Does Your Home Pass The Functionality Test?

There is a famous quote by the 19th century designer William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”


It’s a great quote, clearly, with the words resonating for so many of us that it pops up freely during a home renovation search on Pinterest or can be bought on Etsy, framed and in various sizes.


It is when homeowners have cause to spend more time at home however, that the words of this quote can come into sharp focus. Being at home for significant stretches will inevitably shift what we need from our living space, and this can lead to a variety of new pain points.


Quarantining during the pandemic gave us all this experience. We were suddenly forced to find new ways to work, relax, entertain, and create more personal space at home, and either our homes could be adapted well, or all the adjusting was up to us as we struggled within a house that was suddenly not functionally fit.


It is not just pandemic quarantining however, that can expose the degree of functionality of our home. Time at home following the birth of a child; during the process of shifting from one job or profession to another; and personal illness – whether short or protracted – are all common reasons why we may be prompted to question how well our home meets our various needs.

Here are the top 3 things we find ourselves longing for when our homes fail the functionality test:


1. Modern, Multitasking Kitchens


The kitchen is the home’s hub, and according to Houzz senior economist, Marine Sargsyan, it is consistently the most common project that homeowners undertake when they renovate.



A stunning, versatile Kitchen Renovated by Hille’s Home Extensions


Sargsyan believes the pandemic played a significant role in influencing homeowners to think of ways the kitchen could better serve them as a living space moving forward. “Kitchens, in particular, became the command centre for the home, where more meals were prepared and eaten on a daily basis, and it became a new location for work, schooling, entertainment, and more.”


2. Private Sanctuary Bathrooms


If hiding in the bathroom to get a little alone time is something you can relate to – and whether that was during the pandemic or still now – then you’ll appreciate why the bathroom is the second most popular room to renovate.

For many, the bathroom acts as the only private space away from children and family, and this need for a space that provides relaxation and respite increases almost overnight when our circumstances change and we find ourselves at home more.


Rejuvenating is easy in this bathroom renovated by Hille’s Home Extensions


So, what does a bathroom renovation entail? According to Sargsyan, at a minimum, it includes replacing the cabinetry or vanity, countertops, and toilet.

But attention to aesthetics remains important, with this arguably adding to the functionality of a space that is intended to calm and refresh. Quality design here is key, with resort-style luxury – think freestanding bathtubs and exotic tiling – bringing added value to your bathroom, whether this is for your benefit now or for when you may someday choose to sell.


3. Alternatives To Open Floor Plans


News flash: Open Floor Plans Have Started to Fall Out of Favour!  It’s true. The once much-loved open floor plan concept is on its way out in the face of a rising trend to return to defined spaces.


Open concept homes skyrocketed in popularity in the 1970s, and by the mid 1990’s nearly all new construction involved some version of an open floor plan or great room. But after nearly half a century of ascendancy, open concept living has been losing ground as buyers turn to cosier, more energy-efficient housing.


Added to this, these days homeowners are tiring of open plan living due to the lack of privacy: whether you’re in the living room, kitchen, or dining room, everyone knows what everyone else is doing.


There are also the inescapable problems of more visible messes whether in the kitchen or greater living area; children being able to access kitchen hazards; greater noise levels; and less overall storage space because fewer walls means that you have a lot less space for console tables or shelving.


Long periods spent at home afford us the opportunity to see our living spaces differently. The lessons we learn during such times can be capitalised on, with a well-designed home renovation or home extension enabling us to improve the functionality of our homes overall and for years to come.


What’s Next?

Get more of an insight into a home renovation or house extension by contacting the team at Hille’s today.