Creating Flexible Spaces
According to Usherwood, “flexi-spaces,” as she calls them, began in the workplace several years before the pandemic, and they finally made the leap to our homes when most people were forced to work from home daily. People began using their whole house as an office during the day, and transitioning it to serve other purposes at night or on the weekends.
“It gets really boring for people who are living and working in their homes to be in the same space all day,” says Usherwood. “I see more and more flexi-spaces happening throughout the home. They may call it the office or the library or the gym, but it’s a space that can transition in a heartbeat. It can be an office by day and easily transition to a place to hang out and have a glass of wine with friends in the evening.”
Carrozza says that the open-floor concept has continued to remain a big trend, especially among younger buyers who want to keep an eye on their kids in another room.
“With young children, visibility is key,” she says. “So parents are making spaces where they can work during the day and entertain in that same area in the evening.”
“This is how people are living these days,” Usherwood adds. “We’re still sleeping in the bedroom, but we’re doing everything else everywhere else. The eating, the working, the reclining, the watching television – that’s all moving around.”
Meet the Three-Season Room
Because we’re moving around our homes so much, we need more space. Whether it’s a porch or patio, homeowners are turning their least-used space into a room they can enjoy at least three seasons of the year.
“This is not your grandma’s screened-in porch,” says Usherwood. “These rooms are designed to feel like you’re outside, featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace or radiant floor heating and comfortable seating. Some have small refrigerators or a little wet bar. They’re intimate living spaces where you can enjoy your morning coffee, sip a glass of wine or even work.”
Usherwood says three-season rooms are just beginning to pop up around here, and she predicts that we’ll see more and more in the coming years.
“I predict that, during the next decade, we’ll see more three-season, and even four-season, rooms where you can open all the windows on a nice day and feel as though you’re outside, but you’re still able to plug in,” she says. “And even when the windows are shut, you’ll still feel like you’re out in nature. It’s a real trend that came out of the pandemic.”