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The Home Upgrades That Attracted Owners in 2020

December 30, 2020

2020 was a year of home renovations. As more homeowners spent time at home, they devoted themselves to sprucing up their nests. Kitchens, outdoor areas, and home office updates were all among some of the most popular projects tackled, according to designers.

Apartment Therapy recently asked designers and contractors to highlight some of the most requested home upgrades from their clients this year. Among the popular upgrades they mentioned:

Closet organization

Homeowners are taking control of their closets. They’re clearing items they no longer want and adding shelving to better organize their storage spaces. They may use a full-on closet system, but those can be pricey—hundreds or even thousands of dollars—so some are turning to DIY options. For example, they may bring a dresser into the closet or purchase separate storage units or drawers and then paint them to give them a fresh, custom look.

Sanitizing stations

Adding a sanitizing station by the door has become common. This gives people an area to transition from outdoors to personal space by removing outdoor wear, taking off shoes, applying sanitizer, hanging up or disposing of masks, using sanitizing wipes on belongings, and more. Some homeowners may leave laundry baskets at the doorstep to place dirty items into. These spaces had typically served as mudrooms before the pandemic but received a sanitation focus beyond just being a place to store coats and shoes. Read more about this trend: Organizing and Staging the ‘Disinfection Room’

Kitchen banquettes

A built-in seat for the dining area also is growing in popularity, designers say. “The beauty of a kitchen banquette is undeniable; it makes a space feel cozy and warm, it brings in new tactile materials, and it creates storage solutions,” Alyse Eisenberg, interior designer and owner of Studio Alyse, told Apartment Therapy. “Banquettes work in larger kitchens to make them feel more intimate and can add functional kitchen storage in smaller kitchens when creating drawers under the seating.”

Smart lights

To smarten up households, homeowners have been increasingly purchasing smart lighting systems that can be operated by their phone or voice command. For less than $10, homeowners can switch out current lightbulbs with smart bulbs that can be controlled from a phone app.