How have you adapted your home during the pandemic?

Which changes have you made to your living spaces.

By Hugh Metcalf | 27 October 2020

Kevin McCloud wants to hear how you have converted, adapted and reworked your homes during the extraordinary times of the pandemic.
“Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, wrote, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works co-operatively against common threats.’ If Darwin was right, and on the whole he was, in our new order where Covid is the common threat, those who can adapt to change, be resourceful and think creatively are going to fare better.

Living through the pandemic

Until eight months ago our homes were the impregnable bastions of privacy, our sanctuaries and places of rest. Daily life was a predictable cycle of eating, lounging, sleeping and staring at our phones. For many of us our homes were the retreats from our days spent in cars and offices.
Now all that has changed. Our homes have had to become schools, workplaces, pubs and parcel depots. Our routines have become dizzyingly complex. We lurch from home teaching to FaceZooming family and friends to ordering sourdough kits online to finding some corner of a room that we can squeeze our entire working life into while balancing our laptop on a pile of ironing that has been there for 14 weeks.

Animation of a fold out desk in a compact home office

This fold-out home work space is by Studio Ben Allen. Photo: FRENCH + TYE

Changing spaces

It is chaos out there and it is chaos inside too, so how can we resiliently adapt our homes to be lockdown-compliant? I’m not asking what our one-off, architect-designed new homes are going to look like post-Covid. But how we can all change the homes that we’ve lived in and loved for years. How are we supposed to squeeze all those activities in?
From classroom to bakery to yoga studio, our homes must be adaptable like never before. Clothes washing was done outside for hundreds of years. So, why not put your machines in your garage? Or combine an awning with some decking to create your very own ‘stoop’ on which to balance a rocking chair, smoke a pipe and whittle a stick? You could also rechristen it as the outdoor classroom for eleven months of the year.