Here are four home improvement projects that loom large on many client wish lists and expert advice on executing them correctly. Some are variations of existing trends, but all are expected to add function, value, and joy to houses inside and out.
Outdoor Flex Spaces
Creating the equivalent of flex spaces in a backyard started pre-pandemic, but after sheltering indoors, more homeowners asked their remodeling professionals to build different spaces to suit their favorite interests.
Want a yoga space? No problem. Given that Los Angeles has great weather year round, we found that through the pandemic a lot of homeowners started to envision semi outdoor spaces that they could exercise in or use for other interest that may have been closed due to the pandemic.
Some might want an outdoor kitchen, dinning space or a fire pit to gather and host friends and family. Others might have the need for an outdoor fireplace and lawn or terrace to set out a large screen and chairs to watch movies.
The idea is that homeowners can use their rooms even as weather changes, and these improvements could add value to their home when they decide to sell.
Big Windows and Walls of Glass
The trend of homeowners wanting to feel as though they’re outdoors even when they can’t be is expected to continue as nature is considered a boon to wellness.
Be ready to change out windows and doors, and sometimes an entire wall to fit larger glass options. Some like garage-style glass doors that roll up for an edgier look, designers say. In kitchens, designer Mick De Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design installs windows as high as possible (depending on ceiling height) and down to the top of a countertop (36 inches), but if there’s no countertop, close to the floor.
Home Office Space
Another pandemic lesson was the importance of having a place for adults to conduct office work and children to do homework. In fact, searches for home offices were up 108%, according to the 2021 Houzz Emerging Home Design Trends Report. And even as many return to the workplace and school, coronavirus numbers are expected to make adaptable areas popular.
Think of an area in your home that could work, depending on the desired level of privacy, light, and quiet, but make sure you make it work for other uses as well. Some thing to consider below.
- Do you need a door?
- Do you want a space with a window for natural light?
- Are you willing to share space?
- Do you have an extra room to use, a big walk-in closet, a large landing, or attic or basement?
- What accessories do you need—a work surface with built-in keyboard, ergonomic chair, a guest chair, good lighting, file cabinet, outlets?
Accessory Dwelling Units
These structures generally are detached from the main house and range in size between 500 and 800 square feet but as large as 1,200 square feet, says Caitlin Bigelow, an ADU advocate who runs Maxable, an educational resource on ADUs.
Increased approval from planning and building departments has boosted ADU popularity, especially as a housing solution for homeowners needing space for returning grown children, for renters to help meet the shortage of affordable housing, and older parents wanting to age in place privately in what’s often called a “granny flat.”
Be sure to check local codes on size, setbacks, and other requirements, and that the unit has good natural light, insulation, key appliances, and features that reflect universal design principles so it’s accessible for all.