paint tray and roller

While 2020 doesn’t need reintroducing, it’s worth taking a look at what changed the most in our homes throughout the past year to get a grasp on what the next year holds for real estate and design trends. There was an absolute 180 on day-to-day operations everywhere. Offices, businesses, and restaurants closed, and many people looked inward — towards both home and self — to keep busy.

Many home projects that were started last year will continue with even more gusto, as people now adjust to coupling comfort with function in their homes. Think comforting colors and cozy decor. So how did 2020 home renovations inform what 2021 abodes would look like? Let’s explore the top 5 trends to expect this year.

1. Curing a WFH Multi-Purpose Sanctuary

A COVID and post-COVID world equate to more remote positions than ever. The demand for both living and working spaces under a single roof are going to continue to explode in 2021. Whether it’s a redesign of the guest bedroom or added lofts with custom desks, the overarching idea for builders and designers will be creating a functional space that can be transformed with built-in furniture and insulation — creating the ideal space for focus.

These rooms will likely double as school-work and hobby rooms, so homeowners will be willing to invest extra to create efficient offices for peak productivity that also serve as nooks to fuel their creative hobby in the New Year.

2. Creating Inside-Outside Spaces

For anyone who’s shared a room with a significant other while their coworkers loudly rambled on about unrelated topics, you’re on board with extending existing space in any way possible. This was among the most prevalent design trends in 2020, and we’ll continue to see it this year. From separating dedicated working and learning spaces with dividers, to bringing outside in, we’ll learn new ways to make 700 square feet feel like 1,000 in 2021.

Pergolas are a quick win for homeowners looking for a quiet space to decompress after their morning meeting. You’ll likely continue to see these pop up to make sunny parts of the yard more useable for dining and lounging. Additionally, people will bring outside, in. Plants have been proven to reduce anxiety in adults, and people have decided to double-down on plant investments. Greenery will continue to adorn homes with swaying indoor trees and prickly cacti to breathe new life into their spaces this year.

3. Multi-Zone Kitchens

COVID-19 forced Gen Z college kids unemployed Millennials and Baby Boomers to move back with their family members. Whether it was out of necessity, or to find closeness in a time of isolation, these changes in roommates made homeowners go straight to the heart of the home — the kitchen.

Coupling comfort with function, kitchens had a major upgrade (or were planned for an upgrade) last year. Typically, a standard home kitchen was designed with the work triangle setup. That is, a walkway from the fridge, to the sink, to the stove. This year, renovation mavens are looking to expand that space to have enough room for the family to come and help prep a meal. Think chopping stations, mixing areas, and room for the peckish onlookers.

4. Going Green(er)

Wallets were already stretched during the worldwide pandemic, and the increase in the cost of bills was a revealing truth about how much electricity, gas, and water we use in our homes daily. People are looking to not only cut their bills but are also more concerned than ever about the state of the world. Therefore, going eco-friendly is one of the most popular design trends as many have looked towards energy-efficient solutions for their homes. Expect to see solar panels popping up on rooftops, soft lighting in indoor spaces, and low flush toilets in 2021.

5. Meditative and Moving

“Zen Dens” have been rising in popularity the past few years, and a government-mandated quarantine only elevated the need for self-reflection and care. Lines blurred between work and home, so many people were looking for a separation of space to clear their heads and wait it out. Rooms solely dedicated to getting active or looking inward were especially popular home design trends last year, and you can expect 2021 to show up with the same kind of attitude — that is, zen. People have been looking for DIY waterfalls, meditation rooms, and zen gardens, so be sure to compliment your neighbor’s relaxing water feature the next time you see them.

Some other honorable (home-reno) mentions you’ll see popping up in the next 10 months:

  • Larger than life dog houses
  • Dual-purpose garages
  • Home theaters
  • She sheds and man caves
  • Home gyms
  • Geometric furniture and decor
  • Patio fire pits
  • Plant walls

Let’s take a look at how Google Trends data from home-improvement queries during COVID-19 gave us an idea of what home renovation trends in 2021 will look like:


We hope you found this blog post 5 Home Renovation Trends to Watch Out for in 2021 useful. Be sure to check out our post When Home Becomes Office: How to Stay Productive During Coronavirus for more great tips!


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