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Virus could tweak home designs

May 25, 2020

With about five million Canadians working from home during the pandemic, many also with children forced to stay away from school, a trend towards more flexible home designs is expected.
It will show up first in home renovations, experts say, but will eventually extend into new home designs, especially in the condo sector, if pandemic restrictions persist.
Judging from blogs, interviews and comments from designers across Canada, Home BUILDER presents some possible design changes should COVID-19 lockdowns continue for much longer:

  1. Sliding doors to separate living areas. This concept, floated by condo builder Reliance Properties of Vancouver, would allow a living room—or even a bedroom—to be divided during the day to create separate workspaces.
  2. Powder rooms near the front entrance. Lloyd Alter , a design professor at Ryerson University's School of Interior Design told CBC, "I think you're going to see almost a universal trend to having a sort of in-between space when you come in, where you can wash." 
  3. Cleanable surfaces. A number of designers say that more stainless steel in the kitchen, hard-surface counters, and tile floors rather than hardwood or carpeting will be seen.
  4. Larger balconies. The need for outdoor space became apparent during the pandemic and condo builders say that, if local building regulations allow, balconies larger than the typical 8 per cent of floor space ratio may become common.

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