How city living has adapted since Covid-19 with A.LONDON

From higher pet ownership to wanting more outdoor space, the pandemic has impacted what new necessities people want from their home in both interiors and architecture. 

A.LONDON Interior Designers sat down with our Director of Residential Development Consultancy, David Smith and Senior Architect of Residential Design Services, Laura Tracey, to discuss how residential developments are adapting to the impact of COVID-19. A.LONDON strive in tailoring luxury interior designs to enhance the lifestyle of each property. From higher pet ownership to wanting more outdoor space, the pandemic has impacted what new necessities people want from their home in both interiors and architecture.

 

How city living has adapted since Covid-19? A.LONDON with CBRE Residential

What is the biggest thing CBRE Residential has learnt from this year?

 

David: “This year has taught everyone to be flexible and adaptable, and ultimately if we are to learn from this experience, we must look to question/challenge the norm.

This is exactly what we have had to do with our residential buildings, question everything we had previously taken for granted and look to future proof our developments for any eventuality.”

 

How city living has adapted since Covid-19? A.LONDON with CBRE Residential

Since COVID-19, have you seen a change in what people want from their interiors?

 

Laura: “Definitely! One of the biggest changes so far has been the shift to a more contactless approach i.e. door handles, switches and access buttons, in building management to ensure greater forms of hygiene are observed. 

People are now are more discerning and mindful of what they bring into their homes. The hallway space has gained greater importance as it is the area where they transition from the outside world to the privacy of each individual home, i.e. dirty and clean zones.

This space, now more than ever, must include storage in this area; A big coat cupboard, footstools, shoe storage and disinfectant to ensure we are prepped to enter our personal safe-havens.

With more people choosing to cook rather than rely on takeaways, we have seen a revival of the kitchen as being the heart of the home and buyers are eager for this space to allow ample room for food preparation and socialising.

The open plan concept is here to stay, with the addition of some old design favourites such as the window seat. This classic provides extra seating space which is highly welcomed especially in small flats and has the added advantage of providing storage. We may even see a return of the windowsill in some projects, as to have that extra low chest of drawers can make all the difference, particularly in small spaces. Currently, floor to ceiling windows are more of a norm, rather than a feature and as a result, we are often forced to stack items up against the façade. This we can all agree detracts externally from the overall beauty of a building.

The provision of larger balconies and movement in the façade helps to create a more dynamic relationship between inside and outside space, which ultimately results in much-improved ventilation and exposure to natural daylight. Any changes that invite better ventilation and extra sun exposure into a building are always welcome.”

How city living has adapted since Covid-19? A.LONDON with CBRE Residential

How have you adapted your buildings to the increase in pet ownership?

 

Laura: “We have definitely received a high number of enquires related to this topic. As a result, we are in conversations with a number of properties to explore the possibility of allowing pets despite the wear and tear these furry friends can cause. A significant number of people have decided to get a new pet during the pandemic or are planning to as they see they will be more able to work from home in the future.

Our advice to our landlords focuses on the fact that pets do tend to cause a little more abrasion and therefore, hardwood floors over carpets are preferred. New furniture should be suited to withstand the impact of pets and interestingly, we remind them that tenants with pets usually stay longer in a property. 

In addition, pet owners will require some form of outdoor space which ties back to the current trend of garden or park spaces as the favourite amenity when looking for a new place to call home.”

Why is it important to consider developments with outdoor space?
David: “One of the few silver linings to come out of 2020 is raised awareness of mental health and wellbeing. There are many ways well thought out design can naturally assist with both, especially in the built environment. Access to both green and blue outside space can greatly reduce stress levels and may, over time help our mental health and wellbeing. This is now more important than ever as we meet new challenges and will be at the forefront of our plans moving forward.

 

How city living has adapted since Covid-19? A.LONDON with CBRE Residential

Why is it important to consider developments with outdoor space?

 

David: “One of the few silver linings to come out of 2020 is raised awareness of mental health and wellbeing. There are many ways well thought out design can naturally assist with both, especially in the built environment.

Access to both green and blue outside space can greatly reduce stress levels and may, over time help our mental health and wellbeing.

This is now more important than ever as we meet new challenges and will be at the forefront of our plans moving forward.

 

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