts their health of their family.  In turn, interior designers are educating their clients on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and incorporating practices and materials which include HVAC and other building materials, water filtration systems, double-glazed windows to lower noise pollution, and even siding. 

–         Interior paints that contain no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which contributes to the new paint smell, yet the chemicals let off gasses that are harmful to people and the environment.

–         Smart sensors and ventilation that monitor and communicate air conditions and enhance indoor air quality. Product designers have designed top of the line range hood on stoves to pull more contaminants from cooking. 

Home Security Systems

–         Video Analytics monitors your home security system’s video streams to determine whether to send an alert to you for an event considered important (an intruder) or not important (the mailman). 

–         AI motion sensors can also detect a human or a pet and and also determine normal activity or send threat alerts.   

–         Tech companies have added functions to alert for glass breaking as well as triggers a physical alarms.

–         Smart thermostats that not only control temperature levels in a home, but will shut down the HVAC system when smoke or carbon monoxide are detected. 

–         Outdoor cameras, video doorbells and smart locks allow homeowners a piece of mind in seeing and recording events happening on the outside of their home, garage or driveway.  The sharpness and quality of the video cameras can easily identify the facial features or other identifying marks that help law enforcement.   Most home security systems provide an app that allows monitoring from a cell phone – including setting alarms, and alerting law enforcement

Since everyone has become hyper vigilant when it comes to the health and safety of themselves and loved ones, it is not surprising as to see a shift in certain buying decisions and lifestyle changes.  In the last few months, sales of the popular European bidets have soared due to the frenzied buying and hoarding of toilet paper leaving store shelves bare.

Incorporating the right tools within our sanctuaries to aid in our personal growth of wellness and health in the areas of:

–         Mindfulness – taking care to live gratefully in the present and self-care of our mental health through meditation, therapy, etc.

–         Eating to Live – options may included building a sustainable gardens on your property or  hiring private or personal chefs for planning healthier meals as discussed in a previous blog.  

–         Sleep – Methods to re-configuring your bedroom for maximizing sleep

–         Body – Building a gym or yoga area;  incorporating digital work-outs or live meditation web group sessions

A silver lining that can be connected to this chaotic time is the growing conscious effort with regards to wellness and so many accessible tools and professionals to create a healthy home environment.   – AJ

Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter.

Thank you to the following sources for blog content:

Architectural Digest – 8 Way Covid 19 Will Impact the Future of interior Design

Christie’s Real Estate – Smart Home Trends 2020

Panasonic – Healthy Home Trends

Hat Tip to the following photographers:

–         Khiem tran – contemporary living room

–         Arek Socha – interior home with panoramic view

–         Stefano Ferrario – Bidet design

–         Bence Boros – Google Home

–         Roberto Nickson – Home Office

–         Muntzir Mehdi – Pool House

–         Shawn Ang – Copper Bath Tub

–         Callum Hill – Contemporary Kitchen


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