With millions of Americans at home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many took up new activities to help them pass the time. Some took on baking bread or investing, while others focused on sprucing up their living spaces.
Home decor wholesaler Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery recently released new findings on home updates conducted during the COVID-19 crisis.
It revealed that a majority of Americans (64%) had updated some aspect of their home during the pandemic, with many doing so because they were tired of the property's current style (34%) or because they needed greater functionality from it (32%).
Americans focus on improving their in-home workspaces
Most Americans' homes saw greater use during the pandemic, as many consumers were forced to stay at home amid citywide shutdowns. Although about a third of them spent more time in their bedrooms (33%) and kitchens (32%) over the past year, half of Americans reported increased living room use during the pandemic.
A large part of this shift towards greater living room usage can be attributed to the work-from-home (WFH) movement of the pandemic, as Ferguson discovered that 34% of respondents started working remotely during the health crisis. Of this group, 33% started working from their living room while another third began working from an existing home office.
But as social distancing guidelines continued, it became clear that the WFH trend would be a long-term one — and as a result, many telecommuters began looking for ways to improve their WFH experience. Some of these home office updates included:
- Changing the lighting (62%)
- Setting up a coffee maker (11%)
- Setting up a refrigerator (10%)
And with the amount of time and money they've invested in updating their workspaces, it's little wonder that 62% of recent homebuyers want to continue working from home in the future.
Smart home products and bidets are becoming more popular as well
According to the Ferguson survey, Americans are interested in purchasing smart home products for a variety of reasons, such as:
- To make life easier (49%)
- To save time (32%)
- To improve their home's energy efficiency (31%)
- To improve the safety of their home and family (23%)
These motivations are reflected in the most popular smart products respondents would like in their homes — touchless faucets (41%), refrigerators that notify them when the door is left open (32%) and washers and dryers that notify them when the laundry is done (31%).
Meanwhile, other survey participants are interested in bidets (17%) and bidet seats (26%), as well as the benefits they bring. For many of these consumers, the biggest draws for this trend include the sustainability benefits (36%), improved hand hygiene (29%) and health benefits it offers (29%).
These updates aren't just good for homeowners in the present moment — it'll help them if and when they decide to sell their home, too, as a previous survey from Coldwell Banker revealed that 23% of today's homebuyers prefer an upgraded home.
Methodology: G&S Business Communications fielded an online survey of 1,108 American adults (ages 18 and older) on behalf of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery on April 30, 2021. Survey data was balanced for age and gender according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.