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Rethinking the Living Space

The house evolution had long begun, and the starting point was to try to make houses more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The moment we experienced the lockdown inside our homes and spent more time living in a place that previously mainly guaranteed us food and sleep, the reorganization of its areas became the main topic.



It was back in March that we began to give another meaning to our houses. The home has effectively become a haven. It was in that same month that the houses also became the place for work, school, gym, leisure and all other already assigned functions to the house.


The plan is that new areas and new organization of divisions within the house will be promptly contemplated in new constructions. Private outdoor spaces and remote work places are the new daily routine inside doors, and these will be the first issues to be thought of by builders.


The New Areas of the House


Private outdoor space, such as balconies, gardens or terraces, is a widely requested criterion. Whoever lived the lockdown in an apartment, where the only connection to the outside was through windows, gained knowledge that it's fundamental for a house to have a private outdoor space. These places are essential for activities such as sports, family interaction or even an excellent remote work area. The building of terraces or balconies should reduce the useful space covered, becoming a new challenge regarding the organization of the interior of the house.


The pandemic has accelerated what was already anticipated, working remotely. A large percentage of the Portuguese started working from home, however with some space constraints. The lack of suitable furniture and a room with privacy have made the builders aware of something new. The office area will be an essential criterion in the search of a new home. For total comfort, this space should be prepared with natural light, proper ventilation and thermal and sound insulation. The office should have space to accommodate at least two people, as it is already a way of life in Portuguese families.


Common Parts – Condominium


It is expected that the common areas of the condominiums will be a concern in the future. Gardens in condominiums give the freedom to leave home with some security and ensure the necessary social distance in these times.


Another common area predicted, will be the coworking spaces that, in a way, could benefit those who wish to leave the family house to work, but still want to be just a few meters away from their home.


Gyms and common pools have been a constant in new condominiums. These common areas have become even more relevant in times of a pandemic.


Urban Revitalization


The houses positioning respecting the solar orientation will be increasingly considered to obtain good results in the energy certificate. In Portugal the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and despite being a small country, the temperatures vary considerably from region to region. The house should be well positioned according to the regional location, to obtain cooler temperatures in the summer and warmer in the winter.


Some studies indicate that local businesses will be a trend. Local businesses could gain more space in housing areas, facilitating access to some products, if the need for further lockdown arises, thus avoiding crowds.


Senior residences, as well as student residences, may appear in a large number. Taking advantage of the existence of the Non-Habitual Residents programme and the low number of Covid-19 cases in Portugal, the bet will be on these developments, benefiting those who want to spend their retirement in a safe country with mild temperatures like Portugal (know the advantages of the NHR program here).


Regarding student residences, it may be a business alternative for those who have a local accommodation, moving from short-term rental to short-long-term rental of no more than one year and with the option to renew the contract.


Structural changes are inevitable in urban planning. These changes will not happen immediately, but gradually, they will start to show.


If you believe that this is still not the right time to look for a new home, you can always redefine the areas in your current home, see some tips here. If you're looking for a plot to build a house from scratch with all the criteria required, search here. To make the moving process as short as possible, please contact Casas do Barlavento, we will be happy to present you with the house that will meet all your requirements.