The phrase “Home Sweet Home” has always been meaningful, but especially so in the last six months. What used to be a place to return to after a long day now serves multiple purposes to people all day, every day. The home is now an office, school, restaurant, gym, playroom and more.
And with most people spending significantly more time in their homes than ever before, change has inevitably occurred.
Spending so much time at home has caused people to look at their homes and want to make changes. Recently published statistics found that 70% of Americans have completed a home improvement project during the pandemic, with more projects planned for 2021.
With homeowners investing in home improvement projects, styles and trends are changing. One of the biggest priorities for homeowners is health and safety. Instead of choosing materials and items because they fit their personal style, many people are prioritizing materials that are antimicrobial and easy to clean.
Materials like copper, brass and bronze, which have natural antimicrobial properties, are seeing a boost in popularity. These materials are commonly used in doorknobs or kitchen cabinet handles and kill germs and bacteria on their own without the need to constantly use chemical sprays and wipes.
Smart homes are also adapting with touch-free technology to curb the spread of germs.
New Colors And Quality
COVID has introduced new style trends. People are opting for calm colors to create a tranquil space at home. Softer fabrics, lighter colors and more natural light have become popular to create a serene atmosphere amidst the uncertainty and chaos outside of their front door.
At the other end of the spectrum, bold designs like dark accent walls and patterned fabrics are gaining popularity. Bright colors can also be energizing and inspire creativity, which helps people remain positive when they are stuck in the same daily routines.
As people spend more time in their homes, they are investing in higher-quality furnishings that will last for years. This is especially true of home offices, where inexpensive desks used to be fairly common. But as remote workers make plans to work from home for the foreseeable future, they are investing in quality desks, chairs and storage.
Flexible Multi-Use Spaces
Another COVID design change is rooms serving more than one purpose. The room that used to be just for dining is now also the epicenter for virtual learning. The basement that was once a storage space is now also a home gym. Homeowners are designing their rooms with multiple purposes in mind and finding furniture and décor pieces that serve multiple functions.
Desks and workspaces are being incorporated into bedroom design, and homeowners are requesting larger kitchen islands with built-in seating to accommodate more people doing a variety of at-home activities. Rooms need to be able to easily transition, which has boosted the popularity of modular and multi-functional furniture.
For years, open concept floor plans have been popular, but the pandemic has made homeowners shift to more traditional layouts with rooms that can be closed off to create individual areas.
Comfortable Outdoor Spaces
Social distancing and business closures have pushed more people outside, and research substantiates that people feel safer and more comfortable socializing outdoors in open spaces. People are prioritizing their personal outdoor space and have indicated that they intend to run that trend well into the remainder of this decade. From sprawling backyards to small city courtyards, outdoor spaces of all sizes give homeowners a place to cook, eat, play and exercise in fresh air.
Architects are integrating outdoor living into new homes and adding more porches and covered decks. In existing homes, people are looking for creative ways to maximize outdoor living with outdoor spaces that serve multiple purposes. Aside from an increase in landscaping projects, outdoor items like fireplaces and pits, outdoor kitchens and swimming pools have also seen a dramatic sales boost. Companies that sell and install these items have shared that the demand is so great that they are quoted to install and deliver these items to mid-2021 and beyond.
Another hot trend is home gardening. Households that have started growing gardens has grown immensely since the pandemic began, with sales of vegetable seeds skyrocketing in 2020. Gardening serves as a relaxing mental health outlet for many people and also provides fresh food instead of relying on grocery store produce.
Adapting To The Change
These home design changes apply to more than just companies in the home décor and DIY spaces. More than ever before, consumers want to be comfortable and safe in their homes. The best customer experiences address those needs and make it easy for people to create safe, welcoming spaces. The pandemic has caused huge amounts of stress beyond people’s control, but their house is one thing they can control, and that can become a refuge from uncertainty. These design trends will last long after the pandemic is over because people have realized the importance of having a space that is comfortable and functional.
As home sales have boomed this year due to historically low-interest rates, consumers are indicating that they plan to enjoy their homes for the long haul, urging companies to extend at-home services and delivery options that will support staying home as long as needed.
COVID has rapidly forced changes in how we live, learn and enjoy more time in our homes than ever before. These new trends will be significant and long-lasting while homeowners settle into a simpler lifestyle focused on continued peace and comfort inside the home.