The global coronavirus crisis has not only affected the health care system and economy, but it has also transformed the way people live. The shift to the office-to-home work arrangements have brought about new challenges in daily life, and the work-like balance of yesteryear is now work-life integration.  

People’s lives are now centered on the home and what they can do to be productive, healthy, and engaged, all in one place. Due to travel and social distancing restrictions, buying habits have also shifted to shopping for domestic pleasures and needs. 

These changes are already affecting the home improvement and real estate market in a way that homebuyers’ needs will align with the present realities. And builders should keep abreast with upcoming trends as home life continues to evolve.  


Home remodeling shows have popularized the open plan design so religiously that they dedicate a third of each segment for tearing down walls. Not only does it make good TV, but it also appeals to people’s increasing preference for communal living and bright, airy spaces. But this trend has stretched on for decades as personal space becomes a commodity following the extended home quarantine.

With family members all holed up at home, working, doing chores, and taking online classes, the open concept has become a bane. More and more people realize the beauty of walls and their ability to absorb noise, create boundaries, and reduce the spread of germs and viruses. 

On the other hand, companies are regretting tearing down cubicles as they would have been life- and bottom-line-saving. In the next few months to years, we can expect a wave of people taking out home loans searching for houses with more defined spaces. 

Hygge Everything 

The Danish concept of creating joy and coziness will soon pervade many homes across the globe as people focus on improving their home’s comfort and overall atmosphere. The hygge concept is anchored on simplicity and serenity, with ripple effects on wellness and happiness. While there are no hard rules for creating a hygge home, elements that add coziness, such as scented candles, plans, wool rugs, poufs, and hyggekrog (or cozy nooks), will become more popular. In terms of interior design, achieving the “hygge” look entails making the space look textured or layered and lived in. 

Yellow and Gray

When Pantone declared Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray as the colors of the year, people were instantly on board. These two colors reflect the uncertainties people face due to COVID-19 and the ray of hope beckoned by the new year. That said, people will be repainting rooms with yellows and grays and buying accent furniture and accessories in these colors. And no one’s complaining because the vibrant yellow and muted gray are a perfect combination and can work well with any home design. 


Cottagecore is making a comeback due to the events of 2020. The need for comfort, coupled with nostalgia for the better days, has made this design style more than just a passing trend. People are redecorating their homes to achieve that luxe vintage aesthetic. Likewise, people are finding modern interiors feel cold and dull, having spent endless days in them. Such concepts like embroidery, wallpaper, textured rugs, artwork, throws, earthy colors, and distressed furniture have made their way back to the collective consciousness. 

Aegean Teal 

Beach-loving folk stuck at home are looking to recreate that light, fun, and laidback vibe in their homes. It is no wonder that Benjamin Moore picked Aegean Teal as its Color of the Year 2021. The color instantly reminds you of turquoise waters, pearly white sand, and shimmering blue skies. This key color trend will soon be a staple in many homes. 

The Home Office

A home office will perhaps replace the kitchen and bathroom as top remodels that drive up home values. In fact, families are converting rooms to accommodate remote work and distance learning. The home office will become a focal point in 2021, and it will be fitted with elements that improve comfort and encourage focus, creativity, and productivity.  

Outdoor Space 

Outdoor living has become an essential element of home life. People stuck at home have found a renewed appreciation for their access to nature and fresh air. As such, the demand for structures such as patios, decks, and balconies has increased. Additionally, trends in outdoor decor and landscaping are also taking shape. 

The pandemic will eventually end, but these trends will continue. This is because remote work and distance learning have proven to have benefits, so they might still exist even in the post-COVID era.