The coronavirus pandemic has revolutionized our way of life — we’re now spending more time at home with our families than ever before. Those living in major metropolitan areas, such as New York City, have fled to their suburban homes in order to take advantage of the ample space that the city can’t offer.
Even with a vaccine on the horizon, it’s clear that some version of this lifestyle transformation is here to stay, with many citing the myriad benefits of the increased work-life balance they’ve come to enjoy. Work trends are shifting to include more remote work and “work from anywhere” policies. As a result, many are looking to transform their homes into oases ideal for living, working, and playing. If you’re looking to make any cosmetic upgrades to your home in 2021, check out our list of the most popular home improvement projects to pursue this year.
Upgrading your outdoor space
Staying at home doesn’t mean you have to compromise on time spent outside. If you want to undertake a home improvement project this year, consider upgrading your outdoor space. You may choose to do some landscaping, redo your deck, or upgrade old patio furniture. If your pool is looking a bit rundown, consider refinishing it to give it a refreshed look. There are numerous ways to upgrade your outdoor space so that you can enjoy it in the summer months!
Adding a home gym
With many gyms being shut down, as well as with the health risks that going to a gym may pose, it’s a great time to start on the home gym that you’ve been wanting to set up. It can have as much or as little space as you want; you’ll just need to set up the essentials for your ideal workout!
Carve out some available space in your home — maybe in the garage, in the basement, or in an empty bedroom — and stock your gym with the equipment you need to get a good sweat session in. This could be a weight rack, a bench, or some kind of cardio machine.
Renovating your kitchen
With limited restaurant dining options available, many of us are eating at home more than ever. This means that many of us have improved our cooking skills, adapted a healthier lifestyle, and need a kitchen upgrade to support it all! You may want to swap out any old equipment with newer models, add in new equipment, change your kitchen’s layout, or just change the look and feel of your kitchen. Here are just a few ideas for renovating your kitchen area:
- Improve the lighting: Install stylish task lighting fixtures, and switch out any bright lights for warm, soft bulbs.
- Add counter space: Get more surface space by installing a kitchen island (a bonus is that this can add more storage space as well!)
- Replace old hardware: Swap out your sink, countertops, or your kitchen faucet for newer models.
- Upgrade your cabinets: Freshen up your cabinets by giving them a new coat of paint and swapping out the knobs. If you want to do away with your cabinets entirely, you can replace them with shelving displays to give your kitchen a more open feel.
- Give your space a refresh: Refresh your kitchen’s look and feel by changing out your kitchen’s backsplash tile or unifying your kitchen’s color scheme.
Add a home office
If you’ve been putting off setting up your home office, now is the time to commit to creating your perfect at-home workspace. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when setting up your home office:
- Find a private space: In order to create your ideal home office, you’ll need to make sure you have a private, quiet space where you can focus. If you don’t have an extra room where you can close the door, consider enclosing your workspace with a curtain or a room divider to create a sense of separation.
- When outfitting the office, consider who will be using it: Are you the only one who will be using your office, or will someone else in your home also use it as an office space? Will it double as a study room for your kids? Consider who will use the space so that you can design it with all parties in mind.
- Invest in comfortable, ergonomic furniture: Look for high-quality, comfortable furniture that will support you throughout the workday. Comfort is crucial in creating an environment conducive to productivity, especially if you’re spending the entirety of your workweek in your home office.
- Invest in adequate storage: Having a good storage setup in your home office will allow you to keep it clean and organized. You’ll also be able to stow away any important and/or sensitive materials.
Upgrading your HVAC
It’s important to make sure the air quality in your home is up to par — and having a good air-filtration system is especially important in the era of COVID. Look into upgrading your HVAC system. A few benefits of doing so are:
- Be more energy efficient while saving costs: You can improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your monthly bill
- Benefit from a smarter system: You can enjoy a more modern system that integrates with smart devices, which allow you to control your HVAC with an app, automatically self-regulate based on weather, and more.
Adding a playground for kids
With online learning becoming more commonplace than ever, it’s crucial that kids have an outside space to play, exercise, use their imaginations, and explore. If you have kids in your home, consider building a backyard playground space. There are many options for backyard playground equipment, including slides, swing sets, tree houses, and climbers.
When designing a playground, here are some things to consider:
- Make sure the space is safe. Before allowing your kids to play outside, get the yard in good condition. Mow the lawn, fix any broken tile or concrete, and clean the area regularly to ensure your kids stay safe and healthy.
- Look into shock-absorbent surfacing. In the event of a fall, it’s important that kids have something shock-absorbent to land on, such as wood chips, sand, or rubber.
- Invest in adjustable equipment. Kids grow fast, so avoid purchasing equipment that you’ll have to replace a few months to a year. Where possible, opt for equipment that’s modular.
Improving your lighting
When consistently working from home, good lighting is crucial. Not only is it important for Zoom meetings, but it can also help you stay awake, be more productive, and even boost your mood. Consider improving your home’s lighting for a brighter, better-lit space that boosts your home’s look and feel. Here are some lighting-related projects to consider undertaking:
- Change out any mismatched bulbs. This will give your home’s lighting a more consistent feel.
- Make sure you have LED bulbs. These warm, soft light bulbs will make your home more energy efficient. They also have long lifespans, so you won’t have to change them too often.
- Add a mix of different kinds of light. Designers recommend “layering” your light sources, or having multiple sources of light in a room. This will allow you to transform the space as you please — for example, you might use the overhead lighting during the day, but opt for a floor lamp at night for a more cozy ambiance.
- Level up your light fixtures. There are endless gorgeous options for lighting fixtures to suit any and all tastes. If you’ve had your eye on a stylish pendant light fixture or a chandelier, now’s the time to go for it!
The possibilities for home renovation are endless. With so many of us spending more time at home than ever, it’s a great time to pick a few home improvement projects that you’d like to do in 2021!