Months of pandemic-induced social isolation has led to a shift in the way Australians view their homes, and more and more people see their homes as 'lifestyle hubs' for a range of different activities.
“COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our daily lives,” says Julie-Anne Bosich, head of mortgages at ING. “Lockdown taught us to work, exercise, entertain, learn and be parents under one roof. He transformed our humble homes into essential multi-purpose lifestyle centers. "
How Australians spent time at home during the lockdown
According to the new homeownership report from ING, a quarter of those polled share Bosich's sentiment.
Most respondents say coronavirus restrictions have drastically changed the way they work – many spending at least six hours a day at home doing work-related tasks. But beyond work, there was also an increase in time spent exploring other hobbies, such as reading, art, or cooking (up to 20%); watching television (up 19%); and exercise and gardening (both up 13%).
Despite the gradual opening of offices, gyms, restaurants and other public spaces as restrictions ease, respondents still expect to spend an average of 5 , 9 more hours at home per week than they did before the lockdown. According to the report, Australians will spend more time at home exercising (29%); socialization (25%); dining room (22%); work (17%); start a hobby (17%); and e-learning (16%).
As more time is spent indoors, more than two-thirds or 68% of respondents say they need the extra space or change the space. space they already have at home to convert it into a comfortable living center. Redecorating is an option for 13% of respondents, 10% say they plan to renovate, and 9% want a permanent home office space.
How to create your home hub
Given current economic conditions, most people do not have a lot of resources to spend on expensive renovations. Interior design expert Jen Bishop understands this and shares simple ways on how to create 'a space to suit your needs' to enhance work, play and exercise at home without "ruin".
1. Think big, even small
In the ING report, Bishop explains the importance of maximizing the use of the space already available in the home to create a multifunctional hub for the home.
“Try to get out of the mentality that you need separate rooms for your different activities and think about multi-use,” she says. “For example, custom cabinetry, furniture and storage can make a huge difference in small homes, allowing you to get the most out of every square inch.”
2. Fluid connectivity
One of the things the lockdown has taught Australians is the value of staying connected. Bishop says there are ways to improve the strength of the Wi-Fi in the home, while also making the wireless router a perfect fit into a room's design. .
"For many Australians, the fast internet has been and will continue to be essential for working, socializing and providing entertainment at home," she says. “Keep Wi-Fi boxes in a central location (eg living room) for better connectivity throughout the house. You can easily store them on shelves using books, photos, and houseplants like ivy to hide them from view. "
3. The atmosphere is essential to receive
"Outdoor lighting (which can be solar powered) and patio heaters are great ways to turn your balcony or backyard into an all-round entertainment area. # 39; year, ”says Bishop. “Indoors or out, bar carts have never been more popular and [also make] a great decorative statement all week long, they are a great weekend cocktail station where friends come. "
4. It's easy to be green
Besides giving a new look to the home, studies show that a little greenery in the home can improve focus and productivity, reduce stress, and improve mood.
"Houseplants are all the rage and they make great decorations," Bishop says. "For first-timers you can't go wrong with hard-to-kill devil's ivy (pothos), and if you really want to look like you know what's in there, go for a Monstera – the plant of the season. ! Add an herb garden to the kitchen window sill, and you can't beat a plant in the bathroom (ferns love moisture) to give it a more spa feel to it. the end of a long day at work. "
5. How to Train
Bulky exercise equipment often disrupts the flow of the home, especially if there is no adequate storage. Bishop adds that a messy space can also affect a person's motivation to work out.
"Avoid making your living room look like a gym by having a nice storage area for your rolled up exercise mat, dumbbells, and resistance bands," she says. "It can be as simple as an ottoman with a lid or a large basket." If your gear is where you can see it, but without looking messy, you'll be more likely to stick to it! "
6. The Rise of the Home Office
The pandemic has caused many people to switch to remote work. However, Bishop understands that "not everyone has a spare bedroom to convert into an office", adding how important it is to "think outside the box" to create a home office space. auspicious.
“Do you have unused space in a hallway, on a landing or somewhere in your open plan kitchen / dining room that could accommodate an office and storage? Investing in fitted wardrobes and a desk nook that you can literally shut the door on at the end of the day is a great way to use up previously dead space, ”she says.
7. … and keep it all in the budget
According to Bishop, this is "the perfect time to embrace the cosmetic makeover", with many "naturally nervous about investing in expensive renovations" because it doesn't involve not heavy funding.
"Never underestimate the power of painting in general, whether it's chalk painting to recycle furniture, making a room look fresh white, or even painting. your fence, ”she said.