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2020 was a complex year. While many of us will be happy to see it go, eagerly welcoming a new year with open arms, there are some important lessons we can take from the year that was – especially when it comes to our living spaces.

Spending more time inside saw many people reconsider their homes, both in terms of functionality and layout. This was especially true for our communal, working and outdoor living spaces. 2020 saw the rise of the home office and an emphasis on easy access to the outdoors. We also saw indoor and outdoor living areas regain importance.

As we enter a new year, we expect the impacts of 2020 will continue to influence home design. Keep reading to discover our top predictions for living spaces in 2021 and beyond…


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The kitchen was reinstated as the heart of the home in 2020 as we said goodbye to restaurant dinners and hello to lovingly-prepared, homemade meals with the family. This shift led many to rediscover a love of cooking and baking and is something we expect to hang around in 2021.

As the kitchen becomes an even more important part of the home, we expect new designs will prioritise high-end appliances and high-quality materials over cheaper alternatives. We’re also predicting bench seating will make a comeback as a space where kids can complete homework and friends can sit and chat while helping prepare a meal.

Home Office

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A home office is a given in 2021. As much of the world transitioned to full-time work from home in 2020, the ease of flexible working conditions was recognised by companies big and small.

After experiencing the freedom of this option, many businesses will continue to integrate work from home as part of their employee offering – whether it be part- or full-time. But there’ll be no more working at the kitchen bench or dining table – instead, we’re expecting to see dedicated spaces where working from home is productive and easy. A functional home office is achieved by careful planning at the design phase and this should not be underestimated by those considering a building project in the new year.

Outdoor Living Spaces

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Already an integral part of the Queensland lifestyle, outdoor living is set to become even more important in 2021 – especially as much of 2020 was spent inside. Outdoor living areas are a place to recharge and reconnect with nature, as well as host social gatherings throughout the year.

Whether your alfresco area opens onto an in-ground pool, boasts a comprehensive outdoor kitchen or simply features a dining table and some comfy chairs, it’s important that you get it right. We recommend some kind of cover in case of inclement weather and easy access to your interior spaces for convenience and flow.

Secondary Living Spaces

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The rise of the second living room is something to look out for in 2021. As much of 2020 was spent on our phones, laptops and computers during the day and in front of the television at night, the new year offers a fresh start, a chance to disconnect a little, and our homes should support this.

A secondary living room is a space without a television that allows for rest, recharging, meditation, relaxation – whatever you need to enjoy some ‘me-time’. With an increase in working from home, these activities will become even more important, as will this invaluable space.


If you’re considering a custom home build in 2021 and want to make the most of your living spaces, get in touch with the Gold Coast’s leading luxury home builder McGowan Homes today.

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