Despite the pandemic lockdowns having ended years ago, many homeowners find themselves more comfortable staying at home than they were before. In a recent homeowners survey put out by the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence, 64% of respondents labeled themselves as ‘homebodies,’ stating “I have a greater desire to be home now than I did before the pandemic.”
It’s likely it will be some time before we are able to understand the true impact the pandemic has had on our relationships with our homes. One such consequence that sprang to attention immediately was the impact poor home environments could have on one’s health.
Even a less impactful revelation, such as the desire to stay at home more often, is leading to just as dramatic of a shift in what homeowners are seeking out for home improvement projects. However, those two reactions seem to be innately tied to one another, as with the decision to spend more time at home, homeowners are now more focused on making the home as beneficial to them as they possibly can.
This has likewise led to a second surge of home improvement projects centered around quality-of-life improvements around the home.
One such change the survey found is the interest among homeowners in more specialized drink centers, such as those dedicated exclusively to coffee, wine or other beverages.
Another area likely noticed by integrators is that of outdoor living spaces. As wellness real estate expert Jamie Gold notes in a Forbes article discussing the study’s findings, outdoor living spaces have been steadily growing “larger, more luxurious and better equipped than ever before.”
In CE Pro’s own deep dive looking into the current state of outdoor projects, we found that, while definitely a far cry from pandemic highs, the category is still experiencing a respectable level of growth in project opportunities, with clients commonly looking for expanded audio, security, networking and video capabilities for their outdoor living spaces.
Additionally, Gold notes that many homeowners are looking for multiple ways to extend the usefulness of these spaces in the face of seasonal extremes. For instance, climate control/mitigation features have become highly sought after in the market.
Fans and misters are now very popular for hotter climates, while outdoor fireplaces and other heating elements have become widely sought after in colder regions.
The home gym, as well, has steeled itself a complete drop-off. However, the intention of these spaces has drastically shifted from pandemic heights, according to Gold. Minimizing the footprint these spaces occupy has become the name of the game in many areas throughout the US with these areas either becoming smaller or multifunctional in their arrangement.
Despite the emphasis being placed on outdoor living spaces, most homeowners responding to the survey (50%) stated they are spending most of their time in the kitchen. However, this does not seem to be leaving technology out of the picture.
As mentioned in its 2022 trends report, the NKBA noted that homeowners were placing high value on technologies that allowed for greater control and customization of their environments in both the kitchen and bath, with a particular emphasis being place on voice controls, touchless technology and greater environmental control.
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