2020 drastically changed the way we use the space in our homes. From having to work remotely, to family members spending more time inside and unfortunately (fortunately?) fewer guests.
A new era of home renovation has started that is making us reconsider what works and what doesn’t, especially in work areas and the new connection we have with the outside world.
This past year we have witnessed an incredible change in daily routines: Offices closed, commutes were suspended while we tried to do everything at once: School, workout, cook more and have vacation time happening from our homes as well. Even at this moment in time (July 2021) that some restrictions are being lifted we are feeling like our homes could work as new spaces for activities we used to do outside.
According to a new study from the nation’s statistics agency, "The COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant and long-lasting impact on Canadians willingness to return to the office."
Up to one quarter of hours worked could be remote after the health crisis ends, Statistics Canada said in new calculations based on survey data. That is up from about 5 percent pre-pandemic, the agency said.
The new estimates point to a sustained shift in potential working arrangements that could have far-reaching implications for everything from housing markets to traffic congestion and climate change, Statistics Canada said.
In February, 31 percent of hours worked were done from home, according to the report. It is no wonder that the way we think about our home renovation projects has changed from previous years.
Giving rooms a new life
Requests for entertainment and leisure room design have increased in the past year. They have begun to replace the living room makeovers, which were the main trend for the past eight to nine months. The pandemic continues to teach us new ways to maximize the use of the space in which we spend time.
Because of this, many homeowners have made the most of design opportunities for the most frequently used rooms in their homes and are now seeking advice on which rooms or areas of their home can take on a new life.
Basement renovation projects are a great way to create a multipurpose or family room and have been in high demand during the last quarter of the year.
Home theatres, indoor bowling alleys, full bars, indoor golf simulators, and climbing walls have been some of the new surprise trends. Designers and clients get creative with alternatives for using basements, with transformations from garages to gyms, guest rooms to game rooms and so on.
Functional and creative work-from-home spaces
Either transforming existing bedrooms or closets into offices or adding home office structures designed to take advantage of spaces that weren't being used, such as decorative nooks or basements. The focus will be on creating functional areas that can be used as a proper work space to create a calm environment for work.
People will start to focus on elements and colours that increase their well-being like strategic sun lit locations, mindfully selected colours, decoration, and furniture will now have a great effect on their mental and physical health. In fact, bright lighting has been shown to make people happier, ambient sounds help people focus, and poor air quality can lead to a drop in productivity.
Creating multi-family households
Adapting or remodelling a multi-family home is now taking priority in large cities around the world. Homes designed with two separate living areas under one roof has been a long-standing tradition here in Vancouver and is now a growing trend in other cities as well. This is not only due to the dynamics between families, but also to increase the ability for owners to monetize these additional spaces for long-term rentals or even short-term a la Airbnb.
Incorporating green solutions
Green initiatives will regain power. Whether it is adding solar power or rainwater harvesting systems to existing homes or simpler incentives for homeowners to do insulation and HVAC renovations, this new line will bring in a great deal of work for industries of commercial and residential properties. Green, sustainable implementations especially after radical climate changes are expected to grow this 2021 and beyond.
Opening indoor spaces to the outside
Creating a comfortable outdoor living space that is an extension of the indoors will continue to be a trend in home renovations during 2021, and not just in warmer climates. Designing so that there is a natural flow between inside and outside with solutions such as large sliding or folding glass doors allows the option of letting the outside in and vice versa. Drop-down porch screens, outdoor heaters and stoves, warm outdoor fireplaces, and comfy couches will expand the use of these spaces in the colder months.
An oasis bathroom
How often have you been hiding in your bathroom this year for the sole purpose of having some quiet time alone? By now, we can all agree that a luxurious bath and practicing self-care rituals can help reduce stress. According to a 2020 Houzz bathroom trend study, two out of five homeowners (41%) who renovated a master bathroom say they now use this space for rest and relaxation. It is time to start saving for integrated bathtubs and steam showers, or new ad-ons like aromatherapy shower heads and accessories like shelves for a cup of tea or a glass of wine, because hey, we’ve been through enough. It’s time to treat ourselves.