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Designing a home of the future by going back to the past

A home of the future

Designing a home of the future by going back to the past

During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, people started to wear face masks, mass gatherings were banned, schools closed, and public transport was limited. Sound familiar?

The Spanish flu pandemic is often quoted as creating the original vanity room in private houses.
A vanity room was a separate space containing a handwashing basin immediately inside the front entry to promote hygiene and lessen the virus’s spread.

As history serves as an example, our housing design needs to adapt to our evolving COVID world, and predictions are already circulating.

Nathan Bahadursingh predicts “entryways will become clearly defined transitional spaces where one can remove their shoes, hang their jackets and sanitize their hands before entering”, which seems like a natural evolution of the original vanity room.

An overwhelming opinion is that the home office will no longer be the converted spare bedroom but will become the most used space in the home. It will have the best view and incorporate nature to inspire a peaceful and productive environment. Better insulation will create a quieter area, and isolated air conditioning and heating systems will prevent the spread of viruses, as will air purification systems.
Many architects predict the home office also needs to be multi-functional and serve as our new home gym.
A more extreme suggestion is that doors will be equipped with facial recognition and voice-controlled technology to reduce knobs and manual control usage.

Other predictions include households having a dedicated urban farm and personal outdoor spaces. The death of open concept floor plans and ‘flex space’ will become the norm.

Kitchens will become more critical, and future surfaces will be easy to clean and ultra-hygienic.
Separating bathroom fixtures into individual spaces is a concept growing in popularity.

So if you are considering building your dream home in the near future, perhaps looking back into history is an excellent place to find inspiration.