The pandemic has created a lot of change in our professional and personal lives, from work to school and everything in between. It has affected both young and old, with people working from home and kids learning virtually. Families have had to cope with less space and privacy as they spend more time at home with laptops and paperwork, which can get messy and crowded.

“Meritage Homes is well aware of this shift in climate and has been paying close attention to the new needs of its homebuyers,” says Brian Juedes, Vice President of Product Design at Meritage. This insight has led the Meritage design team to update their floorplans to better reflect the way families are utilizing the spaces in their homes today — and in the future.

1. Work/study alcoves

Many who are working from home have had to use the dining room table or kitchen island as a space to study or work. But working in such a high-traffic area can get very distracting and loud, and it may take up space needed for cooking and eating. To address these issues, Meritage Homes has added work/study alcoves in many homes, including homes that are under construction and existing. These alcoves are generally small — about 2 feet by 5 feet — and can accommodate a small desk. And they are carved into a private area like the bedroom hallway, so homeowners can more easily create a dedicated working space. “This provides a great solution for people who are looking for a space to work or study at home without having to forego an entire room in their home,” says Juedes.

2. Expanded everyday entry

When folks come home, they take more precautions now, such as washing up or disinfecting what they bring into the house. For this reason, the design team has expanded the entryway off of the garage in our newer floorplans. “It allows a space for a bench, coatrack or countertop to drop whatever you’re carrying and disinfect it if you feel the need to do so,” says Juedes. “This creates a more defined ‘drop zone,’ or some people have even turned it into a disinfectant zone.”

Many homeowners are also taking it to the next level by adding a half-bath. “If you do have a powder room in the floorplan, try to put it as close as you can to this everyday entrance in the house so you can immediately go there and have a washbasin available to clean up,” says Juedes.


3. Bulk storage closets

Lately, when families go shopping, they tend to buy bulk food and other supplies for longer terms, meaning they need a bit more storage in their homes. In response to that, we are adding space in our homes for another closet, some as big as 5 feet by 5 feet, and ideally near the everyday entry, says Juedes. “That way if you’re making that store run, you don’t have to go clear across the house to put everything away."

Meritage is a Leader in Innovation

Over the past few years, Meritage has offered features such as more open floorplans and bigger kitchen islands because that’s what homebuyers wanted. “We pay attention to trends and what our consumers are telling us they want in their products,” says Juedes. But Meritage saw the need to address different trends and demands this past year with the pandemic. That's why Meritage is quickly responding to new trends that have been seen during the pandemic, catering to customers' new needs and helping them adjust to a new life in their homes.

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