Room reshuffle: For many, the pandemic has changed our homes | Lifestyles |

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The local yoga instructor Paula Connors turned her basement into a yoga studio, suitable for the Zoom classes she taught in a virtual classroom. She painted the cabinets, added Persian carpets, proper lighting and other colorful decorations. 

Have you turned the restaurant into a miniature classroom? Bring up the actual background of the Zoom meeting? Rearranged the kitchen cabinets?

During the pandemic, people spend more time at home, forcing many people to re-evaluate their living space to adapt to life in the Covid era.

As early as March, the house suddenly became a place for work, study, entertainment and exercise, and people living under the same roof had to adapt to being together, and it became much more than usual.

For those who have extra money, purification, organization, decoration, cooking and pursuing new and old hobbies have become part of daily life.

People may occasionally consider buying things before the pandemic-more freezers to store food, outdoor heaters for extended seasons, closet organizers, exercise equipment, new desks or comfortable office chairs-have been moved to The top of their wish list.

None of this is easy-or unexpected.

Evelyn Kessler said that she is grateful for spending more time with her family, but the transition is very tricky.

Kessler said: "The challenge is the number one, let us figure out who works where." Looking back in March, Kessler, her husband and two school-age children started working and studying at home.

Her husband already has a working area. The dining room became her office.

Their two 14-year-old and 9-year-old children initially set up tablet computers in the dining room, which was not ideal during her conference calls and classes. They soon knew that it would not work. After the children adapted to the habit of distance learning, they moved to the desk in the bedroom.

Finding a designated work/study space is a key issue for many families. It may also change people's demand for housing.

Real estate website Zillow recently listed office space (or "Zoom room") as

2021 driven by the Covid era. A press release said: "A survey by Zillow found that people are eager to have a dedicated office. This is why Americans work from home. They say that if they continue to work remotely at least occasionally, they will consider moving."

Locally, interior designer Barb Reformat has set up her own home office in recent months. She believes that it is necessary to create functional working spaces not only for adults but also for children.

"Now this may be an evolving field-children's desks, chairs and organizations. That's not something we have actually seen. Most children used to do their homework at the kitchen table or anywhere. Now they need to have their own space. . This will definitely change the condition of the house."


People need creativity because they set up work areas in the corners of the bedroom, basement or dining room, and are equipped with desk lamps and office supplies to organize all their work.

The family learned that the room can have many uses. Such as

The company recently posted on its website "When spending more time at home, it doesn't make sense to use the entire room for one purpose (especially in a smaller space)."

With functional storage and new perspectives, even closets can be turned into work areas or kitchens.

"I think many people think that organization has become extremely important to them....I don't think this is a fashion. I think it's moving forward," Reformat said.

Julie DeAngelo

Her mother is a 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. She said that her family is tidying up the basement to have more living space. This will be a place for exercise, so that children can take a break-away from the screen.

Paula V. Connors, teaches yoga and another mindfulness practice

, Also looked at her basement with another eye. When she was teaching in a yoga studio

, Participated in the virtual class, she needs to make a plan.

She has made her own morning exercise room in the basement they completed. "This is a good space, but it is not a good space for Zoom; you have to have special light," she said.

"There are white walls in the basement, but I have two very large practical pine cabinets, making it dark and dull. This is a terrible background." She said.

Therefore, she took some white enamel and painted them into a cheap solution. "When I executed Zoom, they now provide this beautiful background. I can teach yoga in that background and teach myself to do spontaneous breathing. White just makes light bounce around the room and reflect back to other spaces. This makes the whole room look bigger and more attractive," she said.

Connors and her husband Kevin Connors, founder and chief architect

, Is planning another project.

When they did basic work on the larger porch last summer and fall, they thought of the idea of ​​enclosing half of the porch in energy-efficient glass and doors in order to make more use of space from their home.

After completion, it can be used as an entrance channel/mud room or as a small sun room. Now, people enter the living room directly from the porch.

"The mud room is something I always wanted, especially to raise three children. But we are not just a muddy room, we will also have a small table and chairs. In the morning sun," Connors said.

Looking ahead, the pandemic may change people's perceptions of the overall layout of houses.

"Multifunctionality is the key to rooms and houses. I think you might see that people want less open concepts and want more rooms, and these rooms can be closed for more privacy and more Less noise," said Linda Birkinbine, who runs a local business.

Kessler said that in addition to spending more time with her family and practicing self-care (meditation, journaling, exercise), she also likes to maintain more consistent daily habits every day and reduce rush. She established some new methods that she planned to continue doing, especially in the kitchen.

Kessler, a clerk at a local bank and the bank’s founder and president, said that children’s snacks are now easily accessible in one place, so they can help themselves avoid interruptions during the working day.

She said they are also planning and preparing more home-cooked meals-including freezing additional meals-cooking later-and shopping in bulk with items they use heavily (such as chicken soup). She said this prompted them to reconfigure the storage space of the cabinets.

Similarly, jewelry designer Karol Kirberger,

The new freezer at 224 Lexington Street in Elmwood Village can be used to store casseroles, turkey, and her own homemade soup, and then freeze them in glass bottles. She said she first went online to study how to freeze them. (

Is a resource

Freezer-safe jars, leave enough "head space" to allow food to expand, etc.)

She smiled and said, "This is completely different from what I have to prepare." "This allows me to eat better food and save money."

Others are creative about storage. Birkinbine reorganized the garage to be able to store paper products such as aluminum foil and other cold-resistant items.

Reformat also restricts shopping trips through inventory. He turned the closet into a kitchen in case of need. She even has the inventory list to be updated and adds items to the running grocery list when needed.

"It totally makes me feel safe; she said: "We don't know what will happen. "

Here are some forecasts from national publications and websites that point out that Covid-19 has had an impact on the design trends of our houses. Whether people are making changes to existing houses or looking for certain features in new houses, this is what we might see in the future:

• Mud room or other drop area. Places where parcels can be placed, grocery deliveries, shoes, backpacks and coats can be stored in one area instead of scattered throughout the house. "Even for luxury homes without a separate mud house, there may be increasing emphasis on creating a clean and organized entrance'falling area' so that we can keep germs at the door,"

• More storage space, especially in the kitchen. It could be a storage cabinet, more shelves, or even a trolley or island. Cabinet organizers are another popular choice.

• Easy to clean surfaces and fabrics. In order to make your home as clean as possible.

• Intergenerational life. Zillow predicts that due to economic and health reasons, young people and grandparents live with their families, and the popularity of multi-generational families will increase.

• Non-contact faucet. "If you have ever worried that turning off the faucet will make your newly washed hands immediately become germs again, this is the solution,"

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Family and style editor

I write articles about decoration, gardening, fashion, DIY projects, and entertainment content in the "Family and Style" section. We own many residences throughout western New York. Interviewing people about their houses and gardens is my favorite part.


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