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  • Writer's pictureLily Dittschlag & Dennis Dittschlag


Passive House Toronto

As the pandemic is seemingly coming to an end, and as lockdown restrictions ease, you're probably excited to be less homebound. But with uncertainty still lingering, no one really knows when things would go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. Is working-from-home here to stay? Or is return-to-office inevitable?

But one thing is for certain, after being stuck at home for over a year, you realize your home can be more than just a place to sleep. It is a place to work, play, sleep, and so much more. The pandemic has inspired many to renovate their homes to accommodate this new way of living. In one of earlier blogs, we discussed how the pandemic impacted interior design trends. This blog highlights the top three pandemic-inspired renovation trends that we think are here to stay.

1. Creating multipurpose rooms

Passive House Toronto

Working from home made it necessary for many people to rearrange one or more rooms to serve as an office. With so many video meetings and constantly being on camera, having an uncluttered room in the background adds a level of professionalism.

This led to a demand for creative built-in storage solutions that are both stylish and functional. Renovations that incorporated floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with a discrete murphy bed have become increasingly popular. Instead of dedicating an entire room to be used solely as a guest bedroom a few times in a year, installing a murphy bed saves space and puts the bed out of sight. The custom cabinets create extra hidden storage for pillows and beddings.

This transforms the room entirely and can serve as a professional-looking work office during the day and serve as a comfortable sleeping area for your guests during the night. Creating rooms with multiple purposes is a great way to maximize your living space.

2. Enhancing outdoor spaces

Passive House Toronto

When public spaces were off-limits during the pandemic, many homeowners focused on upgrading their backyards. Before the pandemic, the backyard was mostly underutilized. It was primarily a place for outside storage or a weed-infested lawn that needs constant mowing. But as the pandemic dragged on, the backyard renovations such as screened porches, gazebos, decks, pools, and hot tubs became more popular. Many people look for ways to make the most of spending time at home.

Given that most lots in Mimico are long and deep, even with the minimum zoning requirements for landscaping, it is possible to fit in several upgrades, if your budget allows for it. That way you can have both your hot tub and gazebo!

3. Letting in natural light

Passive House Toronto

Pandemic lockdowns inspired some homeowners to bring the outdoors inside with windows, skylights, and sun tunnels. Natural light not only makes a space brighter but can also boost your mood and productivity.

Upgrading your windows not only improves energy efficiency with double or triple pane windows, but a larger format sheet of glass allows more light into the home.

If you're looking to install a skylight, make sure you're working with a qualified professional. When done right, it ensures a tight seal and minimal maintenance issues so that there are no leaks and condensation. A skylight illuminates the room from above that can certainly brighten up your day.

A sun tunnel is another option that allows natural light into your home. Unlike a skylight that requires a large opening on the rooftop, a sun tunnel is usually a much smaller opening that channels sunlight down a highly reflective tube into the desired room of your house. Sun tunnels have the ability to completely transform a dark and windowless room into an area full of natural light.

But remember, before you start any home renovation project...

It is always best to check with your municipality to see if building permits are required and if any zoning bylaws could restrict what and where you can build. Also, it is a good idea to get quotes from several contractors and make sure any contract you sign protects you in case the work is not completed or delayed. We have touched on some of these topics in our previous blog posts that you can reference below.

Toronto building permits:

Property lines:

Legal Agreements:

Interior design tips:

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