How the Pandemic Changed New Home Design

New Homes in Raleigh -The Apex - Georgian

It’s no mystery why the housing market came completely unhinged during the pandemic and why the pandemic changed new home features and design. When businesses and schools shuttered physical locations and we were all forced to live 100% of our daily lives at home, many of us quickly figured out that our existing layouts didn’t quite work. We managed, though. We managed to work from home AND go to school virtually all in the same space — sometimes at the same kitchen table. We managed to do our online yoga sessions right next to our kids playing video games. And we sometimes managed (but not all the time) to keep our composure when everyone needed everything from us at the same time, but really we just needed a quiet place to go and be for a while. 

We managed, but it wasn’t ideal. We all wished for different space inside our homes so that we could all live comfortably and harmoniously together. The reality is, many aspects of our lives that shifted during the pandemic are here to stay, and we now have the opportunity to design and build homes that have all the new home features that we quickly figured out we HAD to have.

At New Home Inc., we watched and listened, then we took action. We’ve designed a series of  new floor plans that address how people need to live in their homes today, and how we’ll live even when the pandemic is long behind us. Below are just a few of the life-changing features we’re incorporating into our new homes throughout the Raleigh area, in places like Apex, Fuquay-Varina, and Selma

New Home Design: Flex Space

Even when a home didn’t have a dedicated flex space, during the pandemic, all the space suddenly became flexible. Kitchen tables turned into classrooms, then they had to be cleared in time for dinner. Corners of living rooms became offices, with a constant flow of traffic behind them. Bedrooms became Zoom rooms, with literally no separation between sleep and wakefulness.

The solution is to build into homes a quiet, private, flexible space that is nothing — until you need it to be something. Then, it can become whatever you want. And because it’s not built specifically for any one purpose, it can even serve multiple purposes at once. Put a divider down the middle and set up a child’s homework zone on either side, so they don’t distract one another. If you love a home gym, but you occasionally need to work from home, add a desk beneath the window; at least you’re not taking valuable space from the living areas. This flexibility is now key in these new home features.

Even as more companies adopt a remote-first approach to working, or only require employees to gather in person once or twice a week, flex space that can become office space without impacting the day-to-day lives of anyone else in the home is a game-changer.

New Home Features Like: Smart Home Delivery Center

Ecommerce in the U.S. grew by over 32% in 2020, and as of July 2021, there had already been a 17.9% increase, year-over-year, in online spending. Where do all those packages end up? Right on your front porch where they can stay for hours, until you or someone in your family can put them safely away. They are exposed to rain, sun, snow, and sleet, and even worse, porch pirates.  (Did you know that 53% of Amazon shoppers reported at least one package stolen?) Online shopping and home deliveries are here to stay, and a Smart Home Delivery Center takes the worry out of it. 

The heat and cooled Smart Home Delivery Center is a nook located inside the home near the entrance. It allows for contactless delivery, and is accessible only when a pre-authorized code is punched into the smart lock. When your delivery person arrives, they’ll enter the code you’ve given them, and the system will verify their information and unlock the door to the home delivery center. When the delivery person leaves, the door automatically locks, and your package is safe in an air-conditioned space (no more spoiled groceries). 

Best of all, the delivery center is not an entry point into the rest of the home, so there’s no worry that someone can peep in or try to enter your home through it.

Smart Door Delivery Center- The Apex
Smart Door Deliver Center – The Apex – Georgian Elevation

Messy Kitchen New Home Features

With so many more people spending so much more time at home, or even with the multi-generational living trend taking off, the heart of the home — the kitchen — experiences some pretty heartbreaking bottlenecks. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some other area where you could put snacks and a fridge to get people OUT of the kitchen, so you get more done in it? The answer is a messy kitchen

This flexible nook adjacent to the kitchen can be outfitted any way you’d like to free up space in the main area. Make it a snack bar, small appliance central, drink station, large pots and pans storage area, or whatever it is you need to have a well-run and organized kitchen. 

More Useful Kitchen Island

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the island is the heartbeat. With homework to be done, bills to be paid, snacks to be eaten, meals to be prepared — all at the same time — the island is definitely what keeps the household alive and running. Since this is where people naturally gravitate to, why not make it even more practical? 

Larger islands with more seating and legroom have made their way into new American home design. 

Wi-Fi That Keeps Up with Demand

Multiple users on multiple devices in the same home was just a fact of life during the pandemic, and there’s no turning back. Homes not wired with proper internet capabilities today won’t be able to keep up with data demands tomorrow. With the announcement of the metaverse and other technologies that enable us to spend more time in virtual worlds, lightning-fast internet speeds will become a necessity in every household. 

At New Home Inc., we wire all our homes with CAT6 ethernet cable that delivers 1G of data per second, so you can:

  • Download a full HD movie in minutes
  • Update your smartphone’s OS in seconds
  • Join video conferences using ultra high-def video
  • Enjoy the full experience of online gaming and immersive media
  • Have multiple people using multiple devices with no data bottlenecks
  • Upload files to the cloud in minutes

When you have multiple people at home working, doing homework online, watching movies, gaming, or Facetiming, the internet connection in your home has to be able to keep up. 

The most desirable new homes post-pandemic won’t necessarily be the ones that have more space, they’ll be the ones that feature a smarter, more flexible use of space. Let us know you. Schedule an appointment now to see New Home Inc.’s smart, future-proof new homes throughout the Triangle. 

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