How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We View Our Homes

A Return to Past Sentiments

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Kresge Mansion, Detroit, MI

I, for one, am happy to look at the bright side of things. And as far as the way the pandemic has changed the way we view our homes, I couldn’t be happier.


I’ve long been a proponent of making your home your center. Physically as well as spiritually.


I think the home should be the place that the rest of your life revolves around. It should be the place where you figuratively gather and collect yourself, and where you physically gather with your friends and loved ones- just like it used to be.


"I think the home should be the place that the rest of your life revolves around."

How Homes Were Viewed in the Past

Near Rochester Hills Interior Designer
The sun porch at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester Hills, MI

Over the last century homes have become simpler than their historic counterparts. As populations and suburbs grew so did the need for quick builds, easy to maintain spaces, and cheap materials. But a forced return to long hours at home has allowed us to reconnect to our spaces in a more meaningful way.


The pandemic has caused us to view our homes differently, but it’s really just a return to the past. For most of history the family home was meant to be a place to live, not just live in.


Rooms were separate and had separate functions. A breakfast room to have breakfast, a morning room in which to spend the morning hours, a study to shut the door and get work done, a dining room to have the evening family meal. Different rooms for different uses.


A New Old-View of the Home


2020 has created an appreciation (or a craving) for separate spaces and larger homes. The need to spread out, to shut a door, to have a new view, have become crucial to our peace of mind.


Never a fan of the open-concept trend, I’m glad to see more people leaning toward a segregated floor plan. There’s just something cozier and more appealing about defined spaces. Perhaps it’s my nostalgia for the past and love for old homes that has fostered that idea, but I think new homebuyers will be looking for the same aspects in the years to come (and thus a boom in the purchase of older or custom homes).


Our Homes as a Creative Outlet

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Home Office/Library by RBHomeDesign

The ability to move from room to room isn’t just a practical benefit, it’s better for our mental health, too. A change of scenery lets our minds be more creative. It prevents the stress and stagnation of seeing the same walls all day everyday.


For many people, working from home even with (or especially with) an open-concept floor plan has felt as bad as working in a cubicle.


As humans we need variety in our lives and for years we’ve sought it outside our homes or through television. Being home has finally made us look within our homes and within ourselves for inspiration. Renovation projects and DIY have skyrocketed during the pandemic as we all try to make our home the center of our lives again.


Entertaining at Home in a Post-Pandemic America


Entertaining at home had gone by the wayside for the most of the last fifty years or so, but is now making a comeback. With entertainment venues and restaurants closed or limited in capacity, getting together at home is de-rigueur again.


Going out in large groups is going to take time to make a comeback but in the meantime we’re relearning to entertain at home. A trend I hope stays with us for a long time.


I like eating in restaurants, I like the social camaraderie and shared experience of musical performances or theatre, but I also like the idea of bringing more of these things back into the home.


"I like the social camaraderie and shared experience of musical performances or theatre, but I also like the idea of bringing more of these things back into the home."

A return to dinner parties sounds wonderful, but so do other home entertainments such as private artistic performances.


There are plenty of artists who would love the chance to perform for an intimate audience. Musicians, singers, painters, and other artists are finding ways to perform online but nothing beats the sound of real applause and the true intimate appreciation for their art.

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A piano waits for its artist during a garden party

A home with space for entertaining is ideal for these sorts of private gatherings. We can still safely experience culture and arts during the pandemic. If you’re not comfortable with indoor gatherings yet, having a lovely yard or garden space for private performances would be a real boon.


The Old Home Becomes New Again


I love old homes. I love their attention to detail, their nostalgia, their history. I love the defined spaces and yes, doors between rooms. These are the characteristics I think homeowners and new homebuyers are going to be looking for in years to come. This one year at home may have changed how an entire generation views what a home’s function is and I think that’s for the best.



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