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Key Trends Seen ‘Transforming’ Homes

IRVINE, CA — A trio of “overarching trends” that have emerged in the past year as a byproduct of COVID-19 has “transformed” the way U.S. consumers are viewing, using and renovating their homes, a major new nationwide survey has found.

The research, conducted by The House of Rohl, the Irvine, CA-based portfolio of luxury plumbing brands, “comes at a time when many Americans are returning to normal routines, re-opening their homes up to family and friends,” according to researchers, whose survey was conducted in May among more than 1,000 respondents.

While this past year saw people spending more time at home than ever, and utilizing their spaces in multiple ways, The House of Rohl survey unveiled a continued interest in home renovations, in particular kitchens and baths. For example, more than one in three (36%) respondents plan to update their kitchen or bathroom(s) this year or early next year, the survey found, while 44% with a combined household income of at least $150K plan to update one of these rooms. Half of survey respondents said they want to renovate their homes with guest entertaining in mind, which can take the form of revamped outdoor spaces, additional seating areas and upgraded furniture, researchers added.

“Americans are excited to welcome people back into their homes, which is driving the continued interest in renovations,” according to Eveline Simard, principal industrial designer for The House of Rohl, a unit of Fortune Brands’ Global Plumbing Group.

At the same time, Simard said, the return to normal routines is also driving the need for a sanctuary, with 70% of respondents wanting their homes to feel like a calming retreat from the busy world. Half of the consumers surveyed said they want their bathrooms to feel like a personal spa.

“We know that many people took time to update their personal spaces while at home this past year, and this new data allows us to further shed light onto the importance of the home sanctuary,” said Simard. “While we look forward to gatherings, we still want to return to that escape. This is true even in the bathroom.”

Not only do Americans want to renovate their homes for guests, but 57% of survey respondents also agreed that spending more time at home has shown them the value of an “elevated home experience,” according to The House of Rohl. Because of that, half said they have identified areas for home improvement, and 47% are willing to spend more money on home renovation than they would have in the past to achieve a lavish home environment, the company noted.

“As consumers spent time indoors, they experienced firsthand the importance of the home and are now willing to transform their space to reflect a need for a more stylized residence,” said Simard.

“The motivation to renovate in this manner, and with a higher budget, likely means we will be seeing consumers choose higher quality materials, enlist the help of a (professional) designer or opt for luxury brands.”

The tumultuous times of the past year have also had a lasting impact on style preferences, with a few key microtrends here to stay as people continue to update their homes, Rohl researchers said. Among the most prominent microtrends:

  • Personalized Style: A majority (58%) of survey respondents agree that, more recently, they want their kitchen and bathrooms to showcase their personal style, and 63% are more likely to select bathroom fixtures if they can personalize them.
  • Soothing Colors: Nearly two thirds (61%) of survey respondents agree that they want to bring more warm and relaxing colors into their spaces to help inspire relaxation.
  • Biophilic Approach to Design: To further strengthen the connection to nature in their homes, nearly half (45%) of survey respondents stated that they have prioritized bringing outdoor elements into their home spaces.
  • Chic Sanitization: Fifty-three percent of those surveyed would consider purchasing motion-activated or hands-free faucet options to help reduce the spread of germs, a reflection of consumers’ need for health and wellness properties. This increases to more than three-quarters (76%) for respondents with a combined household income of at least $150,000.

“The lasting effects the past year had on interiors will stay with us for the foreseeable future,” said Simard. “Notably, consumers are interested in touchless faucets within their homes as we continue to combat germs. Additionally, the turn to soothing colors throughout the home speaks to the need for relaxation, and spa-like bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular.” ▪

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