Article by Mina Phillips

2020 has seen people spending more time at home than ever before. According to a recent report by Aljazeera, people are spending up to 40% more time at home than they did before the COVID-19 outbreak - which makes sense. It also makes sense that many homeowners are taking this time to update their homes for their ideal lifestyles. Here are six inspiring ways that homeowners have been choosing to optimize their homes during COVID-19.   

Staycation renovations

For many, COVID-19 has resulted in canceled travel plans. Homeowners have taken this as an opportunity to find ways to enjoy a vacation at home by making their home interiors more peaceful and multifunctional. Freshening up your home might be as simple as painting and decorating. According to realhomes.com, green has been one of the most popular paint colors of 2020: with one-in-five people saying that it made them feel more productive. Blue was the runner up, which four-in-five people said made them feel confident. 

Taking your staycation-home a step further than interior decorating, you may wish to add some resort-like features such as a spa pool, swimming pool, home gym, or sauna. These luxury elements can make a real difference to the experience of spending a lot more time at home.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this home extension that features a gym,  infrared sauna, and 1.8-meter fish tank!  

Home offices 

2020 has led to dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms becoming home offices by day - which isn’t always ideal. But this doesn’t have to be the case! There are plenty of ways to update your work-from-home environment. A recent episode of the Renovation and Outdoor Living Show pointed out that two of the most important considerations when working from home include soundproofing and good lighting. Other things that you may want to consider are storage solutions, comfortable seating, and perhaps a stand-up desk. 

In terms of where to locate your home office, there are many options. It might be as simple as adding a private nook within your living room or converting an unused bedroom. Alternatively, you might want to convert your garage or extend your home. Your local Refresh Renovations Specialist can support you with all of your home office design and build needs. 

Take a look at how these homeowners converted their garage into a light and bright home office. 

Investing in self-contained units 

Granny flats, ADUs, backyard units...whatever you want to call them, these self-contained units have become hugely popular during 2020. Whether it’s because families want to be closer together, household members need separate self-isolation bubbles or adult children are returning home from overseas travels: there has been a boom in self-contained unit inquiries. Los Altos Town Crier states that locals have been showing more interest in accessory dwelling units than ever before due to seniors and college students wanting to be close to their families and needing somewhere to stay. In New Zealand, tiny house builders have reportedly been experiencing a significant increase in inquiries from families who are wanting to be close together during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

When the day comes that “self-quarantine” is no longer a common practise throughout the world, self-contained units will still have their uses. If not as a sleepout for teenagers or accommodation for guests, they can serve as an income opportunity for those who want to rent them out. 

Take a look at how these homeowners converted their garage into a self-contained, two-bedroom unit.  

Family-friendly layouts 

Self-quarantining has caused many parents to re-think their open-plan layouts, according to PR Newswire. They are wanting to revert back to traditional layouts that allow rooms to be closed off and used as offices and playrooms. Stuff.co.nz also emphasizes the importance of adjusting your home’s layout to better suit your children’s homeschooling, creative, and relaxation needs during this time.   

Having kids home 24/7 means that parents are faced with much more noise and clutter than usual. If this sounds like your current home environment, you may want to look into creating a separate rumpus room for your kids to enjoy - away from the main living areas of the home.

If you're looking for inspiration, you might like this bedroom renovation with its own private access.

Garage conversions

For other homeowners, the peace and quiet of being at home has provided some much-needed space and time to re-think areas of the home and how they are used. The garage, in particular, is an area that goes through many transformations to suit household needs. 

For some, converting a garage room into a rumpus room might be ideal. For others, it might provide a much-needed space for a home office conversion. But there really isn’t a limit to the creative spaces that a garage can be converted into. For these self-isolating homeowners in the UK, a garage conversion meant enjoying a brand new gym and wine cellar.  

Enhancing the outdoors

Ironically, being told to stay home has left many homeowners itching to be out in nature. Some took the time to investigate their abilities as green thumbs - planting vegetable gardens and nurturing pot plants. Others have invested in designing and building outdoor spaces complete with decking, patios, lawns, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools, and spas. 

Architectural Digest points out that outdoor fireplaces, pizza ovens, cabanas, and outdoor living rooms are all highly desirable at the moment, as many homeowners reevaluate their lifestyle priorities.  

You’ll love this sheltered backyard design in Florida featuring an indoor swimming pool, landscaped gardens, and newly stained concrete.

Find out how Refresh is offering home renovations during COVID-19

Refresh is now offering a range of online services to areas that are experiencing home renovation restrictions due to COVID-19. For more information, check out How We Can Continue Renovating During COVID-19 or get in touch.

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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