How COVID-19 May Shape What We Want from Our Homes

The courtyard entry to a Santa Fe home for sale

The coronavirus epidemic has touched every part of the country in the space of just four months, dominating the news and impacting our everyday lives in unprecedented ways. As we continue to serve our clients while following all safety protocols, we’ve been reading reports about how COVID-19 may shape what buyers may want from their homes.


Infectious diseases have permanently changed the way we live, even after the availability of vaccines to prevent them. Case in point: The 1918 flu epidemic brought us the powder room. University of Cincinnati professor Kelly Wright, who teaches American history, told Bloomberg’s CityLab that the addition of a half bathroom on the ground floor of a home gave delivery people or visitors a place to wash their hands without spreading germs to personal quarters upstairs.


What design features might COVID-19 bring to our homes? What might buyers look for now and in the future? Here’s a roundup of what home designers and architects across the country are predicting.


More Ways to Keep Germs at Bay

According to the Mercury News in San Jose, California, post-COVID home design will include features that focus on better hygiene and distancing, such as hands-free plumbing fixtures and motion-activated doors. Touch-free faucets were also predicted in this report from the Boston Globe.


Air Filtration Systems

The Boston Globe and Architizer both predict a focus on indoor air quality. According to a study cited by the Globe, 66 percent of homebuyers would spend another $1,000 on their home purchase if it included a whole-house air filtration system.


Dedicated Spaces for Home Offices, Studios, and Remote Learning

Homes with spaces for working from home, working out, and school work were mentioned by the Globe, the Mercury News, and Architizer. All three sources spoke to the need for more than just the dining room table to accommodate remote working and learning away from household noise.


A kitchen in an art studio for sale in Santa Fe

Dedicated Entryways

When the experts at Houzz reached out to architects about COVID-19 impacts on home design, one topic that came up was entryways where people can remove shoes as soon as they step inside. A space that serves as a transition from outdoors to inside was cited by several sources we consulted. The Globe, for example, called these spaces “drop zones” and Architizer predicted such spaces might have sanitation stations where people can disinfect their hands before entering.


Improved Outdoor Spaces

The home designers consulted by the Mercury News said roomier outdoor spaces will become more important. Architizer went a bit further by emphasizing a greater need for private outdoor space.


A back portal with patio furniture in a Santa Fe home for sale


More Rooms and Doors

Now that more people are working or learning from home, more rooms with doors are expected to gain popularity. At Barker, we’re seeing a demand for more bedrooms to accommodate more of what people need to do at home.


A theater room with a flatscreen television in a home in Santa Fe


Want to delve deeper into our sources?

From the Mercury News: Homes could have different features post-COVID-19

From Boston Globe Real Estate: The 1918 flu pandemic brought us the powder room. What will COVID-19’s design legacy be?

From Bloomberg CityLab: How Infectious Disease Defined the American Bathroom

From Architizer: 6 Ways COVID-19 Will Change Home Design

From Houzz: How Will the Coronavirus Change Our Homes?