This past year brought many changes to us all. Stay-at-home orders gave family members the task to learn how to adjust to doing things they used to do outside of their homes, inside their homes. Many companies required their employees to start working from home, such as those in the technology and banking industries. Companies around the country are even discussing restructuring their corporate headquarters so that their employees and executives work from home indefinitely.

Many children around the country started in-home or hybrid learning. Gyms and workout facilities closed, forcing people to workout at home. Many recreation places closed, such as park districts, sports clubs, movie theaters and so on. Restaurants closed for indoor dining in some areas of the country including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Those that haven't closed have some occupancy restrictions. All of these changes created the need for some home renovations and changes in home design.

Flex Spaces

According to an article written by Krisztina Bell (a professional home stager from Atlanta) for the National Association of Realtors website, families are transforming some of the rooms in their homes into multifunctional spaces, or flex spaces. These spaces are where some remote work, school and other activities are taking place. For example, instead of a formal living room, families may add a door so it can become an office for the adults or the children to do their in-home learning. Some families are putting up partitions to divide rooms so that the room can take on multiple purposes. For example, a child's bedroom can have a partition where the bedroom can be the place where the child sleeps and goes to school. Or families may be using their traditional family rooms as school and workplaces during the day and in-home theatres at night and on weekends.

Finished Basements

According to and the "Cost vs. Value" Report from Remodeling magazine, when you finish your basement, you can expect a 70% return on investment (ROI.) Families are creating mini-in-law suites in basements. According to the site, 20% of families are living in a multi-generational home. In addition to living quarters, in-home theater areas are popular because movie theaters are closed. Conversions are also producing offices, workout areas, dance studios and the like. In fact, according to JPMorgan, Peloton sales increased 100% in 2020 over 2019, from $910 million to $1.8 billion. This increase in sales is expected to continue in some capacity. Finished basements will create the additional "gym" space need and increase home values.

Kitchen Remodels

Due to the aforementioned restaurant closings, families are cooking at home more than ever. In 2021 it's expected that more people are going to remodel their kitchens to create more counter space and additional storage and pantry space for all the extra groceries they are purchasing. The National Association of Realtors states that a kitchen upgrade will bring homeowners a 67% ROI.

Renovating Backyards

Since organized sports and recreation activities have been put on hold, many families have been transforming their backyards into play and sports havens. Families are building playsets and obstacle courses, installing golf putting greens, investing in basketball hoops, soccer nets and other sports equipment.

Making home renovations can improve your home's value. Making some non-permanent changes in home design this year will help you and your family manage your lives more efficiently in the short run.