We have all spent a huge amount of time in our homes in the last year. It’s clear some home working is likely to remain as we return to a ‘new normal’ and separating our spaces and structuring our spaces has, therefore, never been more important.
Northstowe developer, House by Urban Splash’s Interior Designer, Rachel Thomas, reflects on insights from research carried out with its Japanese housebuilder partner, Sekisui House, and shares her top tips on increasing happiness and productivity in our homes by bringing Japanese influence:
“The last year has put the spotlight on the layout and design of our homes – we need our homes to be multifaceted, interchangeable, but relaxing and comforting spaces. Here are some tips derived from our research on how to improve your home/work/space situation as we return a the new normal”
Try distinguishing your workspace from the living area in any small way you can; use bookshelves or a screen to create partitions and a separate environment that makes it easy to focus even if other family members are in the same room.
This means if you are using the dining table for work, you can put your laptop and notepads in the box at lunchtime and dinner time, and you’ll be able to switch smoothly from work to your break, to the end of your day and back again. This habit creates some separation between work time and the rest of your day and should be great for de-stressing and family life.
Reduce the frustration of online meetings by creating a “family timetable”; ask family members to respect this and be quiet during certain times of the day, like returning from school – thus reducing everyone’s stress.
House plants greatly enhance the quality of the air in homes and even aid sleep, so there may be some strong evolutionary reasons why we find them so relaxing to be around. The team recommends using some greenery to bring the outdoors inside and utilising the feeling of wellbeing from just looking at plants and greenery.
“We are certainly looking to reflect the changes in the way we have used our homes in 2020/2021 in our Northstowe Town House show homes; one showcasing ‘loft living’ where your kitchen and main living area is on the top floor and ‘garden living’ the more traditional with living space and kitchen on the ground floor.”