The pandemic has altered our lives over the past year, and homeowners’ choice in furnishings and remodeling is reflecting that.
Once timely features are losing popularity, while features once considered trendy may be here to stay.
While open floor plans have been consistently popular over the years, Tim Bakke, director of publishing at The Plan Collection, said since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in more dividers in homes.
“We’ve seen a jump in homeowners showing interest in seeking some relief from the totally open concept in the form of ‘getaway’ places where some privacy may be had. The increased interest in and popularity of multifunctional spaces and flex areas, where a space may be sectioned off to serve different functions at different times, including as a den for privacy, was surprising and was definitely prompted by the lockdowns of the pandemic,” he said.
Breaking it down by rooms, it is not surprising that the kitchen and bathrooms remain the most popular areas of a home for renovation. Bakke said these areas generally have the best return on investment for homeowners who later list their properties.
What about homeowners who wish to do a little remodeling without breaking the bank?
Double kitchen islands is the way to go, said Bakke. This trend has seen increased interest over the past year. “If there’s space in the kitchen, adding a second island with cabinetry for storage would be an economical way to change up and update the kitchen. Switching out cabinetry hardware throughout the kitchen at the same time would further help with the updating at little cost,” said Bakke.
Bakke said other economical additions could be an exercise or activity area, or updating an outdoor area with a fire pit. While home offices have seen a huge increase in the last year, multiple home offices may see a dip in popularity, as some people return to the office.
“Working from home may be something that is here to stay, at least to some degree, so some kind of home office will likely remain. There probably won’t be the need for dedicated offices for both spouses, full-time study areas for each of the children and quiet ‘Zoom rooms’ and the like going forward as there has been during the pandemic. The focus on activity and exercise spaces may fade as well as gyms open and folks can go back to their pre-pandemic routines.”
Additionally, Bakke said there has been a growth in demand for large and expanded garages and he believes that trend will continue beyond the pandemic. With more people living in multi-generational homes, the need for car storage grows.