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With orders to isolate or quarantine, many people saw their homes instantly transformed into the temporary site of work, entertainment, school, exercise, happy hour and everything else they used to leave the house for.

Little changes can go a long way in making a home’s multipurpose spaces comfortable and functional

It’s likely that the coronavirus pandemic will have extensive long-term effects on housing, and not just the housing market but also the things people will prioritize when looking for their next home.

Take someone who recently began working from home. If they have their eye on a more permanent work-from-home arrangement, maybe they will move to a more affordable location because they’re no longer worried about a commute. In searching for a new home, they may want a dedicated home office.

Families that have had parents working from home and children schooling from home at the same time may be getting tired of their trendy open-concept floor plans that don’t offer much in the way of privacy or peace and quiet. Perhaps the next home will feature more closed off spaces just in case.

With the usual outdoor travel and recreation options being limited, many people are turning to their own backyards, patios, gardens or nearby parks to experience a slight reprieve from the daily grind. Turns out the pandemic may have been just the eye opener people needed to make those outdoor spaces a priority.

As businesses reopen and restrictions are lifted, there are still plenty of at-risk individuals staying home and people who find themselves going out less often because their income took a hit. Even if a move isn’t in the near future, there are plenty of little things one can do to make their current living situation better suited for the multiple purposes it is now serving.

These steps can help make the most of a living room/home office/gym/theater combo.

Start by creating an open space for exercise. Aim for an area of about 3 feet by 7 feet. If there’s more room, that’s great, but this 21-square-foot area allows for a yoga mat with a bit of wiggle room. It might be snug, but it should work for enough situps, pushups, lunges, jumping jacks, planks, squats and other simple exercises to stay active at home.

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