Working From Home In A Pandemic.
I want to share with you some shifts that I have found through my work discovering the needs of my client's during quarantine times with new projects. Sourcing products that offer solutions to specific needs during days of isolation are new even to myself. Although, it was clear to me there were some common threads whether it was a 600 square foot condo or a 6,000 square foot house. With these universal common denominators, I shed some light on for you:
#1. Almost everyone complained about lower back pain. We discovered that they did not have the appropriate desk chair or aids for the existing chair they were using for prolonged use working at home. Working from home once a week is very different from working from home daily and at odd hours at that. Some employers offered client's an allowance towards at-home office resources which was very encouraging to see. This is my all time favourite office desk chair: Aeron by Herman Miller however, this may not be in everyone's budget. For some clients a memory foam seat cushion added to their existing chair was enough relief, Fortem Seat Cushion & Lumbar Support
#2. Many people felt like they were living in a fish bowl regardless of the size of their dwelling. Whether it was a small condo or a more expansive space rung true. I had many calls about adding more privacy or light control to their windows. Yes, more so with condos as they were in closer proximity to neighbouring buildings feeling more exposed. However, even client's in larger homes felt they wanted more control to filter the light coming into their homes. The feedback I found was with people being home more than ever, spread out in rooms where they had previously never been in before on their electronic devices, at times when they previously were not, they found they needed to control with glare specifically to be most productive with work. All of a sudden we had two adults on deadlines at the same time with teens doing assignments also on computers and younger children needing assistance simultaneously. Blinds that offered efficiency options and automation were top priority, NM Interiors, as an HD Partner meant I was personally able to offer different options quickly.
#3. We are bored of looking at the same four walls. People craved change. I have never been busier with #edesign consulting this year. I always offered the service, although this year has proven to be the most popular for the service. Longtime client's were open to small DIY projects they could handle and it's been fun to explore different ideas together. One of the easiest ways to inject some energy is with paint. Remember, for a large space I will always recommend calling in a professional. Another favourite of mine is wallpaper. There are a vast amount of incredible suppliers offering amazing product at various price points to suit any budget. If you are feeling non-committal or you are in a rental: there are vinyl and decal options that are easier on walls so you can have some fun. Rebel Walls is a great, affordable line that offers free worldwide shipping. Virtual consultation for both paint and wallpaper is something that I can easily do remotely via digital apps and so this keeps me quite busy right now.
4. I am by no means a fitness expert but I had a great deal of inquiries if I could help with design of home gyms. I am lucky enough to have a home gym, I've added to my tool kit as well. Blocking off time to engage in daily physical exercise is so important. I'd say now it is even more vital as we are currently more isolated. For many of my client's who were formerly going to a gym or taking organized classes, we took a look at how we could replicate some of what they were previously loved in-home and also switch things up a little with new things to excite them also to strike a balance of old & new.
I bought myself this balance ball which I absolutely love: EveryMile Half Ball Balance Trainer Balance Ball the ball helps not only with my balance and core but I can do yoga poses as well. This adjustable weight kettle bell from Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell has also been so great to strengthen and achieve a full body workout too. My favourite thing about this kettlebell is that I don't have a multitude of loose pieces and everything stores into the one unit. When working with client's to create a home gym, especially for those with limited space capacity we looked at solutions that could be compact and/or offer double duty for functionality.
#5. Outdoor spaces will become more and more a priority now more then ever. Of the few things I did this summer with my very small bubble they all centered around my outdoor backyard space. Many client's tried their hand at gardening. I attempted to grow some fresh herbs myself. Spoiler Alert: it did not go well. Even as days cool down, many clients continue to extend their outdoor area use as much as possible. Heat sources were one of the most requested items for outdoor projects to transition into cooler evenings as the temperatures dipped. Freestanding Heat Lamps will become the new thing and I found that many sourced items were sold out or back-ordered. I also sourced a few free-standing Gazebo structures over this summer; I suspect more of these to come as shade becomes a priority where and when the open space permits. Of course, if you are doing a new build or an extensive backyard landscaping renovation, consult a professional who specializes: I see the trend moving beyond pools with the exterior landscape to include outdoor saunas, kitchens and covered terraces.
So there you have it! These are my top five roundups. I know we have made shifts in more ways then my 1 to 5. Wishing you well whether it's working from home or otherwise. Let's stay safe and healthy, this season and well into 2021. NM, Xx