A lot of things have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic; construction and design are no exception. We’ve been designing and building homes for a long time, here are three ways that we’ve seen the trends change in 2021.
Open Floor Plans are Off the Table
We all thought that open floor plans were here to stay. When the pandemic hit, it left most Canadians isolated in their homes – this also forced work, school, exercise and more to take place in the very same space, your home. For most homeowners, an open floor plan is simply impractical. Imagine trying to do a Zoom video conference with your co-workers with your kids are also in an online video-based classroom. Now let’s throw in dogs playing in the background and the hustle and bustle of the entire family at home, all day, every day. There’s only so much you can do with partitions and backdrops.
While dream concepts still involve an open floor plan in the kitchen and living areas, dedicated spaces are now a must when it comes to a home renovation. Floor plans now involve home offices, exercise rooms and homeschool spaces. Homeowners aren’t skimping when it comes to interior design, either. After all, home is now where we spend the majority of our time. That leads us to our second point…
Home Décor is In High Demand
Anyone in the home goods industry will tell you that orders have hit unprecedented levels. It seems that homeowners are finding their joy in creating beautiful spaces (we love hearing that)! Here are some ways people are getting creative at home:
- With beautiful wallpaper;
- Changing out flooring or backsplash;
- Adding custom details such as wainscot, shiplap or crown molding;
- Painting the interior or exterior of their home (bold colors such as accent walls are totally in);
- Giving kitchen cabinets a facelift, either with a new paint job or changing out the doors.
If you are one of the lucky people who has found happiness in re-designing your home – we get you! It’s our happy place, too.
Indoor-Outdoor Living is Where It’s At
Most people would go mad being stuck inside all day. That’s why outdoor spaces are so important in 2021 and beyond. Not just decks and patios, but landscaping. Believe it or not, one of the most popular activities in 2021 is edible landscaping – in other words, growing your own food. More and more homeowners are discovering the joy of growing things on their own land, whether small or large, and harvesting the fruits of their labor in true farm-to-fork fashion.
With the short growing season in Alberta, there are ways homeowners are finding to double up the growing season by adding a sunroom or solarium to their home. We’re home to one of the sunniest provinces in Canada, finding ways to extend the growing season, give outdoor plants a head start and harvest edible foods long into the winter months are not only smart things to consider; they are a great way to involve the entire family in something wholesome every day of the year.
Just like interior design, edible landscaping should include space planning, taking into consideration location, colours, textures, as well as the practicality of what you want to grow. Homeowners should measure and plan their gardens just like they would the rooms in their home. Here are a few tips when planning your home garden:
- Perennials should make up most of your landscape. Perennials are plants that come back year after year, so they require very little maintenance, aside from watering and fertilizing them. Most fruit trees are perennials.
- Be sure to plant native trees and flowers. These will thrive in your area, have fewer pest problems, and will require very little maintenance in general.
- Think ahead with plant growth. Be sure to plant trees and large bushes with enough girth, and research trees that have wide root systems so that they don’t interfere with the foundation of your home.
- Having a thriving garden means having the right soil. Successful gardeners “feed” their soil and focus on life underground, which results in beautiful, abundant plant life that will make your home the most beautiful in the neighborhood.
- The CBC’s Tara Nolan posted an incredible article in 2018 about food you can grow in even the smallest garden space
There are more fruits available to you than you may be aware, especially if you think about placing some of these hardy fruits that can easily grow in the harsh Alberta climate:
- Apples. Focus on apples that are hardy enough for the prairies. Red Sparkle, Winter Cheeks, Goodland, September Ruby and Kerr are all productive. Dwarf apples, which produce quicker and on smaller trees are another great option.
- Apricots. Manchurian – Very hardy in Alberta and beautiful – the first pink blossoms of the season.
- Artic Kiwi Vines. Often produce bushel baskets of these tasty, small kiwi’s. Relative to the Chinese Gooseberries.
- Blueberries. Perhaps the world’s favourite berry. You too can grow them, with a little persistence and the right acidic soil location.
- Cranberries. Highbush. Why not make your own cranberry sauce this year?
- Cherry Plums. Manor – a sweet purple cherry crossed with a plum. Delicious! And a good pollinator.
- Currants Red or Black – Excellent for jams and jellies and loaded with vitamin C – a great cold cure.
- Haskap/Honeyberries. This fantastic fruit is amazing like a cross between a blueberry and a huckleberry! Super Hardy – they can withstand -40 degree weather, even the blossoms can take a -7C. First berry of the season – ready for picking by the end of June, can produce 7 kgs of fruit per bush, and super healthy and chock full of antioxidants.
- Goji Berries. A high-antioxidant sour devil, with thorny branches. Best dried in fruit mixes, or throw some in your morning smoothie!
- Grapes! Yup, that’s right. Grapes in Alberta.And not just Grape Jelly Grapes – like Valiant and Bluebell. Also Wine Grapes like Frontenac and Marechael Foch!
- Pineberries. The newest rage – white strawberries that taste like pineapples!
- Pears. Beautiful fragrant and productive – eventually! There are a few good varieties out there like Early Gold, Spice and John.
- Plums. Pembina is the largest and the best. Followed by Brookgold and Brookred.
- Raspberries. Red, Yellow and Black Despite all the “exotic” fruit I’ve mentioned, the yellow Honeyqueen raspberry is my favorite. Red, yellow, or black – wild or tame… They are delicious!
- Rhubarb. Homesteader, Strawberry Red, Macdonald, Victoria Red. You just can’t go wrong or without a Rhubarb plant in your backyard.
- Strawberries. Mmmmmm. Strawberries… Perhaps another one of the world’s favourite berries. The best for Alberta gardens are Kent, Honeyoe, Tristar and Seascape, and Allstar.
- Saskatoons. Our most delectable native berry in Alberta, Thiessen and Northline grow exceptionally well in Alberta.
2021 has been a challenging year for all of us, but all things contain a silver lining, and for us it has been wonderful to see so many people find joy in designing and remodelling their homes.
Ascend Builders has been building homes that 100% of our clients fall in love with.