A home of any kind is a blessing. But quarantine also means that small elements of home design can have significant consequences.
How much space you have, the number of rooms, whether you have internet, a dishwasher and washing machine, whether you have an area in which to exercise or be alone or be together or cook or get fresh air—those factors will now take on even more weight.
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Our homes are now being used not only as shelter and refuge, but also as workplace and school and gym and theater and restaurant and bar and laundry and town square.
But whether a house or a compact apartment, those dwellings were never meant to be as profoundly multifunctional as a shelter-in-place scenario requires them to be.
For many centuries, a dining table at home spelled class and dignity. Ancient Greeks called it an andron, a place to eat and have discussions, even get entertained by performing artists.
The dining table constructed a power dynamic that happens when people of different class, race or gender relations sit and eat together, something that was replicated across centuries and in all advanced civilizations of the past.
Social distancing is causing people to change up their looks. With hair salons closed, people have resorted to cutting their long locks or shaving their heads, dying their hair blue or pink with box dye. Others are piercing their own ears and noses at home. The most adventurous is contemplating giving themselves quarantine stick-and-poke tattoos with kits they bought.
Most people do it out of necessity. But the urge to make yourself over is not just reacting to boredom. It is a more complicated coping mechanism.
We often confuse the structural, physical entity that is the house as home. It may be the body of the home, and just like we relate to our body, the home relates to the house structure.
Home is when it is lived, filled with life, with the smell of cooking, or when children are busy playing in the lawn.
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