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August 2020

From makeshift home workspaces and increased kitchen use, the stay-at-home lifestyle has had a profound impact on the way we view our homes. Never mind how we got here or whether or not this shift was planned—the fact is that this is likely to influence the way people shop for new homes in the coming months, or even years. As a result, designers and builders will need to take the stay-at-home lifestyle into consideration as we move into this new era, as well as determine the trends most likely to have staying power.

Here are few of the preferences we, and our friends at Whirlpool, believe future buyers will want when choosing their next home.

Unsurprisingly, more room topped the list of a recent survey where consumers were urged to provide their must-haves in considering a new home. Your home starts to look mighty small after stay-at-home orders are in place, after all, especially for everyone who had to convert space into home offices, gyms, and study areas. Most of us don’t have a ton of space at our disposal, especially if we’ve been in our homes for more than a year. We tend to gather new things, hoard others, and suddenly all that space we thought we had has gone the way of the dodo.

According to a Zillow survey, the newfound working landscape was one people were not averse to. Approximately 75% of those who were already working from home indicated they would prefer to continue doing so at least half the time once the pandemic is no longer a large concern. Nearly a third of respondents wanted a home with a dedicated workspace, while 30% wanted a larger home altogether. The same number wanted an increase in rooms. All-in-all, the next big thing will be all about space.

Some of that additional space we talked about? Yeah, a lot of homeowners want it specifically in the kitchen. Even more specifically in the form of a center island—one to serve as the focal point, equipped fully with a breakfast bar, storage, and enough space so the family can enjoy finger foods and appetizers.

If you’re on social media, you might have noticed the increase trend in homemade bread since the pandemic broke. People are spending more time in their kitchens, perhaps time they previously didn’t have, and are now learning their strengths and limitations, or perhaps discovering new passions they previously hadn’t considered. No matter how you look at it, the increase time spent in the kitchen has led to an increased desire in kitchen space.

The pandemic has more people spending time at home and unable or disinclined to venture out for nonessential purposes. But when cabin fever sets in, quality outdoor space can help provide the fresh air so sorely needed while watching out for your health. So there’s the right-now practicality of outdoor space, but think about all the uses post-pandemic. From raucous neighborhood barbecues to kids’ swim parties to a quiet place to drink your morning coffee and catch up on the news, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Your outdoor space can be as subtle and modest or boisterous and extravagant as you want, all depending on your ideal usage. A simple patio or deck might be all it takes to make your house feel like home…or maybe you want a place where you can entertain family and guests, complete with an outdoor kitchen, pizza ovens, and, of course, the perfect grill.

If you live in a thriving metropolis, or are simply used to apartment living, you might be aware of how difficult it is to maintain social distance. Hallways, elevators, lobbies, and other common areas are rife with neighbors.

For anyone looking to make the move from the big city or an apartment complex or both, suburban areas can look mighty attractive, especially with fenced-in lawns and larger homes at less cost per square foot. However, even if you already live in a suburban area, your privacy standards might not be where you want them. In this case, homeowners are looking for homes with basements or dens—a place far from windows where you can be guaranteed a measure of privacy.

It’s really no surprise, with the world focused on health right now, that health-consciousness is expected to remain a major consideration for homebuyers. This might look like space for home gyms, but also a wider demand for mudrooms, where clothes and shoes can be removed before tracking who-knows-what into the house.

Since social distancing is still considered best practice as of the time of this writing, it’s hard to know which of these trends that got their start due to the pandemic will maintain, gain, or lose traction once life is a little more normal for everyone. However, we do feel confident in saying a few changes—the increased working-from-home accommodations, for instance—will be instrumental in forming home preferences and design for years to come. For guidance on which appliances would best fit your post-pandemic world, call or visit Metro Appliances & More.

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