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Top 10 design trends for 2021

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has altered the way we work and school, home owners have had to alter their home environment to adjust. Here are the top 10 design trends for 2021 that real estate agents have observed their clients adopt or request.

1. Earthy Colors to Bring the Outside Inside

The current color palettes for interior design are inspired by Mother Nature. Their focus is on bringing calm and peace into the home. Green colors remind us of the earth, grass and plants. Blues bring in the vastness of the sky and water. Yellows evoke a sense of sunlight and flowers. Popular tones such as whites, tans and beiges feel natural and clean.

2. Natural Lighting and Oversized Windows

Say goodbye to heavy drapes and window coverings. Natural light makes us smile and feel happy. Folks are replacing, when possible, window coverings with electric blinds that remain open during the day or with sheer fabric to let the sunshine in. When possible, homeowners are also enlarging existing window spaces to allow for more natural light to enter the home. The benefits are numerous and include reduced home energy costs and a brighter living environment.

3. Creative Storage Areas

With both kids and adults spending more time at home, the demand for storage space is on the rise. The goal is to reduce clutter and create safe and open areas throughout the home to work and play. Creative designs include maximizing cabinet space within each room and using couches with storage space built in. Storage space also includes improved closet design and more efficient storage space within the garage or utility area of the home.

The use of off-site storage facilities is on the rise. By redesigning the space at home and getting rid of anything they don't use, people hope to save the large, monthly, off-site rental costs.

4. Flexible Home Spaces

Home-based work environments are here to stay. One of the biggest frustrations real estate professionals hear from homeowners is the challenge of creating a place where they can focus and concentrate on tasks when working from home. It is also about having a dedicated area where kids can learn and study also.

The move to larger home spaces is growing as many people are moving out of city environments to single family homes for the first time. In condos, apartments, and homes, homeowners are re-purposing guest rooms, garages, basements and non-traditional areas as their new home office or study space.

5. Higher-Quality Indoor Air Ventilation

Having clean, indoor air is essential to one's health. According to the EPA, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, people spent 90% of their time indoors. The EPA also states that indoor air pollution can often be higher than outdoor air pollution. Ways to improve indoor air quality include opening the windows to allow air to flow throughout the home. Of course, this also depends on the time of year and the home's location. Other options include upgrading the home's air ventilation system, installing higher MERV-rated filters and purchasing indoor air purifiers for certain rooms.

6. Home Bathrooms and Bidets

Having sufficient toilet paper had a whole new meaning in 2020. All across Europe and Asia, nations reduced their use of toilet paper for centuries, yes centuries, by using separate wash areas next to the toilet known as bidets. This fixture has not taken off in the United States due, in many cases, to lack of sufficient bathroom space. Now, it is taking off for many reasons: to reduce the need for toilet paper, to increase cleanliness, to save money, and to conserve the earth's resources.

7. At-Home Gyms and Fitness Areas

Having an exercise or fitness area in the home is critical to relieving stress and staying healthy. With the growth of online virtual exercise and play classes, having a space with a large screen and room for a mat or fitness equipment is essential for many. One piece of equipment can be all that's needed. Since there are only so many rooms in one's home, screens can be hidden during the day or be mounted and be part of the functional office area. That is subject to individual taste, of course. If there is the option of utilizing a porch area or basement, these spaces can also serve as gyms or fitness areas.

8. Utility Room for Shoes and Household Items

Every home begins with the entrance. This can include the front door, hallway or garage. For 2021, these are being redesigned to allow for grocery and parcel delivery, as well as to take off one's shoes before entering the home. Some families are utilizing space, when available, in the utility room to remove shoes and accept packages. In some areas of the country, this is also called a "mud" room.

9. Smart Thermostats

The driving factor for the increased use of smart thermostats is to lower maintenance costs. The demand is driven as more and more people are working from home and as kids and young adults shifted to learning from home. Smart thermostats are convenient and provide the home dwellers the ability to review their energy use room by room. This can result in lower monthly energy costs. Plus, with Wi-Fi capability, users can track their home's energy usage while at home or on the road.

10. Smart Voice Activation

Technology has come a long way. And now, with the simple use of our voice, we can activate many features in our homes when using a smart hub.

Say goodbye to pressing buttons. Voice automation is here and growing exponentially. With the help of Wi-Fi, we can use voice activation for the entire home through a hub. Touchless voice activation actions include opening the front door, and turning on and off lights, television screens, faucets, water heaters and pool pumps. Managed with providers such as: Amazon, Apple and Google Home, this technology can also create a significant reduction in home energy costs.



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