Practical ideas to help create COVID-19-friendly house

I hate to even bring it up because the subject is tired, but COVID-19 has changed so much about the way we live, work, eat and socialize. Many people are working from home and many students are learning from home – in the same house! How do we get quality work done when we’re all talking in the same house at the same time?

In the 1990’s, the open floor plan became popular, and it still is today. Open floor plans are when two or more rooms are not divided by walls, like a living room and dining room, and certainly not divided by doors. These open spaces provide a feeling of friendly comfortable space that is big and bright. Often the kitchen is the focal point for gatherings. Many older home renovations involved knocking out walls for the modern open floor plan concept.

Privacy and sound are two of the problems the open floor plan creates in our new COVID-19 world of adults working from home while children are schooling from home. Noise reduction can be simple and low cost or involve a contractor installing expensive sound-proofing.

Here’s some practical ideas for you.

»Rugs and carpet: Most homeowners love their hardwood flooring or the beautiful new luxury vinyl plank but if you use rugs and carpet you may be surprised at how much quieter your spaces are. Stairs and hallways, and high traffic areas are the biggest offenders..

»Doors and windows: Adding a seal around exterior doors may eliminate noise from outside. Check your windows, too. By sealing doors and windows you may find your heating and cooling expenses are lowered as well.

»Dining rooms as multipurpose: Some homebuyers are looking for separate dining rooms because they often can be closed off from the other areas of the home. A dining table can turn into a work desk during the day or a school project/learning area. Employees and students both have times when they need to hear or talk without interruption and separating the dining room is one way to meet this need.

»Room dividers: Large spaces can be divided with decorative room dividers, bookshelves, or plants. This can allow for different activities on each side of the divider.

»Outside venues: Don’t forget to use your outside space when the weather permits. You’ll probably enjoy the natural light and fresh air while spreading out on a patio table for your work day.

In any case, get creative with the home and the space you have so you and your loved ones can get their work done and get along at the same time.