How COVID-19 will change our homes
Anti-microbial surfaces, designer home offices and doors you open with your feet – here’s how the coronavirus could reshape our living spaces.
This pandemic has a knack for shaking up pretty much every aspect of our lives and the home is no exception. Like no other time in living memory, Victorians are looking around their homes and thinking: is this the best it could be? From noticing how sound seeps from room to room, to poring over eye-watering bills from our hammered utilities, the enforced time in lockdown has made us hyper-aware of our domestic spaces and how well they function.
Could the pandemic be the end of open-plan living?
The clean lines and easily wipeable moulded fibreglass furniture of Modernism owe as much to the fear of tuberculosis than any utopian design philosophy.
It’s likely this health crisis will bring long-lasting changes to the way homes are designed because it has happened before. When Louis Pasteur discovered the link between bacteria and infectious diseases in 1861 it led to the demise of canopied beds and other germ-harbouring ornamentation.
The clean lines and easily wipeable moulded fibreglass furniture of Modernism owe as much to the fear of tuberculosis than any utopian design philosophy. And it turns out the powder room, that little extra bathroom off the entrance hall in many contemporary homes, is the evolutionary lovechild of the entranceway vanity room, a handwashing station located just inside the front door which became commonplace during the Spanish flu.
So what changes are we likely to see this time around?
Hugh Mackay. Photo: Pan MacMillan