As our global population continues to rise, housing and affordable housing continues to evolve, but also face new challenges.
Those of us living in metropolitan areas know that what seemed small and cramped a couple years ago seems to be the going standard now, at least within the same budget. So how do we adapt our already small spaces when we're now working from home, too? Add a roommate, partner or family member and you can practically see your focus, creativity and motivation slipping through your fingers.
Luckily, as we all try to pivot and adapt to a new way of life, businesses and products are doing the same. Or rather, they have been adapting for years but we've never fully needed them, or never knew we did. Here we'll look at five ways you can take back your focus, even while being confined to your shared living space.
Tension Screen Panels
Both practically and aesthetically, are well beyond what any freestanding room divider could accomplish. Using tension rods to stay securely in place, these screen panels divide a space instantly, without ever screwing into the ceiling or floor. They allow light to pass through, but create privacy for you to get focused and stay focused.
Probably the most comprehensive option for a renter in desperate need of a home office, modular walls are the 21st century answer to creating rooms within your home. They're generally held together with click-technology (think if lego was for adults and also aesthetically pleasing) and fully customizable, coming in different colors and even wallpaper designs. While they're pricier than a room divider, a month's worth of rent might be worth it to have a productive space for yourself again. You can get a single wall, the L shape or even the U shape for four sides of coverage. No more hungover roommates walking behind you during your zoom calls…
When I think of room dividers I think of the parchment paper screen in the takeout restaurant, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how room dividers have evolved through the years. The newer modern designs are definitely more pleasing on the eye, and they can help create a visual barrier between you and the rest of your home. While they don't do anything for sound or much for atmosphere, they're a good start to establishing some much-needed boundaries.
Wall Mounted Desk
If dividing your living room isn't an option, you might need to retreat to your bedroom for some focus. But as apartments get smaller, bedrooms do too and we don't all have room for an executive desk alongside our bed and dresser. The wall mounted desk has been around for a while, but can definitely come in handy if you're working from home but low on floor space. Many even provide shelving to keep items stored even when you're not using it. Only drawback is these require some drilling, but with a quick paint job before moving out you'll get your deposit back no problem.
The Balcony Office
While it might sound crazy, with some light modifications your balcony can become your own home office oasis. Already separated from the rest of your home, the balcony can be the perfect place to enjoy the fresh air while being unbothered by your roommates. Decktiles and plantwalls are easy, efficient ways to create a bit of atmosphere, combined with a few of your favourite plants and you'll wonder why you ever bothered to work on the couch. The best part is, these additions will be great when you have guests over or want to have dinner outside. A little balcony makeover never hurt anybody!