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“There’s No Place Like Home, Or Is There?” White Paper by Mary Cook Associates Reveals Top Post-Pandemic Design Trends Impacting Builders and Multifamily Developers in 2021

April 16, 2021

Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates (MCA), a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm, today published a white paper entitled “There’s No Place Like Home, Or Is There?” discussing the changing home landscape in today’s world. The first in a series of eight papers that MCA will release in coming months based on its proven seven fundamentals of interior design methodology, the initial white paper explores the post-pandemic trends that will redefine how people live, as well as opportunities for builders and developers to fully understand that shifting paradigm and respond with innovative spaces.

“The past year impacted the nature of ‘home’ like nothing ever before” said Mary Cook, president and founder of Mary Cook Associates, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2021. “Given the changes we’ve all experienced and the lasting effect they will have, it was natural to kick off our white paper series by looking at the new trajectories shaping consumer preference and needs for their home – whether it’s an apartment, condo or single-family residence. This first paper is the foundation for what will be a robust report on the current market climate and insightful design solutions, all based on our firm’s 35 years of successfully maximizing ‘return on environment’ for our developer and builder clients in helping their residents and homeowners live better by design.”

Topics discussed in the initial white paper include:

  • The Geography of Working Remotely and the possibilities it opens for where people choose to live.
  • Shifts in Family Makeup and Needs as multi-generational households become more common, requiring designs that deliver privacy and functionality.
  • Changing Lifestyles that Push the Boundaries of Home Spaces, even after “bunkering habits” end.
  • Building for Health and Sustainability as wellness considerations top the priority list for buyers and renters alike.
  • Affordable, Innovative Design, with buyers and renters seeking quality over quantity, simplicity over complexity and timeless beauty over the latest fads.

The full white paper can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF at

For more information about Mary Cook Associates, visit

 About Mary Cook Associates:

Mary Cook Associates (MCA) is a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm acclaimed for work that yields measurable returns for real estate owners and developers. The firm is comprised of more than two dozen designers and architects offering strategic and imaginative designs for a wide variety of spaces that respond to the demographic, geographic and lifestyle influences of target markets. This results in smart spaces that establish immediate connections with their users and accelerate activity, occupancy rates and sales for marketers. After realizing that MCA has been consistently hired to ‘fix’ unsuccessful interior spaces done by other design professionals, founder Mary Cook wrote “The Art of Space,” a textbook that breaks interior design into seven fundamentals. The book is used in design schools throughout the U.S., and its seven principles form a foundation that informs all of the design work MCA produces. Cook is also credited with introducing the concept of Return on Environment (ROE℠) to the design and development communities. The term reflects the measurable net benefits communities, organizations and individuals gain from environments that enable them to do, feel and be their best.