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Make Yourself at Home… in Your Own Home

By Rita Wilkins January 08, 2021 Lifestyle

While 2020 was certainly trying for most of us, the Year of Covid can also be viewed as one that forced us to slow down and see our lives through a close-up lens. It shined a spotlight on what was working and also unmasked what was not working in our homes and in our lives.

If your life was spiraling out of control, if your life was on autopilot, if you were too busy to even experience life’s little moments with loved ones, when Covid struck you were suddenly challenged to figure out new ways to live, work, learn, play, and communicate while sheltering in place.

What Was Different?

For the first time in a long time, you:

  • Prepared home-cooked meals together.
  • Sat at the table for family meals.
  • Enjoyed conversations around the kitchen table.

At the same time, you were challenged to:

  • Work remotely and run businesses from temporary home office setups.
  • Home school your children or grandchildren from the kitchen table.
  • Communicate with colleagues, family, or friends for hours on Zoom.

And yet, through the many challenges and inconveniences,you learned to adapt, you grew, you changed.

As your home began to play a greater role in your life:

  • You began to experience yourself, your family, and your home differently.
  • You found new ways to balance work, home, and relationships, in spite of the clutter and chaos.
  • You became more aware of the little things you may not have been present to before.
  • You discovered ways to “make do,” to live with less while enjoying it more.
  • You likely discovered newfound freedom and flexibility, a whole new life outside the office.
  • You began to lean into a simpler, more meaningful life you desire post Covid.
  • You learned a lot about what you really needed to be happy and content.


Born out of necessity, you, along with many others, discovered how to creatively convert closets into make-shift home offices (cloffices). You learned how to help homeschool your grandkids overnight. And you may have found ways to repurpose your deck or patio for a much-needed getaway or sanctuary.

In effect, you reinvented the way you live, work, learn, play, and communicate – perhaps without even knowing it. You made yourself at home in your own home… all because of the pandemic.

Our Houses Became Our Homes Again

Covid gave you more time to rethink what matters most. It might have even given you a “new set of eyes” to help you “see through walls” that helped you rediscover the true meaning of “home.”

You’ve learned. You’ve become wiser. You’ve changed.

As you turn the page and begin to shift your thoughts and focus to 2021, you have an opportunity to continue this journey of creating the life and home you really want… one that nurtures, inspires, and energizes you.

In 2021 and beyond, your home will continue to play an even more important role in your life.

  • Many of us will continue working remotely from home, choosing the freedom and flexibility it offers.
  • New entrepreneurs will start home-based businesses, opting for more purposeful and fulfilling work.
  • Others will simply enjoy and experience their homes in a completely new way.

As we Americans become more reliant on our homes in the future, and as we spend more time there, home design and layout will need to adapt to accommodate our ever-changing needs and demands.

Emerging Design Trends: How Covid Is Changing Home Design

So, designers will need to reimagine how our homes can work smarter and harder for our ever-evolving lifestyle post Covid.

Multifunctional Spaces

Homes now must have the ability to quickly and seamlessly transform to an open plan into a variety of functioning areas for work, learning, and entertaining. Several ways that this can be done is via sliding glass walls, barn doors, and movable partitions.

“Going to the Office” Offices

Dedicated home offices that make you feel like you left home to go to the office will be well outfitted spaces that incorporate functioning work areas, ergonomic chairs, proper lighting and acoustics so you can be more focused and productive.

The “Great Outdoors” Rooms

Creating outdoor spaces where we can live, work, play – and get away – are now “must-haves” for good mental health and well-being. Sanctuary spaces connect us to nature, a must in our work-from-home world.

Zoom Rooms

Zoom calls and conferencing have become an integral part of our daily lives. In addition to having the right video equipment and lighting, staging the right back-drop for your calls and conferencing is equally important.

Spa Bath Hideaway

A spa-like bathroom is a room with a purpose: relax, recharge and get-away from it all. It has become a place to hide, a sanctuary, a retreat from much needed space to unwind.

Each of these new home design trends were driven by lifestyle changes resulting from sheltering in place and working from home. Our lives have changed drastically in 2020 and will likely continue to change in the years to come.

How will you make yourself at home in your own home in 2021? Have you embraced growth and constant change? What new designs have you implemented in your home to make it more work/family friendly? Please share with the community!

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The Author

Rita Wilkins, known as The Downsizing Designer, is a nationally recognized interior design and lifestyle design expert, Tedx speaker and author of Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle: Secrets to More Time, Money and Freedom. She challenges baby boomer audiences to reimagine, reinvent, redesign their lives to live abundantly with less. Learn more at

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