Due to the pandemic, the role of a residential space has evolved to a lifestyle platform as people spend more time at home. An expert market research institute in Korea carried out a survey for 1,000 adults, 84% of whom answered that “they reside at home longer than they used to, due to the social anxiety caused by the spread of COVID-19.” This is a big leap compared to the same survey carried out in 2015, with 56.9% of people saying so. 76.1% of the respondents agreed that there were enough things to do at home even if they didn’t go outside. Nowadays home is a place that goes beyond being a place for sleeping and eating, allowing many activities to take place. How is it changing?
As they spent more time at home, people began to take greater interest in interior. Activities that used to take place outside such as travel and camping started to take place at home. More people established IoT and made use of Smart Homes that responded to the tastes of residents and the need for convenience. Home is now something that goes beyond a place that fulfills one’s need for survival; its function expanded to make it a space that reflects each resident’s taste.
As the role of home expands, its structure is also going through changes. Before COVID-19, family members used to spend time outside and come home at night, making people prefer a structure consisted of many separated rooms that assure personal space and time. But since COVID-19, families are spending more time with each other, and the need for a common space is greater as people work, study, etc. at home more often than before. Apartments have introduced a floor plan that emphasizes the function of Alpha room, which can be used as a room, a living room, a small room, or even combine it with a kitchen to make it a larger common space. Unspecified space structure allows a resident to expand and divide it according to his/her taste.
With social distancing continued, home is now your office, school, and a place of leisure. People have begun to decorate their home according to their lifestyle. Such changes led to the boom of related industries as well. According to the G Market online shopping mall, laptop sales in last August increased by 105% compared to the previous year while must-haves for online meeting, PC microphone and headset, also increased in sales by 184% and 78%, respectively. The sales of chairs increased by a staggering 302%. The sales of office products also increased; the ‘10x10’ design product shopping mall says partitions and accessories since COVID-19 increased in sales by 106%.
There are more people nowadays who have turned a room into Home Gym or took an interest in ‘planterior,’ which refers to decorating your home with plants. Because they cannot travel, some now enjoy picnic and camping on their terraces and balconies. In consideration of such changes, LG Hausys has introduced ‘HOME CAMP a pleasant booster,’ as one of their yearly space design themes. They focused on people’s optimism with the longer homebody life, how they are trying to overcome the pandemic, and suggested a bright, fun design space decorated in pastel colors. There’s even a home picnic space decorated with DIY balcony floor materials and checkered pattern wallpaper for people to enjoy picnics on their own balconies.
The construction as well as the interior industry launched lifestyle products fit for a homebody life. As people started to take care of everything at home, necessary space in home began to expand. Recently, Hyundai Engineering developed lifestyle products that reflect living trend and lifestyle that are changing quickly due to the pandemic and have obtained 16 cases of different intellectual properties. They introduced lifestyle products including a floor plan for ‘All-in-Room,’ which implements working, leisure, and hygiene and health space altogether as well as ‘Gallery Chang,’ which transforms a kitchen into a dining space that captures the surrounding scenery.
‘All-in-Room’ floor plan includes specialized spaces within the 84m2 living space, such as Home Work Station (a work space), On-tact Station (a focused study space), Clean Station (a safe, clean foyer), and Healing Station (a healing balcony). ‘Home Work Station’ divides the widely designed bedroom into work and resting spaces. ‘On-tact Station’ is a focused study area that allows two-way communication for online lectures and hobbies, etc. It was developed for family-unit residents. In the ‘Clean Station,’ a corridor is installed in front of the foyer, which leads to a sink and washing space so that you can wash your hands and wash or store clothes before you enter the living area. ‘Healing Station’ is a big balcony that can be used as a garden or a space for healing.
‘Gallery Chang’ is a product that involves a huge window installed in the kitchen for people to enjoy food and snacks. The huge window captures the outside scenery; you can admire the nature as if you are admiring a painting in a frame on the wall. Just by looking through the window, you will feel a sense of healing. With the space of ‘Healing Premium’ added to this element, you can enjoy a pleasant tea time in your kitchen by utilizing a difference of floor-level as well as the huge window.
As the roles of home diversify, home structure also becomes multi-faceted and complex. Experts expect that mid-large sized apartments and houses with complex functions will become more popular. Houses that can reflect various personal tastes and functions will surely attract attention. But even with different meanings attached to home, it will still be a place for people to create healthy everyday lives. There’s great anticipation of positive changes home applied with lifestyle products for the post-COVID-19 era will bring to our lives.
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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