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Home design trends for 2021

How COVID-19 is changing our outlook

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate in 2021, especially when it comes to home building or renovation. In 2020, a record number of people rolled up their sleeves for home renos or repairs. 

In a recent TD Bank survey, more than one-third of respondents said they plan on big renos or repairs this year. The onset of COVID-19 and its restrictions have refocused people’s thoughts on how they want to live. 

Since home is the centre of activities, consumers are searching for more space, flexibility, options to work and exercise remotely, and at times escape to a quiet corner.

We asked industry expert Adrianna Chiumento, owner of St. Albert’s Veneto Homes, a custom builder to give her thoughts on the hottest trends for 2021.

House Style 

Chiumento cited the modern farmhouse style as the big ask in large part to the influence of television fixer-uppers Chip and Joanna Gaines. Modern farmhouse style marries traditional warmth with a contemporary spin and modern farmhouse décor. It blends clean lines and neutral palettes that creates a timeless look. 

“They have a white exterior, a light interior and the homes are starting to feel more homey. Before homes felt colder, more modern. But there’s been a big shift to feeling comfortable. We’ve been introducing more wood beams and wood burning fireplaces,” said Chiumento. 

Custom Floor Plans 

As families adjust to stay-at-home constraints, builders are reimagining how to accommodate and balance all the demands of living, working and schooling at home. 

“Because people are having to create space, we’re seeing a lot of custom requests instead of stock floor plans. Lately, we’re doing a lot of adjustments to floor plans because of COVID and the new lifestyles. For instance, there’s a lot of forward-thinking families that want to install the electrical for future solar panels or plug-ins in the garage for electric cars.” 

Home Offices 

With many individuals adopting a work-from-home schedule, the need for a functional space has increased. 

“People are realizing they need different spaces. Office spaces are important, and you need a separate space for kids in a playroom. Some of our houses have two offices, or two dens, one for the parents and one for the kids.” 


Two years ago, most orders were for grey, white and black kitchens said Chiumento. This year she sees the warmer browns moving in. 

“White will always be popular, but people are adding more accent colours like blue and green. There’s definitely less closed cabinetry and more open shelves. And we’re seeing bigger appliances for ease of living.” 

Home Gyms 

A quiet, dedicated space for a home gym is becoming more of a must-have. 

“People are either looking for a yoga or mediation space or an exercise room. With the shutdown, people felt they needed it. We’re getting this request from the first-time home buyers to retirees.” 

Multi-functional Rooms 

A room that does double and triple duty will likely become another popular feature. 

“Laundry rooms are a big part of the house. You can turn them into craft areas, storage areas or keep them as laundry areas. For mums, it helps them stay organized with lots of good space." 

Children’s Rooms 

Parents want their children to enjoy their private space while feeling relaxed, safe and secure. 

“Carpets are popular in kid’s rooms. Jack and Jill bathrooms are important as are big closets. Many of the rooms are personalized with decals and wallpaper. You can even do custom wallpaper now. People are taking a trend and moving it to the next level.” 

Bathroom Sanctuary 

One of the most popular rooms to renovate, bathrooms are also including spa like amenities. “A separate makeup and dressing room away from the ensuite is popular. And we’re seeing a lot of LED lighting.” 

Natural Light 

There is also a desire for lots of windows to bring in natural light. 

“People want to have more plants in their home. It’s a desire to bring the outside in. It’s a nice way to see natural colours come back into the home.  

Three-Season Rooms 

Outdoor living may be second nature to Californians. However, with Alberta’s short summers families are finding creative ways to interact with nature in warmth and comfort. 

“All you do is build a deck and cover it with screens and plexiglass windows and heat it with a fireplace. It becomes a nice space to enjoy yourself."

Chiumento closed by saying "People should be mindful there is an option to do things with flexibility. You can custom a home to suit yourself."

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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