Now more than ever, our spaces have to do it all. From closets that have become our home offices to backyards that extend beyond patio season, scroll down to see how rooms have stepped up to the demands of sheltering in place!
Rethinking The Foyer
The entrance to our homes has taken on new importance. This space isn’t so much about showstopping moments that wow guests before a dinner party but, instead, it’s a place to prepare ourselves for the outside world and clean up when we return home. There’s a renewed focus on organization to keep belongings separate, and hygiene, with antimicrobial surfaces and
UV sanitizers that disinfect phones. This hardworking foyer by designer Lisa Lev integrates millwork into the kitchen.
Photographer: Lisa Petrole
Designer: Lisa Lev
Bring The Indoors Out
Dollars saved on travel and vacations are flying out the window as homeowners turn their outdoor spaces into mini destinations (and impromptu daycares, spas and schoolyards). As winter sets in, it’s not about the size of your alfresco space but its warmth: sales of
patio heaters, gas fire tables and firepits are sizzling. Garden pods are selling like hotcakes, and the demand for pools (up by 161 per cent) is expected to boom until 2023. Here, a covered patio extends the season with a fireplace (shown right) and is elevated by a chandelier and sophisticated seating.
Photographer: Stacey Brandford
Source: House & Home May 2014
Designer: Lloyd Ralphs Design
We’re also seeing the dawn of the “hipsteader,” whose homegrown garden is a source of zen… and arugula. Lifestyle guru
Jenni Kayne and Richard Ehrlich grow their own vegetables in these raised beds.
Photographer: Lisa Romerein, Otto
The Tale Of Two Kitchens
This year, the kitchen is both looking back and moving forward. English-style scullery kitchens are enjoying a revival alongside modernist spaces with contemporary, natural wood cabinets to hide away gadgets. Both styles include smart appliances for homeowners trying to duplicate their favorite restaurant meals. Ranges have built-in sous vide functions, fridges are Alexa-enabled, and ovens with smart touchscreens and cameras let you video chat with Mom while making her famous soup recipe. Sinks and faucets are the new jewelry, with sexy finishes and sinuous materials. This kitchen by British firm
deVOL Kitchens combines classic Shaker-style cabinets, a farmhouse sink, communal banquette and rustic table.
Photographer: Courtesy of deVOL Kitchens
A Better Way To WFH
Call it the found space you never knew you were missing. Whether you claim a nook, cranny, dead space, kitchen corner or even a closet, WFH spaces require out-of-the-box thinking. A professional environment may emphasize the importance of new “coworkers” such as
chairs on wheels, flex lighting and storage solutions, but it’s a smart investment, now and for resale. Here, food entrepreneur Trish Magwood carves out an office space in her Toronto kitchen.
Photographer: Stacey Brandford
Source: House & Home October 2020
Designer: Veronica Martin, Two Fold Interiors
Great for small spaces, this self-contained closet office or “cloffice” from Ikea can be completely shut away at the end of the day.
Photographer: Courtesy of Ikea
In a time of high anxiety, nooks represent safe spaces that are comforting and promote cocooning. In open-concept layouts, nooks are being carved into walls and snuggled between cabinets to create quiet, private spots to retreat. Whether it’s a window seat, bench nook or built-in captain beds, there are a lot of ways to look inward. In this Mill Valley, California, home, designer
Rita Konig creates a library-like sleeping nook outfitted with art, books and an essential reading lamp.
Photographer: Eric Piasecki, Otto
Designer: Rita Konig
The New Great Room
The kitchen is often cited as the heart of the home, but where do you go when it’s overrun with sourdough bakers, TikToking tweens and crafting kids? Your bedroom! It’s always been a refuge, but now it’s a place to work and practice yoga, as well as hide. Inspired by luxe hotel rooms, we crave touches that appeal to all the senses, including
quality linens, comfy mattresses, diffusers puffing out calming scents — and a door to shut the noise away, for a little while anyway. In this 170-year-old farmhouse, an open-concept bedroom contains three beds and a cosy seating area.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: John Baker & Juli Daoust-Baker with Christine Ho Ping Kong & Peter Tan
Author: Wendy Jacob
House & Home January/February 2021
Produced by Emma Reddington