The relationship we all have with our living spaces has changed a lot this year. Looking ahead to 2021, it’s time to re-evaluate how we live in our homes. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the future is impossible to predict. However, the one thing we can be sure of is that the impact of the pandemic will last for years.
There are two factors to consider when it comes to renovations right now: what needs to be done to make your home as comfortable as possible in the immediate future, and what investments make the most sense for resale value. Don’t know where to start? Here are the renovations experts and interior designers suggest you seriously consider.
Create a home office
Right now, most people are working remotely with no exact end date in sight, so a home office or designated workspace may eventually become just as essential as a kitchen or bathroom. . According to Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow, home offices are essential. “Even as businesses and offices reopen, many companies have deliberately opted for a hybrid work-from-home model that only requires employees to come into the office a few days a week.”
However, if your home just doesn’t have enough square footage or the right floor plan to build a home office, Blakeney suggests getting creative with what you have. “For example, if renovations are out of reach, people can remove sliding closet doors and turn a guest bedroom closet into an office.”
If your current home isn’t expected to stay for more than five years, interior designer Caitlin Scanlon recommends a fresh coat of paint to improve the space. After all, paint is temporary, so this project is your chance to give your home a truly personal touch without affecting resale value. “It’s a low-cost way to have a huge impact,” she says. “British paint brands like Farrow & Ball started the trend for deeply saturated, highly pigmented colors, and LA-based Portola Paints took it to the next level!”
Not sure what colors you want to use? Ask yourself how you want to feel in the room you are painting. Megan Baker, Apartment Therapy’s Home Projects Editor, says: “In general, lighter colors will help lighten a room and make it seem a little bigger and brighter, while darker colors can help you helping you lean into the small footprint by making a space feel a little cozier.
Update your kitchen
Kitchens have always sold homes and apartments, but the pandemic has put a new emphasis on the importance of this room. “That means having a kitchen that’s both functional and beautiful is an increasing priority,” agent Allison Chiaramonte of Warburg Realty tells me. “More and more, I see potential buyers, even in city apartments, looking at the kitchen not just for its looks, but also for its functionality to cook multiple meals a day and store excess supplies and food. .”
If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, Chiaramonte recommends adding a pantry if possible. « Kitchen storage [is] at a premium since everyone is aware of the possibility of storing extra food and pantry items these days.
In terms of aesthetics, Samantha Gallacher, co-founder of IG Workshop and founder of Art+Loom recommends using the same marble for the backsplash and countertop, as well as boxing the range hood, if possible. . “It gives the kitchen a clean, streamlined modern look.”
But keep in mind that while Carrera marble is beautiful and timeless, it’s not always the most practical stone due to its natural porosity. If you need something more durable, Scanlon says it’s best to periodically seal the marble or opt for an alternative like quartzite.
Arrange the outdoor space
No matter where you live, outdoor space has become much more valuable thanks to COVID. “Before, people’s terraces/balconies and backyards sometimes paled in comparison to their homes,” Chiaramonte says.
However, times have changed. “Looking forward, outdoor space is increasingly valuable and therefore maximizing its usability and appearance are great ways to add value for a future sale.”
If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, the real estate agent points out that adding shade/rain shelters, as well as heating and outdoor kitchens are wise investments. She explains: “More future buyers will enjoy outdoor space than in previous years due to the recent attention and freedom that outdoor living now offers.”
As for what to do while we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, Deborah Fribourg, Founder of DMF Interiors, says, “Focus on creating your personal jungle and hire a landscaper early on to make your dreams come true. oasis.
His advice for the short and long term? “Consider adding additional seating such as built-in benches with colorful cushions for all your social distancing suspensions.”
Installation of soundproofing and separation
With more and more people at home every day, adding soundproofing to rooms and floors can make a big difference, as well as closing in open floor plans. “While there is undeniably something appealing about a large, open, loft-like space, I see more and more buyers talking about how to add an office or Peloton room in the same square footage,” says Chiaramonte.
The realtor recommends doing everything possible to create an additional private bedroom. “Whether it’s a large walk-in closet, finishing a basement, an attic, or turning one giant room into two, add value because the number of rooms matters more. than ever, people in need of privacy and quiet space.”
Add accents to make a space more hygienic
One of the main impacts of the pandemic is a greater concern about the transmission of diseases and germs. This has already and will continue to influence the design of the house. “Wayfair has noticed an increase in demand for hands-free and touchless functionality, as well as air purifiers,” Wayfair home improvement expert Pat Cullerot tells me. “Given the pandemic and increased awareness of sanitization, hands-free options in homes offer peace of mind for those who are hyper-aware of keeping high-touch areas and the air in their home clean. and germ-free.”
For example, even the seemingly minor act of choosing a touchless faucet or smart lighting in a powder room or locker room with a handwashing station can make a difference now and in the future.
Turn your bathroom into a home spa
Want to add luxury? Baker recommends updating your bathroom to make it more spa-like. “For large renovations, that could mean freestanding tubs and big rain showers,” she says.
She also suggests installing a bidet. After the toilet paper shortage of 2020, it’s easy to see why this makes sense. “I’ve also seen a lot more interest in bidets this year, from low-tech non-heated options to high-tech toilet seats. It was definitely related to the toilet paper rush in March, but I think it’s also part of a general trend towards “accessible luxury” bathroom upgrades.
These bathroom upgrades improve short-term living and increase future resale value.
Make unused space more useful
Many homeowners have space that they don’t use or underuse. Because many activities that used to take place outdoors now take place inside the home and will continue to do so in the future, interior designer Liz Caan suggests rethinking how you use your home. current space.
While many people convert formal dining rooms into home offices, there are other ways to use these spaces, especially if there is already a home office. “If you never use your formal dining room, turn it into something that adds value to your family like a playroom, or wrap it up in the kitchen and have a big space where you can all eat together,” she said.
Caan also advises if you have an unfinished basement and need more square footage, consider finishing it and turning it into a health and fitness space like a massage, yoga, or weight room. “Another idea is an in-home salon where your manicurist and hairstylist can come and serve you and your family now that so many services have been put on the road.”
Attics and garages can also be worth renovating. “The garage could convert into an office or a studio, allowing you to work in a space separate from the main house,” she says.