This year has been one like no other, a whirlwind of changes with unexpected twists and turns. As 2020 comes to a close and we look ahead to what the new year may bring, our homebound lives have many people seeking ways to improve their homes to accommodate the life changes that have happened.
“I’m not typically overly interested in design trends, per se. I believe designing spaces to support homeowners’ desires and to fit the houses they inhabit is beyond yearly trends. Yet, our current circumstance of leading much more home-centric lives has led to a reevaluation of our homes and how they serve us.” says Susi Strothman, Bluestem Remodeling’s Lead Architectural Specialist. “Whether finding frustration in daily cooking, lack of visual or acoustic privacy for class or work meetings, or just needing some “away” time in a secluded, calming space, nearly everyone is finding their home environment lacking in some way these days.”
Here are some of the top remodeling solutions and home design trends for 2021 that could help make your home function better for your family:
1. Expand: Found Spaces & Home Additions
With parents working from home, distance learning for children, and many of our favorite activities cancelled, our homes have been asked to support a number of additional functions usually found elsewhere, such as offices, classrooms, fitness centers and entertainment venues.
Homeowners who are considering an addition are often looking for that bit of extra space that will accommodate these expanded uses.
Finding more usable space has been one of this year’s biggest needs, which we expect to continue into next year. Whether it’s finishing a basement, converting an attic space, adding a small addition to make a home work better or a large addition with many new functions, there are plenty of creative ways to create additional functional space in your home.
Start by assessing possible underutilized spaces in your home and taking note of what functions you would like your home to better support. Can you support those needs with the amount of space you have now, or do you need a bit more area to make it all work?
2. Repurpose: Finding New Uses for Existing Spaces
In addition to more space, families are also finding they need to use their existing spaces in new ways. Reimagining existing spaces is an easy way to gain more function in your home. Spare bedrooms are obvious choices for offices or classrooms. Sunrooms can also make great work spaces, or even workout spaces.
Sometimes current home configurations are not conducive to the number of simultaneous activities that need to happen during our days.
For instance, though open concept floor plans are popular, people may now need more acoustic privacy for virtual meetings and conference calls, while simultaneously retaining visual connection to other spaces where kids may need frequent nearby assistance. They are seeking spaces that can be temporarily closed off from the rest of the home. Pocket doors, doors with glass panels, or even interior borrow-lights (windows on interior walls) give that perfect balance of connection and separation.
3. Recharge: Places for Relaxation and Wellness
Beyond needing privacy during the work day, family members are also seeking privacy in their downtime, needing places to decompress and relax.
A growing trend we are seeing is people looking to integrate wellness and fitness spaces into their homes, since going to the gym or yoga studio isn’t always convenient (or even possible). There are numerous ways to incorporate ideas of wellness, fitness, and relaxation into one’s home.
- One great way to feel better at home is to incorporate natural light and connections into your home. How well your home interacts with the outdoors – window and door placement for light, view, and ventilation, greatly effects the experience of your inside space. Designs with good connections to these natural elements can be helpful in making one feel settled and calm, and create feelings of well-being, comfort and safety.
- The Bluestem team has also seen a big increase in requests for three- and four-season porches to help bring the outdoors in or use outdoors without having to fully brave the elements or the critters. Spaces where one can enjoy sunshine and fresh air are great additions to a healthy home life.
- Finally, places that facilitate escape from the invasive work- or world-stresses are of high importance these days – little pockets of peace. A spa-like bathroom with soaking tub or steam shower, a meditation space or a reading nook, are all great ideas for creating “me time” retreat areas. Remember to think holistically about your home and how it can support a healthier and happier family; that’s a trend that will continue for years to come.
The Epicenter: Kitchen Trends for 2021
Whether to serve a desire for nutritious cooking, or for nurturing strong family relationships, the kitchen has become the center of the American home. Kitchen renovations are a perennial favorite at the top of many people’s wish lists, and especially so right now.
“We’re spending more time in our kitchens than ever – having three meals a day, every day at home.” says Susi. “There’s a desire for better logistics, improved functionality, more storage space, and an overall delightful, daily experience. People should love being in their kitchen. Ideally, everything about it should spark joy!”
The current trend of fewer, but larger, grocery trips has led to the need for larger pantries, bigger or secondary refrigerators, and supplementary storage spaces. More at-home cooking means more small-appliance use, and with counter space at a premium, the desire for specialty cabinets to store these various convenience appliances, along with spices, utensils, etc., is increasing. With more than three times as many meals being made and eaten at home these days, families are reevaluating their kitchen needs. A well-functioning and beautiful kitchen is a must!
Talk to Bluestem Remodeling About Your Home
At Bluestem Remodeling, we can help you transform your home to meet your family’s changing needs. Talk to us today to learn more!