Making the most of our homes means making them as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, therefore we’ve compiled a list of the latest renovating trends and tips for 2020 and 2021. Although replacements, renovations, repairs and upgrades never seem to be quite finished when you own a home, failing to renovate your home means that if and when you ever decide to sell it, it will be much harder to get a market-related price.

So therefore it is important to keep your home as modern and up-to-date with these renovating trends as possible.

Millennials are currently the most active generation when it comes to home renovations and this is because the housing market has forced this generation into having to purchase lower-end homes that are in need of repair and upgrading. Inflated home prices brought on by a shortage of homes on the market as well as high interest rates has resulted in millennials renovating instead of building, selling, or moving.

While baby boomers are more likely to spend more when it comes to renovations,  and would rather hire general contractors, architects or designers, millennials tend to be more cost-conscious and would rather get stuck in and ‘do-it-themselves’ wherever possible.

With YouTube and Pinterest making DIY more accessible than ever, the younger generations feel empowered to take on home improvements themselves. Consumers are also able to use technology to become better informed about their purchases. According to Amy Anthony, senior director of customer insights at Lowe’s, “Seventy-four percent [of consumers] do research to get as much information as possible before making a purchase.”

If you’re busy dreaming up new projects for the new year, here are the latest tips and trends when it comes to home renovations in 2020 and 2021.

1)  Going Green

Renovating trends show a green perspective is gaining popularity due to the fact that most millenials would prefer to do their remodelling or upgrading in an eco-friendly way.  Going green when it comes to revamping is a bit different from tackling a traditional remodel, but it’s far from impossible. With a little extra care and consideration, you can achieve a home renovation that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. Environmentally conscious renovating is also an opportunity to create a home that enhances the environment, instead of depleting it. With your green remodel project, you can be more resource efficient, minimize waste, and recycle what’s left over to reduce the amount of materials ending up in landfills.

Eco-friendly homes are not only trendy, but also make good economic sense. Adding solar panels, geothermal pumps and/or energy-friendly appliances can not only result in lower energy bills, but will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Wellness-focused improvements are also on the rise with non-toxic materials and water and air purification systems gaining huge popularity.  

2) Smaller Budget with a Bigger Impact

With savings consciousness being the main focus of next year’s trends, homeowners will be more strategic with their funds, opting for smaller-scale projects with high impact. Installing LED lighting and reclaimed flooring as well as remembering the three “R’s” at the heart of going green – reduce, reuse, recycle will mean that whilst on or two environmentally friendly options might be higher than their non-green counterpart, the overall costs can be much lower. You can find amazing deals and treasures if you’re open to reusing somebody else’s pre-loved furniture or kitchen and if you do some homework on where to source reclaimed flooring and other recycled items.

3) Open Plan Kitchens and Living Areas

If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s chances are your home had a kitchen that was completely separate from the living area, perhaps due to bad smells or maybe to hide the messiness and effort it took to whip up a 3 course meal for the ‘dinner party’ you decided to host. We’ve become a much less conservative and much more sociable society and cooking is seen as more of a fun social interaction than a task to be done behind closed doors. The walls between living room and kitchen are quite literally being knocked down to become contemporary “open kitchens” and have been a top trend among re-modelers for the past few years. An open living area definitely creates the impression of a much more spacious area even in the smallest of homes as well as allowing for a more natural flow from one area into another.

4) Outdoor is the New Indoor

Outdoor cooking is also going upscale. Rather than just a simple patio barbecue grill, homeowners are adding backyard fire pits, pizza ovens, smokers and those ginormous roasting spits. In fact, some outdoor gourmets go all-out to bring the entire kitchen outside, with such features as refrigerators,counters, sinks and storage space for cooking equipment and dishes. South Africa’s temperate climate coupled with our love of socializing means outdoor cooking is a trend that may be around for a while.

5) Mixing and Matching

One of the year’s most pervasive trends among home renovators has been blending together old and new in an eclectic but interesting style of decorating. Shiny glass and steel bathroom fixtures paired with a clawfoot tub, granite kitchen countertops next to an antique Welsh dresser. This trend even extends to building materials, as homes incorporate modern composites with recycled barn wood.

6) Bold and Beautiful

Pastels are so over, and the stark industrial look is on its way out, too. Instead, the hot new decorating schemes call for lots of lively, bright colors – not just for accent pieces, but also for major pieces of furniture, appliances, even walls. Cobalt blue is popular right now, and orange is pretty hot as well.

7) Safety First

Extreme weather patterns are spurring more homeowners to invest in disaster-resistant home improvements. “Eighty-two percent of millennial’s are anxious about how climate change will affect their children’s quality of life,” explains Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of the Shelton Group. Ensuring the roof tiles can withstand South Africa’s harsh sun and unpredictable storms, as well as lightening-protection are more often that not elements of the upgrade process. This factor outweighs any renovating trends.

8) Plugged In and Switched On

Since hardly anybody these days can get by for too long without goo-gobs of gadgets – cell phones, laptops, game consoles, iPods and iPads and Kindles and such – one must-have item for many remodelers is adding more electrical outlets. And not just any outlets, either – tops on the list are the nifty new wall sockets that come complete with USB ports.

9) First Impressions

Improving the exterior of your  home first tends to yield higher returns on investments. Except for kitchen remodelling, ninety percent of the best renovation investments are associated with exterior home improvements, including painting the exterior, new roof tiles or a coat of paint and a landscaped garden. Having an attractive exterior façade creates an excellent impression to visitors as well as buyers should you be wanting to sell, and it could even get you a higher price.

10) Accessible to All

Homeowners are, more and more, tending to plan ahead. Even if they and their families are still relatively young and fit, they still want to be prepared for any circumstances where someone may be struggling with limited mobility. With this in mind, home renovations are increasingly taking into account the need for accessibility features such as ramps used in place of outdoor staircases and motion-activated sinks and lighting features.

To recap the renovating trends over the last year, this year’s remodeled homes were:

  • Kitchens are key but the most expensive room to renovate.
  • Bathroom renovations tend to be fairly low-cost and can deliver good bang for your buck when upgrading your look.
  • Opening up the kitchen and even extending it outdoors can add much needed floor space but needs to be carefully planned.
  • Eclectic, mix and match and bold colours are hot new trends in decorating.