Phil Lifshin's Newsletter

Phil Lifshin's Newsletter

Phil Lifshin Newsletter July 2020
What Will Homes Look Like In A Post-pandemic World?


A lot has changed in just a few months, and for many that includes the idea of what a 'dream home' looks like. Not long ago, buyers were showing preference toward smaller homes and open concept spaces conducive to gathering. After a few months cooped up inside, those features don't seem so appealing - and developers have taken note.

"While the coronavirus still rages on, it's hard to predict what post-pandemic abodes might look like," according to Barrons. "Yet, developers around the U.S. are already rethinking projects, anticipating residents' needs and preferences that Covid-19 would spur. In doing so, they are re-evaluating current in-unit aesthetics and in-demand amenities."

Post Pandemic Home

Here are just a few areas of home design where trends may shift in the coming years:

Home size
Homes had been trending smaller, but that may be over. With so many families spending (way) more time around the home lately, there's never been more need for personal space. Expect homes to grow in size accordingly.

Prioritizing the home office
As more and more businesses relax work-from-home policies, or shift to full-time remote work entirely, the home office will become a near-essential for many buyers. A space that was once an after-thought now will need to offer privacy, good lighting and be pre-wired for telecommuting.

Return to the closed-floor plan
For some buyers, the appeal of the open-floor plan was already trending down prior to 2020, and the past few months have only made the reasons why more evident. Sharing more time and space at home demands privacy for school work, hobbies, and entertainment. With more meals being cooked at home, an open concept kitchen becomes noisy epicenter practically all day long. Builders expect a rise in demand for closed floor plans, where rooms are partitioned for purpose.

Smart technology
This is already one of the fastest growing trends in home design, but smart home technology will soon move from a 'plus' to a 'must'. Temperature and lighting control can now be voice or motion-activated. Touchless faucets, once thought superfluous, are now an inexpensive and health-conscious upgrade. Systems that filter air and monitor air quality will become more common and affordable.

The Hot Trend of the Summer: Stock Tank Pools


PoolFor many of us, summer means pool time. But if you usually visit a community pool or recreation center, that might not be an option right now. Building a traditional pool at your home is a big and expensive project. That's where the stock tank pool comes in.

"These inexpensive farm staples were originally designed as water troughs for livestock," said Country Living "but that's part of their country-chic appeal. Nowadays, stock tank swimming pools have been popping up in backyards across the country."

Here's how to make a splash with a stock tank pool in your own backyard.

Pick your size
Round stock tanks come in 10ft, 8ft, and 6ft diameters. As popularity has grown, the larger sizes have become more challenging to secure. There are also oval options, but they don't necessarily provide the same kind of swimming experience.

Pick your spot
Where you're going to put your stock tank pool is just as important as the pool itself. Without a level foundation, you'll have leaks. "Job one is obviously selecting the site for your stock tank pool. You'll need to prepare the area by creating a solid, level base," said Tractor Supply. "You could use compacted sand, or even crushed granite. But, it's very important to ensure that it's a smooth surface, free of any rocks or sharp edges."

Add your accessories
And by accessories, we mean design and function.

Function first. A stock tank pool isn't as easy to set up as a kiddie pool. You could just fill it with water and call it a day, but you'll end up swimming in gunk. Take a cue (and detailed instructions) from the Hey Wanderer blog, and keep your pool clean all summer long with proper pumps and chlorine.

Once you've got your stock tank set up, it's time to make it fancy. While the tank alone has its own distinct vibe, it can be dressed up in any number of ways. Paint the metal, build deck seating around it, hang lights, and incorporate tikis to create a tropical getaway feel—the sky's the limit!