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Home Improvement Trends 2021: Pandemic & Predictions

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Lockdown and the pandemic changed 2020 for a number of reasons, including home improvement trends.

The amount of people searching for ‘paint’ increased by 77%. 

‘DIY’- related searches also increased, this time by 48%, over lockdown. 

Bathroom-related renovation also saw a massive rise, with new trends emerging. 

Wondering what people spent their time doing? What will happen now? Let’s take a look at the most popular renovation trends. 

Home improvement industry trends 2020

First things first, let’s look back to the lockdown in March 2020. With most of us stuck at home, needing a project, it appears it was finally time to make those home improvement ideas a reality. 

After all, what better time to improve your home than when locked down in it?

From making our homes more eco-friendly, to big DIY jobs, to redecorating, 2020 was definitely a year for home renovation.

Lockdown home renovation trends: what were people searching for?

The first lockdown was announced on March 23rd, and on that very day, Google Trends data reveals a significant spike in the following searches:

  • DIY 
  • How to paint 
  • How to fix
  • How to build
  • Fence paint
  • House extensions

What happened?

There was a shortage of paint across the entire nation. From the garden fences to the kitchen, many of us were getting handy with a brush and giving our home a spruce up. 

The need to brush up on DIY skills for home improvement was needed, due to the ‘stay at home’ rule meaning it was harder to hire others. 

Tip: for major work, it’s always best to use a professional – even if this means waiting until restrictions relax. Don’t knock down walls without checking, they might be load-bearing! Find a local tradesman to get the job done instead. 

Find Local Tradesmen Here

What was the most redecorated room in lockdown? 

According to the data, the bathroom was the most popular room to redecorate in lockdown. This was closely followed by the kitchen. However, the bedroom saw the biggest rise in searches.

  1. Kitchen paint – 20,097 – 29,137 (45% increase in monthly searches)
  2. Bedroom paint – 3,927 – 7,057 (80% increase in monthly searches)
  3. Bathroom paint – 30,000 – 35,031 (17% increase in monthly searches)
  4. Living room paint – 0% increase!

Garden improvement trends 

Guess what the most popular thing to paint in the UK in lockdown was (by far)?

Answer: the garden fence!

Searches for the appropriate paint increased by 196% in March 2020. 

Which room was most popular to extend?

Did you know that extending your kitchen could raise the value of your home by over £46,000?

With this in mind, it’s little wonder the kitchen was the most popular room when it came to extensions in 2020. Searches jumped by 43% in the first lockdown.

Increasing the kitchen in size dramatically trumped loft conversions, garage extensions and bathrooms alike. 

Home improvement trends 2021: what to watch out for in 

What about now? With the pandemic and lockdown still upon us, home design certainly hasn’t taken a backseat just yet. 


Here are some predictions for what homeowners will be tackling this year:

1.Increasing energy efficiency

Being more ‘green’ is not only essential for the future of our planet, but it can also help lower energy bills and save you money. So, it’s unsurprising that creating energy efficient homes is now a priority for many.

Some energy saving home improvement ideas include:

  • Upgrading your boiler 
  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation 
  • Draught proofing 
  • Solar panels (these are on the rise too!)

Want another way to save money on your bills and tackle climate change? Switch energy suppliers to one backed by 100% renewable energy.

Switch Energy Supplier Here

2. Open plan living spaces

Depending who’s next in line to buy your home, more space could add value to it and help it sell, setting it apart from the competition. The bigger you can make a room look, the better. They can also feel more homely and nicer to live in. While there are plenty of small room ideas that can help a space feel larger, open-plan is sought after.

3. Outdoor spaces 

Lockdown proved that having a garden is a huge benefit. In fact, it’s changed homebuyer’s priorities, with many now looking for homes with a nice outdoor space. Therefore, it’s likely many of us will be doing ours up this year – now that the fences are painted!

Words like ‘summerhouses’, ‘fire pits’ grew in popularity last year – with outdoor entertainment spaces sitting at the forefront of people’s minds. 

People were also getting more sheds, as the garden has been getting significantly more attention than in previous years.

This isn’t set to change this year, with 29% of UK residents wanting to move to a property with more outdoor space.

4. More space

People are still looking to create more space. Extensions and loft conversions alike can significantly add value (estimated between £10,000-50,000) to your property. 

Want a closer estimate? Use an extension value calculator

Extension Value Calculator

Also, it can be practical to renovate in this way if working from home is your new normal. For example, if your garage is unused, why not turn it into a home office?

In fact, 25% of UK residents want to move to a bigger property in the next year.

5.Redecorating

Never underestimate the power that revamping can have on your home. Whether it’s painting the walls, putting down new flooring or new cabinet doors – a freshen up can go a long way. 

New bathrooms and kitchens are hugely popular with potential buyers, so they can be good places to start.

Some trends that are becoming popular include: 

  • Interesting bathroom fixtures e.g. matt black & rose gold
  • Vintage furniture 
  • Colourful bathrooms e.g. ‘navy’, ‘gold’
  • Nature-inspired palettes 
  • All-white kitchens
  • Modern kitchen finishings 
  • Bathrooms with baths and showers together

6. Death of the dining room 

While not everyone is a lover of open-plan anymore (for working from home related reasons), who has a need for a dining room? 

When guest entertaining is permitted again, it’s likely many of us will favour outdoor spaces. Dining rooms are starting to be seen as dated by many.

Biggest bathroom trend predictions for 2021

When it comes to renovation, many of us Brits start in the bathroom! 

According to the latest data, these are some bathroom trends that are increasing in popularity:

  1. Marble – 366% increase
  2. Wood Features – 197% increase
  3. Eco-Friendly – 189% increase
  4. Black Details – 123% increase
  5. Brass Elements – 120% increase
  6. Industrial Trends – 58% increase

Trend 1. Adding luxury with marble

People are spending more time at home than ever before, so why not make it luxurious? It appears marble features are having a moment, skyrocketing by 366% in 2020. 

The reason? It could be because marble fits with many different bathroom styles (from classic to modern). Or, versatility aside, people might just be looking to make their home more of a haven. Plus, it’s hard-wearing too.

Trend 2. Bringing the outdoors in

Outdoor spaces are coveted by many Brits now. Are people looking to bring the outdoor elements in? This may account for why wooden bathroom features have increased in popularity by nearly 200% in the past year.

Trend 3. Going green

Clearly, making environmental changes is a priority for many, as eco-friendly toilets are making a splash. Rimless toilets and dual flush plates had a combined rise of 189% in 2020, helping to use significantly less water.

You don’t need to be an eco-warrior to enjoy saving money on your water bill!

Trend 4. Black details aren’t going anywhere

Black bathroom features grew massively in popularity a few years back, but it looks like they’re here to stay, increasing by 123% in sales growth in 2020. This makes sense considering colourful bathrooms are also on the rise, so the details will stand out more.

Trend 5. Going bold with brass 

Brass might take over black bathroom features as the more popular trend this year. The two were almost neck on neck in 2020, with brass sales increasing by 120%. Could 2021 be the year they take over? 

Brass showers, brass taps… It’s certain that these elements add a touch of class and offset any timeless colour scheme.

Trend 6. Industrial is on the rise

Prevailing as the 6th most popular bathroom trend, industrial features saw a 58% rise in searches in 2020. While some might think ‘construction site’, an industrial aesthetic is popular among many. From metal framework, to piping, to stone features – there are many choices here. 

Which bathroom colours will be the biggest in 2021?

These are the colours that saw the biggest increase over the course of 2020:

  1. Blue (95% increase)
    1. Darker blues & navy in particular
  2. Pink (79% increase)
    1. Many are moving from monochrome to playful
  3. Green (20% increase)
  4. Grey (11% increase)

What bathroom renovation do Brits plan to tackle? 

A survey revealed what people are planning to do when it comes to bathroom renovation:

  1. Make it more modern = 47%
  2. Upgrade bath / separate from shower = 24%
  3. Improve functionality = 19%
  4. Increase shower size = 17%
  5. Improve lighting = 15%
  6. Increase storage space = 14%

Don’t forget to work with what you have too! Some of the best small bathroom ideas include strategically-placed mirrors and lighting, or utilising unused space.

Which bathroom style is most popular?

  1. Modern = 48%
  2. Traditional = 16%
  3. Modern vintage = 13%
  4. Scandinavian = 10%
  5. Eclectic = 7%
  6. Country = 6%

Why tackle home improvement? 

Home improvement projects can be costly and time-consuming, which is why it’s so important to set a budget and try sticking to it. Despite this, they have a number of benefits, including:

  1. Improving your surroundings and quality of life
  2. Increasing space
  3. Adding value to your home (Did you know – a vegetable patch could get you £6,000 more for your property?!)
  4. Attracting more potential buyers

We recently ran a survey asking people which room they planned to tackle first. Here were the results:

  • Kitchen = 37.6%
  • Bathroom = 24.5%
  • Living area = 22.4%
  • Bedroom = 15.5%

Clearly, kitchens and bathrooms are where it’s at when it comes to renovation! It’s little wonder, when these are said to be what sell homes. 

How can you pay for your project?

From savings to credit cards, there are a number of ways to finance home improvements. For bigger projects, one of the most popular is to take out a home improvement loan.

If you need a loan, we can connect you with the right people to make it happen. Get a quote below – without affecting your credit score.

Get a Homeowner Loan Quote

Last Updated: July 13th, 2021