STEPHEN THOMPSON: Time will tell what COVID-19’s home design legacy will be | Lifestyle

What will COVID-19’s home design legacy be?

Here’s a hint: The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic’s design legacy was the “powder room.” Who knows what lasting home design legacy Covid-19’s will be, but if Pinterest’s pins and decorating blogs are any clue, it will likely have something to do with work-from-home offices, home gyms for daily exercise routines, or mudrooms for sanitizing. Time will tell.

As health concerns are becoming more prioritized, what is trending now are larger pantries for food storage, kitchens with touch-free faucets and appliances to keep down germs, and beautifully landscaped patios, pools and pergolas for relaxing and entertaining.

Families are feeling cramped from spending so much time at home together. Could this forced closeness be why the trendiness of open floor plan space is diminishing? Give us some privacy!

Bedrooms were 31% of the renovations with 25.2% of the work done by the homeowners themselves. Kitchens were 29.8% with 21.8% being DIY. Bathrooms were 27.3% with 21.6% DIY. Back yards were 21.5% with 21.6% DIY. Front yards were 19.7% with 15.8% DIY. Living rooms were 14.7% with 10.8% DIY. Porches, patios or decks were 14.4% with 10.7% DIY. Basements or attics were 10.9% with 6.3% DIY, and garage were 9.7% with 7.0% DIY. (Some homes had more than on renovation project.)

Home Improvement Research Institute analysts expected home improvement spending by Americans to reach $439.9 billion in 2020, a tremendous home improvement boom and an increase of 8.7% over 2019. Coping with COVID-19 increased household needs for 27% more outdoor living, 40% more home entertaining, 50% more working from home, and 70% more home cooking. Home improvement projects were largely paid for by money that previously would have been budgeted for commuting 33%, vacations 48%, or dining out 52% (and in my opinion were greatly helped by government stimulus checks).

A Home Advisor’s survey showed average household spending on home services in the U.S. rose to $13,138 in 2020, a $4,000 increase year-over-year. A separate survey by Porch, a home-services website, found more than 75% of U.S. homeowners had done at least one home improvement since the start of the pandemic; 61% of homeowners did outdoor work to improve their garden, patio or the structure of their home, and 58% made interior improvements like replacing their floors or renovating a bathroom. Porch’s survey stated homeowners spent a median of $17,140 since the pandemic began on home improvements.

When COVID-19 is behind us, what will be the No. 1 home improvement you made during the pandemic? Let me know if I can help.

Live well – live in beauty!

STEPHEN THOMPSON creates tasteful interiors in north Mississippi. For consultations, comments or questions, contact Designer Connection, P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802.