The Covid-19 pandemic came out of nowhere earlier this year, yet its impact on our way of life looks set to rumble on for many months to come. It’s altered the where and how we work, socialise, shop and relax. If you had been asked, even back in early March when it was clear we would see changes in our day-to-day lives, if wedding receptions in July would be limited to just two households, would you have believed it? That even to have a pint at your local you would need to book a table? And, for those who love to jet away to sunnier shores, possibly spend summer 2020 in the UK..?!
Home working, home schooling, home improvements!
It’s also had a big impact on how many of us view our homes. Countless workers, who normally spend just a few hours a day at home during the week, find themselves rejigging living areas to make space for a home office. Instead of heading out to socialise at the weekend for a long while people were forced to remain at home. DIY equipment quickly became hot property as Britain embraced the chance to redecorate. Things that needed fixing, moving or painting finally made it from the ‘to do’ list to ‘done’ thanks to many of us having oodles of spare time. This focus on changing and upscaling our living spaces wasn’t limited to indoors only… just as the garden centres were forced to shut, the nation discovered a passion for gardening!
Placing greater value on our homes and gardens
The limitations of lockdown have been particularly tough for people living in busy urban areas and flats, with little to no outdoor space. For those lucky enough to have a garden, the enforced time could be spent gardening, reading, relaxing or cooking in the garden. Estate agents are reporting a rise in enquiries about homes in rural areas as we place a greater value having a garden and extra space for a home office. The wonderful spring weather and extra time at home has inspired people to plant, grow, build and renovate; transforming the humble garden into oases of relaxation and fun.
An spike in interest in outdoor kitchens
Here at CENA, we experienced a boom in interest for our outdoor kitchens as people made the decision to upscale their garden and make home the heart of their social lives this summer. Enquiries about new outdoor kitchens remain at the highest levels ever and our wonderful design, build and installation teams have been busy bringing customers’ dream kitchens to life. Outdoor kitchens enable you to enjoying a relaxing and rewarding cooking experience whilst still enjoying the company of friends and family. So often at a BBQ the chef is rushing in and out the house to fetch ingredients and side dishes. A full-sized fridge, cabinets, side burner, sink and more means you can store ingredients, equipment and condiments right where you need them! You can take a look at our latest installation in a beautiful home in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, here.
Will socialising at home be an enduring trend?
So what’s next for Britain’s way of life? As we write, restaurants, cafes and pubs are beginning to open up, workers are returning to offices and some brave souls are even booking holidays abroad. But in many cases, the atmosphere people seek for their down time simply isn’t there. Some are fearful of a second wave or more localised lockdowns; others are shielding or worry about socialising too soon. Supermarkets are still seeing high sales of home meal kits and alcohol, hinting that our new ‘socialising at home’ trend is sticking around for a while yet!