It’s the silver lining of a terrible time: the more time we spend at home, the more we pay attention to the rooms we live in, and the more thought, effort and resources we invest to make our home as comfortable and beautiful as possible design and functional as they can be. Christine Jurs and her husband Todd started their company Advance Design Studio almost 30 years ago. “I was an interior designer and he was a carpenter / contractor by trade. I want to say the chocolate hit the peanut butter when we met. “The Gilberts, Illinois-based company has definitely seen a surge in remodeling and design work since the beginning of COVID-19.
“It seems that the demand is there and likely will remain. Most experts in our industry expect a pretty strong year, ”says Jurs.
Obviously everyone is affected by the “new normal” that is no longer new. One of the first things homeowners focus on is the home office. “People say we should take the home office seriously because they now work almost permanently from home,” said Jurs. “One of the big changes we anticipate is that many things will not change as companies have found that people work from home, which is a huge cost saving. We’re building a real home office with cabinets and moldings, hiding those computer cables and turning it into a place you really enjoy hanging out. “
On the docket, distance learning. “I don’t see this need going away anytime soon. The idea might be to look into how we use technology and just check where that family tech station is, since all kids who go to school at home now have laptops. They have iPhones. You need to have plug-ins and loading areas. “
Jurs emphasizes that families look carefully at how they actually function. The kitchen still remains the center of a house. “The kitchen is a meeting place for families. Most of the time it needs to be renovated so families can entertain and more people can gather on this island. But now let’s look at how to build an area for children’s schooling, hide electrical outlets, and set up charging stations in closets. “
People are also rethinking how they cook in the kitchen. “Homeowners cook more at home than ever before. There’s a return to that idea of remodeling a kitchen for a well-functioning kitchen, even for people who might not have cooked before, hey you know what? We’re going to take cooking seriously because at this point they kind of have to and they realized how much they hate their kitchen or how outdated it is. “
Another area that has become a major focus is the mud room. “Mud rooms have really turned into multifunctional spaces,” says Jurs. “We have just completed a really multifunctional model with storage space for sports, craft areas, space for potted plants and gift packaging. We also added built-in laundry baskets in the mud room on a beautiful, functional island. Especially now that everyone is at home, there seems to be more stuff going on. The backpack wall was really big, but I think people are focusing on this functional storage. “
According to Jurs, there is an increased demand for the “Mecca of family entertainment”. We build a lot of families in the basement because families are at home. “Often this includes a home theater, game room, bars, refrigerators and an oven or microwave, much like a second kitchen.
Jurs’ business also saw the need to reinforce the outdoor entertainment space. “Those of us in the Midwest have limited time to enjoy the outdoors – and when we do, we want to make the most of it. The indoor and outdoor areas have reappeared, ”said Jurs. “Since people are at home, this room was huge for three seasons. I think we did more of it last year than ever before. And there are many more to come for the coming year. Because it’s a room that you can use most of the year, especially if you put a fireplace in it, a nice ceiling fan. You can also connect a TV there. With three seasons we can achieve so much in our climate. “
“People are now definitely focusing and investing in their homes,” says Jurs. With less being spent on travel and going out, this definitely seems like the perfect time to realize some of those home dreams.
Visit advancedesignstudio.com for more information.