As our careers and social lives shifted over last year, our homes also shifted to mirror our new realities. Some of us needed home offices. Parents rushed to set up makeshift homeschools. And every single one of us craved a dream home that gave us comfort and refuge during uncertain times.
Get inspired by some of the 2021s most popular home improvement trends and projects. Each one reflects this new perspective of what our homes can become with just a little bit of creativity and planning.
Dream home walkthrough: 2021s five biggest home improvement trends
1. Flexible home office spaces
Researchers report that the COVID-19 pandemic will permanently reshape how we work from home. And many companies, including big names like Microsoft and Facebook, have said they plan for many of their employees to work from home even when the pandemic is over.
According to research (“Axiom’s Homefront Insights”), well-curated home offices quickly became one of the most common home improvement lists. It wasn't just about traditional standbys like a desk and a chair. In the age of never-ending Zoom meetings, people needed home offices that looked good on camera and incorporated savvy home office design strategies like:
- Crisp, clean backdrops with space for displaying books, decor and mementos that reflect our personalities and hobbies (it's not by accident that so many media personalities display a well-curated bookshelf behind them).
- Convenient storage and closed cabinets to keep wires and paperwork from physically and visually cluttering your space
- Upgrades to the home office space, such as adding in more natural light, since these spaces were often underutilized before the pandemic
Some people also found themselves trying to convert a shared space — hallways, spare bedrooms, etc. — into a home office since they had never initially planned to work from home so much. One popular strategy in both 2020 and 2021 is to use a custom Murphy bed installation in a bedroom. This allowed homeowners to quickly convert a bedroom into a spacious office space in the morning and back to a bedroom in the evening.
2. Pop-up classrooms
Many schools closed for portions of 2020/21. Today, some parents are still homeschooling their children or taking a hybrid approach to education. This made home classrooms one of the biggest home improvement requests for the year.
Some parents had the luxury of turning a spare bedroom into an instant classroom with a pre-designed home office setup. Others wanted to convert a corner of a child's bedroom into a learning area. No matter the approach, common threads included:
- A clear separation between play areas and school areas.
- Cubbyholes and easily accessible storage spaces to keep worksheets, art supplies and other school material stashed away.
- Pre-designed or custom desks give kids lots of room for setting up a computer, spreading out their textbooks, etc.
3. An eye for at-home comfort
In a time when much of society was in upheaval, homeowners wanted their homes to be an oasis. A refuge. A place that made it easy to relax.
Top home improvement picks over the past few months included:
- Opening up living and dining spaces to make it easy for the whole family to eat, play and relax.
- Repainting home exteriors with cheerful, vibrant colors to lift our spirits, or soothing, calming hues to reduce stress and anxiety (it's no coincidence that Pantone's most recent Colors of the Year are calming grey and happy yellow)
- Creating organized, tidy entryways to make it easy to put out hand sanitizer pumps, stash away used masks upon returning home, and create a clear distinction between the outdoor world and the home.
- Turning bedrooms into a stress-free, spacious haven with modern closet storage and organization.
4. Outdoor living spaces
Local lockdown regulations kept us at home and left us craving a change of scenery with nowhere to go. This led to a skyrocketing number of home improvement projects designed to expand the outdoor living space, including:
- A garden box or two for a bit of home-grown sustainability
- Fire pits or barbecue areas for at-home entertaining
- Water features to drown out city noises, and exterior lighting to extend the hours of outdoor enjoyment
While kitchen, bathroom and bedroom remodels tend to be the most popular home improvements in 2021 (and in any year), outdoor home improvement projects tend to boost real estate value the most.
When it comes to the return on your investment, it's all about exterior curb appeal. Interior home improvements often are more about personal aesthetics that may or may not appeal to a prospective buyer.
5. Space for home projects
With so much more downtime at home, homeowners decided to turn their garages into home workshops for crafting, building and fixing. But some of us had garages that weren't originally designed for this. In 2021, people upgraded their garages into quarantine-friendly workshops by:
- Putting in garage countertops for projects like painting, sewing, crafting, etc.
- Freeing up floor space by adding new overhead storage.
- Adding wall storage for new tools, sporting equipment, etc.
- Installing new garage flooring solutions to withstand all the wear and tear of the new workshop space.
By being more intentional about an otherwise often-ignored space, 2021 saw the humble garage elevated to new levels of purpose and design.
Missed out on these home improvement trends? Make them part of your 2021/22 goals!
The team at Tailored Living is ready to help you rethink your home and turn it into a space that's ready for whatever 2021 might throw at you. From designing your perfect home office to upgrading your garage into a workshop, our designers can help you find a solution that fits your budget and your needs. Call 866-712-3404 today or go online to tailoredliving.com to schedule a free in-home consultation (following all local COVID-19 regulations) or a complimentary virtual consultation.* We can't wait to meet you, evaluate your needs, and design a space that you're proud of.
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations.