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Home Improvement Trends for 2021

As more and more people transitioned to a home office and spent more time together under one roof this past year, we saw an increase in home improvement projects. More time spent at home had many yearning for a fresh look in décor and more. The trend continues this year with homeowners searching for the latest looks to freshen up both their indoor and outdoor spaces. If you’re looking for some ideas for a home remodel, here are some of the new movements in home improvement.

Kitchen Upgrades

Extra time at home meant more time cooking and meant a need to enlarge or improve kitchen spaces. Kitchen remodels are one of the most sought-after home improvements right now. From full-on kitchen remodels to upgrades in appliances, storage, countertops, and more. The trend is towards larger spaces and increased functionality. This includes larger, more elaborate islands. Enhancing organization and storage with pull-out drawers and hidden storage solutions are on many upgrade lists. One-piece backsplashes have also gained popularity over tile. This is especially true for do it yourselfers looking for ease of installation. Performing minor improvements by painting cabinets or upgrades to finishes and fixtures is also popular this year. It includes new matte and brushed finishes.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), two-tone cabinets and two-tone kitchens are a popular trend. Other trends mentioned by the NKBA included farmhouse kitchens, transitional-style kitchens, painted cabinets, and quartz countertops. Traditional-style kitchens are bright and relaxed, blending both contemporary and traditional styles. Homeowners are taking note of the benefits of quartz countertops. Not only are they stylish, but they are also durable, resistant to scratches and staining, and easy to clean. The hottest colors when it comes to kitchen remodels in 2021 continue to be white and gray.

Bathroom Remodels 

Many homeowners are looking to remodel bathrooms as a place for escape and relaxation. More expensive upgrades trending this year include larger showers, steam showers, and soaking tubs. All things to increase your level of comfort and tranquility in your own home. Curbless or barrier-free showers that create a seamless look, as well as radiant floor heating are two other top bathroom trends. Waking up to a warm bathroom floor on a cold morning can make anyone smile. Metallic tile accents are another new look in bathroom remodels this year, with gold fixtures also growing in popularity.

Home Offices

People transitioned quickly to working from home last year, and many repurposed spare bedrooms or dining room tables into their new workspaces. As the work from home trend continues, homeowners are now looking to dedicate space to a home office. Whether it’s converting an area of a finished basement, or turning a spare room into a home office, this is top on many home improvement wish lists for 2021. A dedicated area means more space, better functionality, and a quieter work environment. It also means you won’t see as much bedroom furniture or kitchen appliances in the background during those Zoom meetings. For those who don’t have the space to create a dedicated home office, they are creating “Zoom rooms” or Zoom spaces with a visually appealing background just for video calls and meetings.

Home Fitness Rooms

The sales of fitness equipment grew exponentially last year with many making the transition from the gym to home workouts. Sales of the Peloton, TRX suspension training systems, and other equipment such as The Mirror skyrocketed. As the trend of working out at home continues, homeowners are looking to convert spaces or rooms of their homes into personal gyms. This might include converting a basement to a large workout space or retrofitting a room to your needs. A small investment may be able to give you the functional space you’re looking for.

Closing Off Some of the Open Concept Floor Plans

Open concepts have been hugely popular as a plus for new home-buyers and homeowners. With so many people working from home, as well as virtual schooling, the trend is moving to close off some of those spaces. Those dealing with the issue of juggling many family members at home while trying to participate in a video meeting realized the importance of some privacy.

Upgrading with Color

You can really impact the mood of a room with color, by lifting the spirits or setting the tone for relaxation. Color can also impact the perceived size of a room. 2021 paint trends are leaning toward warmer, more inviting tones geared towards elevating the level of comfort in your home. Some of the color trends introduced by BEHR include Canyon Dusk, which is billed as earthy and harmonious, Maple Glaze, which is hopeful and welcoming, and Barnwood Gray, which is solid and relaxed. Benjamin Moore’s 2021 color palettes include Aegean Teal, Foggy Morning, and Potters Clay.  All beautiful colors. If you’re concerned about finding the right colors, many paint companies offer collections that work well together and help you to create a cohesive color palette for a room or entire home.

Dedicated Laundry Room or Laundry Space

Gone are the days of a washer and dryer hidden in the corner of a basement or in a closet. Homeowners are looking for a full laundry room or large dedicated space that’s brightly lit. They want plenty of counter space for folding, storage space, and organization solutions to sort, store, and hang. When space allows, a sink is also a plus on many laundry room remodel wish lists. Many of the newly remodeled laundry rooms are doubling as mudrooms, which is a bonus for families.

Improving Energy Efficiency

Upgrades to HVAC and solar power are hot for 2021. Renewable energy, including solar panels, is a growing trend, as well as improving indoor air quality through weatherization and upgrades to your HVAC system.  Tankless water heaters, providing hot water on demand as needed, are also a growing trend to improve energy efficiency in a home.

Outdoor Living Upgrades

A trend that began last year, improvements to outdoor living spaces, patios, decks, enclosed porches, and gardens are surging. This includes enhancing exterior spaces with the addition of outdoor kitchens, covered patios, entertainment spaces, and a sanctuary garden space.  With outdoor renovations still top of mind, outdoor spaces have become and will continue to be an extension of indoor living space. They also allow for a serene oasis from the work-at-home stress many of us face.

Swimming Pools

Many pool installers have reported that home pool sales have skyrocketed over the past year and continue to be popular. An article in Reuters reported that across the U.S. manufacturers of swimming pools are scrambling to meet the wave of demand. This popularity is coming from families looking to their own homes for their entertainment and enjoyment. Staycations are a growing trend. Many of you may question if a pool adds to the value of your home. According to HGTV, an average 14×28-foot inground concrete pool potentially adds 5 to 8 percent to the real estate value of your home. If you are considering a large-scale home project that includes adding a pool, be sure to factor in the ongoing costs, such as maintenance and any added insurance.

Window Replacements

New windows not only increase a home’s value, but they can brighten your space with more natural light. Larger windows that let in more natural light are a trend that we’re seeing. They can give a room an entirely new look. Upgrades for energy efficiency, such as high-performance glass windows, are also popular.

Financing a Home Remodel Project with a Home Equity Loan or HELOC

Benchmark Federal Credit Union provides many options for financing your home improvement and home remodel goals. This includes fixed-rate Home Equity Loans that feature competitive low rates and no closing costs. Benchmark’s Ultimate HELOC provides borrowers with an introductory 6-month rate of 1.99% APR* and two great repayment options. Click to learn more about HELOC repayment options to fit your needs.

Looking to save on your home remodel project? Here are some other helpful home remodel blogs:

Ultimate Guide to Saving on a Home Remodel

6 Home Improvement Projects that Provide Big ROI

Get the Best Kitchen Remodel ROI


*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are for qualified borrowers and are subject to change without notice. The introductory rate of 1.99% APR is for the first 6 months. At the end of the introductory term, the rate reverts to rate according to credit score at the time of application: as low as Wall Street Journal Prime Rate – .51% for 80% LTV** and Wall Street Journal Prime Rate – .26% for 81-90% LTV**. The floor rate is 3.99% APR. $100 application fee for loans under $25,000. An early termination fee of $250 if HELOC is paid off & closed in the first 12 months.

**LTV = Loan to Value



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