House plans for a post-COVID reality

History tells us that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic resulted in long-lasting changes in home design, including easier-to-clean materials, such as white subway tiles and linoleum floors.

In this current pandemic and its aftermath, it is our responsibility as design and construction professionals to create homes that not only help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, but also provide spaces fit for new standards. For many of us, working from home is now a reality that requires a quiet space suitable for video conference calls, while also tackling the creation of flexible spaces for home education and exercise. Like the changes brought about by the flu pandemic a hundred years ago, the post-COVID-19 era will undoubtedly lead to stunning shifts in all aspects of society.

These concepts from our design team provide a glimpse of how our homes will become safer and healthier, while also becoming more functional and flexible.


Trend in Novel Park

ARCHITECT: Dahlin Group Architecture | Schedule, [email protected]925.251.7200

DIMENSIONS: Width: varies; Depth: varies; Living areas: 1,746 sf – 3,519 sf

Trend at Novel Park is an innovative project designed in a tri-pack arrangement that attaches the houses only to the garage walls.

With no communal living walls adjacent to an adjacent unit, the plans provide the livability of a detached single-family home, including features that cater to homebuyer preferences stemming from the COVID pandemic, as reported in the America at Home study. These creative floor plan designs are aimed at a variety of home buyers, from first-time buyers to new families, giving more of them access to a safe home suitable for working, learning and recreation.


A† The bathrooms at the owner’s entrance allow residents to wash their hands before entering the rest of the house

B† Limited windows along the private garden ensure privacy

c. Generous entrance foyers provide a decontamination zone for guests, with space to store outerwear and shoes

d† Front patios act as outdoor living rooms, providing a remote space that safely fosters a social and interactive community

E† Flex garage space can be adapted to the needs of the workspace, play or home gym

f. Upper levels integrate private street-facing decks and, for some plans, a covered roof terrace on the third floor connected to a large bonus room

Dahlin map

Park private garden

Ranch Plan

DESIGNER Seth Hart, DTJ Design, [email protected]303.443.7333

DIMENSIONS: Width: 40 feet; Depth: 86 feet; Living area: 2,000 sf

This 2,000-square-foot ranch plan packs a ton of features into a small footprint and addresses the needs of a post-pandemic lifestyle. For example, the home office is now an essential part of any home design.

For this house plan, it becomes a focal point, with a glass entry wall flooding the hall with light and corner windows overlooking the courtyard. Meanwhile, a parcel delivery locker at the entrance keeps deliveries safe and can even regulate the temperature for food deliveries.

The basement in this plan showcases some great options for healthy living and entertainment, such as a yoga studio/home gym, tiered cinema and games room – plenty of spaces to get away, relax and stay healthy.

craftsman contemporaryDTJ

A. Built-in parcel delivery locker for secure storage

b. Direct access to laundry room and sink from the owner’s entrance allows for hand washing upon return

c. The superpantry offers quick access from both the owner’s entrance and kitchen, as well as ample storage and space for an additional fridge or freezer.

D. Private home office overlooking the courtyard

e. Home gym/yoga studio

f. Terraced cinema room

g. Games room with bar

DTJ map


ARCHITECT: Todd Hallett, AIA, TK Design & Associates, [email protected]248.446.1960

DIMENSIONS: Width: 55 feet; Depth: 50 feet; Living area: 3,575 sf

We are seeing a shift in homeowners’ wants and needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: Media rooms, offices and in-home gyms allow homeowners to work and play from home, while hands-free fixtures, keyless entry and other contactless features help spread the spread minimize germs.

ElevationTK map 1

A. “Zoom room” gives people who work from home the privacy they need for virtual meetings

b. This flex space can be used as additional office space, playroom, storage or guest suite

c. A cocktail bar, tucked away from the kitchen, promotes a little relaxation after a day’s work

D. The study offers a quiet space for people who work from home, pay bills or simply need a space to read and relax in peace

e. A designated classroom helps children focus on their schoolwork and virtual learning. School materials can also be tucked out of the way

TK floor plan 2

Traditional family life

ARCHITECT: Donald F. Evans, AIA, The Evans Group, [email protected]407.650.8770

DIMENSIONS: Width: 69 feet, 10 inches; Depth: 72 feet; Living area: 4,304 sf

front view

How has our lives changed in a post-COVID world? Our houses have become our sanctuaries; they are where we work, go to school, exercise, live and relax. But our homes just don’t have the space for all these activities. Let’s take a closer look at a design solution.

Work: This house plan has the option of turning into two separate home offices with a shared bathroom, private access from the outside and a door separating these activities from the rest of the house.

School: There is a dual use leisure area upstairs which can be used for home schooling and is complete with snack area or arts/crafts sink. We have also created two separate niches where online school can take place, if that is the chosen option. They are private but open, with natural light and built-in shelves.

Excercise: A lap pool is perfect for cardio, while a screened lanai can be used for yoga and stretching. A separate option for one car makes a complete transformation of the gym.

Live: An open, family-friendly floor plan with a great great room and gourmet kitchen overlooks the porch and the outdoor setting. Today’s families have more gear, from bicycles and scooters to kayaks and canoes, so storage space is essential. That’s why we show a three-car garage with an option for a four-car garage. We have adapted this plan to six bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s not uncommon for families today to have more than four children, so space is needed, but it can be left out of the house plan if not needed. Other family-friendly must-haves include a drop zone entrance from the garage, separate utility room, large walk-in closet and covered outdoor BBQ/kitchen.

Relax: The family-friendly great room also offers spaces to get away; while a dual-use seating and upstairs area provide additional space for relaxation. A large screened porch is perfect for an afternoon cocktail with some fresh air and then a dip in the pool/spa.

With so much going on across the country, from floods to wildfires, this home is designed with a brick base and cement-bonded siding. And while it’s not shown here, the entire roof, not just the accent roofs, can also be metal.

First floor of Traditional Family Living house plan designed by Donald F. Evans

A. Option for two separate home offices

b. Home-school/playroom zone above

c. Remote Study Niches

D. Swimming pool and spa

e. Optional One Car Garage Expansion for Home Gym Transformation

f. Open floor plan great room and gourmet kitchen

g. Covered screened porch

h. Barbecue/summer kitchen

Traditional House Plan for Family Home Designed by Donald F. Evans

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