As we move into a new period of restrictions in the UK, how we use our homes is constantly changing. Interior Designer Benji Lewis discusses the country’s newfound affection for their homes and the pandemic’s long-lasting impact on how we live.
At the start of 2020, many people viewed their homes as somewhere they would come back to after a hard days work to relax and unwind. Somewhere that would only see its real value during an evening or weekend or when spending time with family and entertaining.
However, this year’s events have had a significant change in how we use our homes, and they’ve now become much more than somewhere to unwind and switch off.
Benji Lewis says; “Six months since lockdown began in the UK, and the impact of COVID-19 in terms of what we expect from our homes is profound. While lockdown prevented the ability to physically visit someone in their home, we became no less house-proud. People are falling back in love with their homes, and they’re right to do so; time at home has increased exponentially.”
One of the most significant changes the pandemic has brought forth is homes are now also becoming workspaces. In the main, workers up and down the country who’ve had to work from home have adapted and embraced this ‘new norm‘. However, not everyone has seen the benefits, particularly some employers who’ve taken verbal and written pot-shots at the government, without providing a better alternative solution.
This is, of course, understandable, and I and the rest of the country will eagerly be waiting to hear if there are better solutions than the current ones implemented, as long as they are devoid of ‘obvious’ self-interest.
One of the most common phrases we tend to hear is, “You’ve just got to make the best of it”, and the good news is the vast majority of the country is doing just that.
On how we are adapting our homes, Benji Lewis said; “We have all had to rethink our homes, and quickly address a total change in how we live and work. This has meant finding ways to integrate efficient work stations within spaces where we might usually relax and entertain. The delineation between space for work and space for downtime has become key, especially when the only place for downtime has been within the home.
I’ve noticed that rooms that were once given over purely to being entertaining spaces are now being commandeered into work-life spaces. The key to achieving this is to not concentrate purely on the practical but to focus on softening the edges. Outside space has become a real premium, and the same principles of arranging spaces, sorting out comfortable seating and arranging ambient lighting applies outdoors too.”
Fortunately, the advent of technology has enabled many businesses to continue to operate in a relatively seamless way. Although some business owners at first, presumed that this would be very detrimental to how they operate, after the first six months of restrictions; this for the majority has proven to be unfounded. Fortunately, the technology is, in the main, free to use and providing it is used correctly, it should prove to be a significant asset for a business and not a hindrance as Benji Lewis has discovered.
On the subject of using video technology in the home, Beni says; “As video calling has become the norm – including for my own business – it’s really important to ensure that the message you convey via your online interaction is slick and professional. Everyone knows that you’re likely sat at the kitchen table, but this doesn’t mean that your backdrop should let you down. People pick up on visual messages, and if you convey the message that you’re in control, video call participants will respond positively to that.
Zoom That Room burst open a whole new world to me. Like many people now, I’m unbound by geography, and increasingly working with clients who are establishing homes in new places, and even abroad. Making people feel at their very best in their home is my priority, and it’s never been more important than it is right now.”
For more information and to get in contact with about Benji Lewis, visit his website at www.zoomthatroom.com.
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