Apartment Therapy recently asked designers and contractors to highlight some of the most requested home upgrades from their clients over the past year. Among the popular upgrades they mentioned:
Homeowners are taking control of their closets. They’re clearing items they no longer want and adding shelving to better organize their storage spaces. They may use a full-on closet system, but those can be pricey—hundreds or even thousands of dollars—so some are turning to DIY options. For example, they may bring a dresser into the closet or purchase separate storage units or drawers and then paint them to give them a fresh, custom look.
Adding a sanitizing station by the door has become common. This gives people an area to transition from outdoors to personal space by removing outdoor wear, taking off shoes, applying sanitizer, hanging up or disposing of masks, using sanitizing wipes on belongings, and more. Some homeowners may leave laundry baskets at the doorstep to place dirty items into. These spaces had typically served as mudrooms before the pandemic but received a sanitation focus beyond just being a place to store coats and shoes. Read more about this trend: Organizing and staging the “Disinfection Room.”
A built-in seat for the dining area also is growing in popularity, designers say. “The beauty of a kitchen banquette is undeniable; it makes a space feel cozy and warm, it brings in new tactile materials, and it creates storage solutions,” Alyse Eisenberg, interior designer and owner of Studio Alyse, told Apartment Therapy. “Banquettes work in larger kitchens to make them feel more intimate and can add functional kitchen storage in smaller kitchens when creating drawers under the seating.”
Displays for Memories & Moments
While transforming guest bedrooms into home offices and/or fitness rooms was a clear trend in 2020, something else stuck out in 2020 to designer Kaitlyn Payne of Basicspace.
“I’ve gotten a lot of very particular requests for help with memorabilia or arts and crafts projects that clients have been meaning to do forever but haven’t had time,” says Payne.
While creating an office/exercise room for one of her clients, they mentioned their marathon medals just hanging on hooks in a bedroom, so she created a beautiful display with three long shadowboxes ($170). What better way to decorate an exercise room than to display fitness memorabilia of which you’re proud?
Smart Lights, Outlets
To smarten up households, homeowners have been increasingly purchasing smart lighting systems that can be operated by their phone or voice command. For less than $10, homeowners can switch out current lightbulbs with smart bulbs that can be controlled from a phone app. Additional outlets were also in demand.