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How the work-life balance evolution has influenced architectural design

Our pursuit of the perfect work-life balance has changed the way our homes are designed and sold

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By House & Garden South Africa | October 21, 2021 | Architecture

The biggest influence on architectural design and the high-end property market right now is the demand for holistic living spaces.

People are looking for homes that tick all the boxes when it comes to living a well balanced life. Homes with an office set-up with indoor and outdoor spaces, a separate entrance where staff and clients could visit for the odd meeting as well as other additional comfort, style and outdoor living features families can can enjoy together. An exceptional view and location are also a top priority.

According to the team at Amazing Spaces Lifestyle Investments, architectural designs now need to allow for more space to be created between the house and the office. Or, through clever design incorporate it into the home so that there are separate spaces for our work and quality family time needs. Adding spaces that prioritise fitness has become an important part of this balance, so spaces for gyms, yoga rooms or a lap pool are integrated more now than ever before.

Amazing Spaces Lifestyle Investments co-founder Julia Finnis-Bedford says what was once thought of as a home that offered a work-life balance is now just not and the concept is in fact taking on a completely new definition.

“Just a few years ago, it was the smaller, turn-key homes like a beach bungalow on Clifton 4th beach, or an old Victorian in Chelsea Village in Wynberg that were dominating sales and fetching astonishingly high prices. As beautiful as they are, working from home for these homeowners is just not practical. Therefore, they are opting for larger homes further away from the city centre and are using these smaller turn-key properties as second or even third weekend homes.”, says Julia.

The Amazing Spaces Lifestyle Investments portfolio in the Western Cape has more interest in properties in the Constantia suburb of Cape Town. Set on the slopes of Table Mountain, the area is lush and green with lots of little streams, some of which run through the gardens of large properties. Nature is in abundance and so the properties here are ideal for those looking for a work-life balance.

Jane Visser, Director of Jane Visser Architects in Cape Town has noticed the shift more people are making due to the pandemic.

“I think we all realise the value of our homes and especially any outdoor space. But I don’t think we quite realised how important a connection to the outdoors was, even if it’s just being able to look through beautiful windows. It’s essential though with these new requests coming through, that we create spaces that don’t date, have a timeless appeal and that connect into the landscape. Flexible space in a home is certainly valued a lot more now and while we all love the open plan lifestyle around a kitchen, there is a need to have smaller spaces running off that.”, says Jane.

Now with more time at home due to the pandemic, the work-life balance is redefining the way we live and the way we design the spaces we live in.