Open Concept Living is an extremely popular interior home design that most home buyers seek. These open floor plans offer a less formal life style and are beneficial for entertaining friends and family. However the benefits of the open floor plan can come in direct conflict with privacy, noise transmission, and peaceful coexistence.
In the video below, Airhart Construction describes how Away Rooms, Pocket Offices and Dual Use Spaces can help balance the Open Concept Design with essential rooms to keep some traditional spaces intact.
This is the space that you can go, close the door and enjoy some solitude.
Now, in what may be the new normal, these spaces can become perfect home offices during your working hours. They allow for normal usage of the home and also provide a quiet space for an at home worker during the day. Then in the evening, the “Away Room” can also function as the room for the loud TV watcher or the perfect space to quietly read a book. When designing these spaces, think about some of these issues:
primary usage of the space
potential furnishings and wall space
possibility of being a “dual use” room
prominent location or secondary location in the home
proximity to the core open space in the home
The “Pocket Office” is one work from home option. They are small spaces that may be off the kitchen, a part of a loft, could be an extension of the rear entry or simply a space around the corner from a main living area. In the home design look for spaces that give a level of privacy, yet do not take up key space in the home. Design cues for this space include:
natural light filled
well suited to access technology
furniture friendly (are you using a stand up desk?)
perhaps, most importantly, a space that you can easily leave
This space does not need to be a large. In fact, the ergonomics of your work space are most important. You are gathering online now. The ancillary filing cabinets, copiers, etc. aren’t as important with so much in the cloud.
While working from home may turn into the norm for 1-3 days a week, you want to make sure you are able to get away from it as well. Because isn’t that what your home is supposed to be, a place of rest.
Dual Use Spaces
Rooms or spaces you plan for a specific use, do not need to lose that usage as we shift to another need or activity. These days home buyers are planning in “Dual Use” spaces into their home design. A space can be a guest room and home office, or a home office and work out room, or perhaps a TV room and home office. The keys to dual use spaces are integrating the usages for coexistence and not impeding usage.
When designing a home, think about dual uses around the following criteria:
floor plan layout
integration of usages
integration of technology
perhaps, most importantly, a space that you can leave when you are done working
For example, a TV/home theatre space can become the ultimate in integrated Zoom meeting space by integrating the hardware from the theatre into your computer system. Or a guest room can have a desk location with a monitor used for your computer that guests can use as a TV for those 7-10 days a year when they come for a visit.
Remember the home office portion of the dual use space does not need to be large since a lot of your work and file storage are now online. The office usage can seamlessly fit into existing spaces and create not only a very professional space, but a comfortable space as well.