27/08/2021

The home improvements boom: how we’ve transformed our homes during the pandemic

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For many around the UK, 18 months of home working has had an effect on the way we want our homes to look and function. This may not be too surprising, as stay-at-home rules and lockdowns have given many homeowners around the UK more time to focus on decorating and finishing any at-home design projects.

The 2020 Renovation Nation Report found that having to spend more time at home was the major reason homeowners decided to invest in renovating their property during the pandemic. Almost two thirds (63%) of those said the reason was to make their home more comfortable, while 27% said it was to add value to their home.

Now trending

The renovation trend hasn’t let up into 2021, and some trends are clear. Country Living Magazine has highlighted a growing interest in one-of-a-kind antiques, with wall hangings, vases and decorative cushions taking the top three spots on their popularity list. Meanwhile, the Independent has taken the lead from Amanda Pollard, senior editor of Houzz.co.uk when it comes to interior changes.

Multi-functional homes are becoming more popular

While open-plan living is a great option for many, Houzz has found that there’s a declining interest in having multiple rooms in one. Instead, there’s more of a focus on having clear divides between rooms and giving each room a specific purpose.

This is most likely down to working from home, as people look to separate their home office from their favourite areas of relaxation. This doesn’t necessarily mean building brick walls between rooms, but there’s been a growing popularity for room dividers and internal glass doors, as people search for ways to ‘balance between separation and connection.’

Finding a use for empty space

In the same way that UK homeowners look to clearly delineate the purpose of each space, many are also starting to utilise empty spaces that had no function before Covid. Loft conversions are especially popular, as people try to find extra space in their homes to accommodate the ‘extra tasks’ brought about by working from home.

Creating areas of relaxation

Likewise, many are also transforming their extra space into relaxation zones; somewhere to go when things get too hectic, or simply another place to rest in the evening. Neutral colours, soft blankets and tactile textures are also taking the spotlight, with many homeowners wanting to create a calming environment within their four walls.

According to Pollard, bathrooms are also being re-vamped as ‘spathrooms’, with natural materials such as marble, stone and wood in greater demand than ever before. Likewise, steam showers and luxury baths are becoming more popular as the UK focuses on maximising relaxation zones.

Outdoor spaces

Having been indoors for some time, homeowners with gardens have turned to their outdoor space as a way to reinvigorate their time spent outside. Outdoor living areas are now all the rage, giving homeowners a chance to get a breath of fresh air and entertain outdoors during restrictions and beyond.

Gardening kits, fire pits (which saw a 400% increase in Google search traffic after the three-tier lockdown was announced last October) and comfortable outdoor sofas are hugely popular, whilst enquiries for landscape designers have jumped up by 116% in January 2021 compared to last year.

With more emphasis on relaxation and outdoor spaces, it seems that many have had the chance to cultivate the home they’ve always wanted, something which – considering the difficulties of Covid – has been a positive change.

If you’ve done work on your home and want to ensure you’re fully up-to-date with your home and contents cover, your personal client manager will be able to help you review your cover. Give the team a call on 0121 248 9400.