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Suddenly, no-touch faucets are on the top of our home wishlists.

By Katie Holdefehr
April 16, 2020
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Over the past month or so, the novel coronavirus outbreak has altered our daily lives in ways big and small. And even once quarantines end and stay-at-home orders are lifted, some expect that the "new normal" may look a little different. Analyzing sales data (turns out, everyone is ordering a bidet attachment right now) and considering how our daily habits and cleaning routines have shifted, we're predicting seven ways the coronavirus could influence home decor trends in the months or years to come. From the home features that may become real estate must-haves to changes in layout, here are our guesses for how we might design the more hygienic homes of the future.

1
The Return of the Mudroom

During the coronavirus outbreak, the simple act of walking in the front door has turned from a mundane moment to an involved process. We carefully remove face masks, throw away gloves, take off our shoes, reach for the hand sanitizer, or head to the sink to wash our hands. In the future, even once we ditch the masks and gloves, we may still think a little differently about our entryways.

The return of the mudroom, or an antechamber between the front door and the house, provides the ideal spot to remove shoes, hang up jackets, and slather on sanitizer before stepping inside. And even for homes that don't have the luxury of a separate mudroom, there may be an increased focus on creating a clean and organized entryway "drop zone" so we can leave our germs at the door.

2
Antimicrobial Materials (Hello, Copper!)

Some materials are naturally antimicrobial, or the have intrinsic properties that destroy microorganisms. Fortunately, some common materials, including copper and its alloys brass and bronze, are antimicrobial. For this reason, we foresee copper, brass, and bronze hardware and fixtures becoming very popular in the months ahead. These fixtures will help destroy germs and bacteria on kitchen cabinet handles or doorknobs, even if we're not constantly dousing them with disinfecting spray.

Note: Just be sure when you're shopping that the hardware is made of real copper or brass—many options are actually zinc or steel with a painted gold or copper finish.

3
Bidets

If the skyrocketing sales at bidet attachment companies are any indication, this is one design trend that's already taking off. As a response to toilet paper panic-purchasing and the subsequent TP shortages at stores across the country, more and more Americans are investing in bidet attachments during quarantine.

In future months and years, I think we can expect to see toilets with built-in bidets become an increasingly popular real estate keyword.

4
No-Touch Faucets

Recently, as we all wash our hands more often than ever before, we're paying extra attention to our sinks. The home retail experts at Build.com predict that touch-free faucets, like this sleek Kohler option, could become more popular as we all try to design a more hygienic home. If you've ever worried about getting your freshly washed hands instantly germy again when you turn off the faucet, this is the solution.

5
Must-Have Home Offices

A few months ago, a home office was generally considered a nice bonus, but in the post-coronavirus real estate world, it may become a necessity. Now that stay-at-home orders have required many companies to set up systems for remote work, some predict that WFH will remain popular, even once quarantine ends. Suddenly, the home office that was once a luxury may become a must-have.

RELATED: 4 Tips for Creating a Makeshift Work-From-Home Space—and 2 Common Mistakes to Avoid

6
Air Purifiers

Although there isn't any scientific evidence yet that high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can capture the novel coronavirus, studies have shown that air filtration can reduce the transmission of the flu and measles, as noted by Consumer Reports. Even as we await the scientific evidence, the novel respiratory disease, coupled with more time spent at home, is making many of us rethink our indoor air quality.

Replacing or upgrading the filters in HVAC units in homes, as well as investing in air purifiers for homes and apartments, may soon become a top priority.

7
Cork Flooring

According to the home pros at Build.com, cork flooring is poised to make a comeback, in part because it is naturally antimicrobial and water-resistant, helping prevent mold and mildew. Plus, it reduces sound (which seems particularly appealing right now, as families share home and work spaces) and is more comfortable to walk on barefoot (a bonus when we're all taking our shoes off inside the house).