According to Google Trends data, searches for home improvement doubled on average in 2020 from the previous year – with the biggest spike being seen in July when searches increased by 350% year on year. It doesn’t take a genius to know why this was – with everyone spending extended periods of time in their home and inevitably becoming bored of the same four walls, the DIY itch got to most of us.
“The entire nation spent increased time in their homes during the pandemic…forcing a significant change in spending habits. So, it’s no surprise homeowners picked up paint brushes and got to work on their homes.” – Graham Sellar, Head of Mortgage Development, Santander UK.
2020 changed the kind of updates we may look to do to our homes – making home offices, gyms and bars the norm. These kinds of improvements can be costly – so let’s consider how we can make some of these on trend changes without breaking the bank.
If you want to update your home, or even just change things up or add something new, it’s quite possible to make a big difference easily. These ideas and projects are simple and can be done by even the newest do-it-yourself homeowner. They are perfect for a quick update.
A General Revamp
2020 was the year we all spent more time in our homes than ever before, time that may have been spent considering what exactly you can do to that home without spending a fortune. Luckily, there is plenty you can do – even a general revamp and rearrange can have your home feeling like brand new.
Repaint Existing Features
Shutters, crown moulding, baseboards, doors, window boxes, pillars and other features inside or outside your home can be updated with a new coat of paint and have a big effect on your home.
Choosing a contrasting colour for this project will give an area interest and can make a room feel entirely different. On the other hand, using a complementary colour or a different shade of a colour already used in the room can create a more serene, calm look.
If you’re looking for some colour inspiration – experts believe sage green is sticking around and making an impact in 2021. It makes a great accompanying shade for grey’s and other pastel shades. Or take inspiration from Pantone themselves. Pantone’s colour of the year 2021 is a joint effort – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a bright uplifting yellow.
If you have wallpaper you will need to strip this first and similarly if you have existing paint on the walls you can start by using a hot air paint stripper to remove old coats of paint. Then, sand the surface to make sure it is perfectly smooth. Wipe away dust and shavings and then add the paint.
Display New Art Pieces
Add colour and something new to your home by displaying some new art pieces. Go with sculptures, vases and accessories on tabletops, bookcases and shelves. Dress up walls with framed art. Photographs, modern art, water-colours and sketches all make a different statement and can be used to create different effects throughout your home.
Even things that you wouldn’t normally consider as art can be framed and used to add interest to your walls. Things like postcards, vintage advertisements, illustrations from books, ticket stub collections, maps and memorabilia from favourite vacations or hobbies can be used as unique art.
Create a Custom Piece of Furniture
Updating an existing piece of furniture to make something new is a fun and functional project to take on this year. Use a piece you already have or transform a thrift store find into a custom piece.
There are so many ways you can do this project, from refinishing an antique piece to bring back its original beauty to adding a new finish and hardware to give it a modern look. You can also repurpose an old piece and use it for something new. For example, turn an old table into a desk, a dresser into a storage unit for your entertainment room or a bookcase into a kitchen hutch.
Creating the Perfect Home Office
2020 became the year of home working, and in 2021 that is set to continue. Many workplaces and workers have found that home working is extremely beneficial for work/life balance, productivity and motivation. Therefore, if you were putting off creating that perfect home office space – put it off no longer.
“Remote work and other technological advantages spurred by stay-at-home orders will long outlast the pandemic.” – Anurag Kahol, CTO and co-founder at Bitglass
Creating a whole new room may seem impossible – however there are plenty of clever home office ideas to create a space that is flexible, productive and doesn’t break the bank.
Rearrange the Furniture
Creating a home office space could be as simple as moving a desk and office chair into your spare bedroom. This is fairly budget friendly way of creating a home office space – and having a specific room dedicated to work is a great way of promoting a healthy work/life balance.
If you only have a small space to work with, you’ll be questioning – how do I set up a small home office? And whilst that may seem daunting, some cleaver furniture arranging can actually help a lot.
Take inspiration from the things you want from an office space. According to the Cartridge People, 55% of UK workers would choose windows that open as part of their dream office space – at home you can do exactly that. If you want to bask in the fresh breeze that comes through an open window or feel the sun on your face position yourself in front of a window.
Have a ‘Work Only’ Space
We understand not everyone can dedicate an entire room to a home office, but we think it is beneficial to dedicate a certain space to work only. Doing this can help separate home from work, something which can be difficult.
Set up a desk – whether than be a built desk which stays put or one that folds away on an evening, having a desk can help productivity, posture and wellbeing. This only prevents you working from bed, or the sofa and blurring the lines between work and home.
If you find yourself wondering – how do I set up a home desk? – think about how you work best and where you work best. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune – you could use a table you already have or try your hand at creating your own standing desk. Standing desks are great for posture and productivity – especially if you find yourself aching from being sat down usually.
You can make your own standing desk by simply using a taller surface or adding on a another step to your sit down desk – a small tray with leg supports or even a small coffee table there are various ways to get creative with your home desk.
Get Fit with a Home Gym
Another trend which we think will continue well into 2021 is the home gym. Yahoo! Finance reported that in 2020, home gym equipment sales spike by 5813% between March and July.
- Stepper sales up 6,500%
- Weight bench sales up 4,130%
- Exercise bike sales up 2,113%
Home gyms were a thing well before 2020 however they are definitely much more popular now that gym’s have been closed for the majority of the past year. The concept of a home gym may seem way out of budget – but there are easy and affordable ways to create your own home gym.
Making your Own Equipment
When you think of a home gym, you probably think of multiple pieces of high-tech equipment such as treadmills and spin-bikes alongside squat racks and benches. However, you don’t need to splash all of that cash to have a practical gym space at home.
A few dumbbells, resistance bands and an exercise matt and you’re good to go. Or even better you can make your own equipment using steel rods and weight plates.
And, if you can’t get your hands on any of that – a few milk cartons, bags of flour or water bottles can all serves as make-shift weights.
Again, the key here is to have a dedicated space or a way of separating your ‘home-gym’ from your home. If you don’t have the space for your gym to be constantly set up – invest in some cleverly placed storage to keep your equipment, wall-storage is great for this especially in garages.
Alternatively, you might want to dedicate room, or even a corner of a room to your gym. A place where you can keep your equipment out and when you’re in there you are in the zone, motivated and ready to go.
This year update your home by adding or changing just a few things. These projects are easy to take on with the right tools and give you the chance to bring your own personality to a room, creating custom-made solutions for your family.
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