Work-From-Home Design with Year-Round Versatility

We’re several months into the state’s Stay Home directive, and it’s probably the most time any of us has continuously spent in our homes! With the entire family under one roof for an extended period of time, you’re probably noticing areas of your home that work better than others. 

Now is a good time to reflect, evaluate, and speak with family members about spaces in the home that could be improved to address the current work-and-home situation and future priorities. Perhaps you’re realizing you need more space or even to downsize, and a new home may be on the horizon! Whatever the case may be, there’s no better time than now to address your family’s lifestyle needs, so let’s talk about spaces that are work-from-home friendly and make for better living any time of the year.


Multiple work areas 

Photo: Pocket office, Wembley home design

With more people working from home, families are requiring more dedicated spaces for remote work. It’s important to designate distinct areas for work time, and a traditional home office is a great way to keep work and leisure activities separate. Ideally, the office has a door that closes to help reduce distractions from other activities that may be going on in the home, a window to bring in natural light, and good overhead and desktop lighting. All of these elements contribute to increased focus, creativity, and productivity. 

A pocket office similar to our Wembley home design can be a space for the kids’ distance learning and year-round homework and school projects. Built-in desks with storage give them plenty of room for computers or tablets and school supplies, and reduces clutter in other parts of the house. 


The kitchen

Photo: Street of Dreams 2019

We all can agree we’re rediscovering our kitchens these last several weeks! We’ve made more baked goods than we’re willing to admit, but it does have us thinking about just how much multitasking happens in families’ kitchens today. 

Is your layout large enough and does it work for how your family lives now? Maybe you’d like a larger center island that can accommodate meal prep and the kids’ homework sessions. Or perhaps it’s time to look at upgrading your appliances for higher performance and energy efficiency. 

Take a quick family poll on what everyone likes and doesn’t like about your home’s kitchen. It’s the most-used room in the house, so it should reflect your family’s personality and lifestyle, both in and out of quarantine. 


Separate living spaces

Photo: Thoma home design

Need to get away? We’re living in a unique time where we are fortunate to spend more quality time with our families, but some time for privacy to relax and recharge is also important. Having a separate living area in a different part of the house can be a great way to get a little breathing room while keeping everyone together. 

A bonus room or finished basement is a wonderful opportunity to create a space that complements pastimes, hobbies, or interests. Transform it into a media room, game room, home gym, or simply another place to lounge, watch TV, or catch up on reading. 


Breakfast nook

Photo: Cleary Tuck Under home design

We love that the kitchen nook is making a comeback in more new home designs! It’s a cozy space that’s warm and inviting, and a great way for families to connect over a meal. It’s also another area that can double as an impromptu office or laptop learning session for the kids.


Master on the main

Photo: Street of Dreams 2019

Create your own distinctive retreat while still close to the home’s main living areas. A home design with the master suite on the main floor ensures the parents get the peace and quiet they deserve while the kids are upstairs, especially if there’s a big difference in bed and awake times. 



Photo: Street of Dreams 2019

What to do when you want to binge-watch Mindhunter while the kids are begging for Frozen for the 100th time? Send them to the loft with a sayonara and some snacks! 

We love lofts because they’re open, airy, and versatile. Add a second TV or Xbox, stow away an exercise mat and weights for an easy home workout space, or add some built-in desks for the kids’ schoolwork. And because they’re open with no closing doors, you can easily keep an eye on everyone while doing things in other parts of the home. 


Outdoor living areas

Photo: Bristol Prairie home design

Enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of home! A well-planned backyard space can help you get some much-needed fresh air and vitamin D. We’re seeing incredible spring weather here in the Pacific Northwest, and being outside is simply what we do here. Make the most of it with a designated space for seating with comfy chairs, greenery and potted plants and flowers, a protective shade or umbrella, fireplace, patio lighting, and mellow music. 

And don’t forget the front yard! An outdoor living space in the front of a home can increase curb appeal and allow you and your family to enjoy the blue skies while maintaining a connection to the community during this time of social distancing. 


Modern new homes in Oregon

If you’re looking for a new home that checks all your boxes, Renaissance Homes builds award-winning designs throughout greater Portland, including University Park, Eastmoreland, Woodstock, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and more. Our Renaissance Custom Homes division will help you build a custom-style home on your property. Contact us today to learn more about the process, home plans, and next steps.