We've all gained so much clarity over the past few months about what we value in our spaces and daily routines. Things we took for granted before — or perhaps things we didn't even realize we need — have come to the forefront of our daily practices in bold and frequent ways.
As we head into a new era of new builds, most homeowners will tackle design choices with the benefit of a new lens. If you're thinking about building a home in the new year, here's our list of the top 5 features we'd prioritize in our little slice of the world.
1. Dedicated Spaces
For so long the open floor plan has been queen. And with her bright, airy demeanor, it's easy to understand why. But there's something very important to be said about the ability to close a door and sink into a space that offers a fresh feeling and clear purpose. Your best self arrives at the office, at the gym, or at the artist studio with entirely different agendas. So to be able to "arrive" at different spaces in your home to tackle these goals separately is immensely beneficial.
Ask yourself: How can I create multiple spaces instead of making spaces multi-purpose?
2. Long-Term Living with Functional and Fluid Spaces
Being malleable is meaningful. As much as we want dedicated spaces, we also want spaces that have the flexibility to evolve with us and our families. We are constantly changing and growing, and we want homes that will go on that journey with us. This season a pilates studio, next season a playroom.
Ask yourself: What might I need next year, in 3 years, that I don't need now? What would I revise or re-engineer to make this space better suited for the long-term?
3. Better lighting.
Our homes should be places that renew us, and little has more of an impact on our mood than lighting. It has an immediate way of generating a tone for the space and day. In home design, we'd make natural light the chief priority with special attention to big, custom windows, as well as more specialty window treatments that allow for a combination of light filtering and privacy effects. Second to this—and only by a hair—would be in-home lighting selections with the incorporation of dimmers and different bulbs that will let you engineer the exact feeling you want in a room.
Ask yourself: What is the lighting plan for each room — straight down to the loo? In every space and time, there's a consideration. Case in point: When it's 3 in the morning, you don't want to jar yourself awake with bright fluorescents. Incorporating a dimmer in the bathroom, or a thoughtfully placed nightlight, can keep you in a better state of mind for a sure return to sleep.
4. Outdoor Spaces.
Nothing renews like Mother Nature. So for all fan-fair we place on indoors, we'd devote just as much time to carving out our outdoor corners of the world. From front patios and fire pits to gardens and gated yards, there's a wealth of ways to be thoughtful with our patches of grass.
Ask yourself: How can I truly make my exterior an extension of my home? What selections can I make to make this space more "livable" year round?
5. Peace of Mind.
If this year has taught us anything, it's that the unexpected is entirely possible. Your world can be upended at a moment's notice. And so where we can, we'd build in security and peace of mind into our homes. From video doorbells and security systems to advanced carbon monoxide protectors, we'd make security essential.
Ask yourself: What features would bring me peace of mind? Some elements, such as security systems, are at their best pre-wired, so it's ideal to have this list nailed down before you break ground.