We’d all be forgiven for feeling a little worn out at the moment. Adjusting to a new way of life, remote working, keeping kids entertained and educated as well as looking after older family members and loved ones, coupled with uncertainty about what coming next is all taking its toll. More than ever, it’s time to make space to unwind and relax.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic our lives had become so hectic and there was no sign of things letting up. People were searching for ways to slow down and words like Mindfulness and Wellbeing had become commonplace across all industries from design to banking.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be calling on some of the fabulous experts that we work with to offer you some practical tips for how to tackle different issues that you might be facing with getting your home to adapt for this new way of life.
We’ll touch on everything from homeschooling to exercise and will be seeking advice from Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Keane to shed some light on the science behind the solutions we’re offering.
Make looking after ourselves and others a priority
In 2020 our supercharged pace of life had us all searching for ways to slow down. But we struggled to make time to switch off. In fact, going to a class or the gym often felt like another chore, so finding a way to make space to unwind at home was the ideal solution but for many it felt like this kind of space was more of a luxury than a necessity.
Now however, we have an opportunity to pause and make looking after ourselves and each other a priority. And many of the resources that only a few weeks ago we needed to travel to are finding ways to make themselves available to us virtually, meaning we can enjoy our favorite Yoga or Gym class from the comfort of our own home. We are having to adapt our lives and our homes to make space for these activities which is in fact a very positive thing.
Technology can help
Never has there been a time where it has been major important to make space to unwind and relax. Even though technology can be a cause of stress for many of us, in these unprecedented times it is actually technology that is enabling us to maintain some sort of normality.
Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts are just some of the virtual meeting platforms that have seen a surge in users in recent weeks. XBox and other gaming devices which allow users to interact with each other are now the only way that many teens and kids have to connect with friends. Once banned by many parents, these tools have become crucial for the house of the future, providing critical social interaction for the younger members of many households.
Home of the ‘near’ future
Home of the ‘near’ future
Five years ago we created a show house for the Ideal Homes Show and wanted to explore what were at the time forward thinking ideas. We looked at trends in lifestyle and translated those into a series of living spaces to create what we called the home of the ‘near’ future.
One of these living spaces was what we titled ‘the wellness room’. When we were coming up with the concept for this room it was interesting that everyone in our office had a different idea of what the room should be like. For some it was a completely dark space where you could retreat and rest in isolation. For others it was a place to exercise and for others it was a quiet place to escape to and read.
This reinforces the idea that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to an ideal environment. Different personality types will need different things to help them relax, so you might find that what works best for your family is a number of different spaces throughout the house for each member of the family to retreat to.
Where entire families are trying to carry out all of their daily functions under one roof, it’s vital that everyone finds a way to switch off and relax. For kids, it might be spending time in the garden or meeting up with friends over XBox. For Mum, it might be taking time out to take a bath, for Dad maybe is finally getting time to focus on that project or hobby that you’d been hoping to get around to. Whatever your prefered way to unwind, figure out a way to work it into your schedule and make space in your home.
Our attitude towards technology and its role in our homes may well change once normality is restored. Instead of viewing it as an evil responsible for much of our stress we may actually see it as a tool to enable us to switch off.
Technology is becoming smarter and smarter and every year there are even more innovations in household products aimed at simplifying our lives. becoming wifi enabled.
In the past smart homes were crammed with wires connecting devices, making repair or upgrade a costly exercise, today’s overlapping wireless networks such as wifi, 3G and 4G provide almost constant wire-free connections.
As time goes on, your home will be better equipped to adapt and change to suit your needs, temperature will be adjusted to your exact requirements, or lighting levels changed to suit your needs.
”by 2030 it is predicted that the kind of intelligence that is being used in the transport industry will be used in interior walls and floors enabling them to adapt to suit the occupant's requirements.Greg Lynn
The house of the future
In an article for The Red Bulletin, architect Greg Lynn said the house of the future will be like a self-driving car, able to know what’s going on in a space and able to predict what you want based on past instructions.
‘Right now there’s some initiative going on that looks at integrating robotics into the built environment, making that environment not only more intelligent but letting that intelligence control things like furniture. This is already available with thermostats for controlling and regulating temperature in our homes for example and by 2030, it is predicted that the kind of intelligence that is being used in the transport industry will be used in interior walls and floors enabling them to adapt to suit the occupant’s requirements.’
So in less than 10 years from now, any room in your home could be the ideal space to unwind, as the room will automatically adjust to suit the needs of whoever is occupying it.
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