Home Design 2021

2020 was a memorable year but not for the highlights. Most people will readily recall the drought, the bushfires and then the flooding rains all adding to negative economic and social impacts. These natural calamities were quickly followed by the COVID-19 virus with its consequences for every single person in Australia and around the world. All these recent events will in some way influence home design trends in 2021.

Baby boomer influence on renovation and home design in 2021

One of the most significant influences on home design is changes to our social conditions which are closely related to current economic circumstances. 

In 2021 the impact of the “baby boomers” will remain a strong influence on the economy. Their influence is seen in many ways from domestic tourism (grey nomads), patronage of hospitality venues, recreation and sporting pursuits and the popularity of apartment living as they downsize. 

home designs 2021 -- apartment living
Source: Unsplash

For houses, one result may be an increase in renovation as the homes the baby boomers leave will be occupied by new Owners keen to update houses that will be 30 or more years old.

In parallel with this turnover in home ownership will be an opposite trend of some baby boomer homeowners renovating or adding to their houses to accommodate their adult offspring or relatives. Children finish school, go to University or Tafe and then need to work for several years to save for a house deposit. Many homes will be adapted to provide self-contained accommodation for these children or elderly parents. Where space permits a secondary dwelling may be provided as a separate dwelling.

Working from home — how changing work norms are influencing home designs and home renovation in 2021

During the COVID 19 lock-downs many of us were forced to work from home. With organised sport, gyms, theatres and other venues closed and with schools conducting lessons online, the home not only became an office but a recreation centre. gym and classroom. Suddenly the entire family was occupying the house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For some people working from home was preferable to the daily commute. For others, the deficiencies of their homes made working difficult. With Covid-19 unlikely to go away any time soon, more flexible home-based working arrangements will likely become the norm.

Home design 2021 -- hoe office inspiration

In 2021 houses will be designed to cater to working from home. More and more houses will include a designated flexible workspace in the form of a separate room or alcove depending on the Owner’s needs. Meanwhile home renovation ideas for 2021 will be heavily influenced by the need to create spaces conducive to working from home. 

With the prevalence of Zoom meetings consideration must be given to what participants will see of your house in the background. There have been plenty of funny and unfortunate outcomes broadcast from home working spaces following the increase in Zoom communication.

Holidaying at home — domestic travel’s influence on renovation ideas in 2021

In 2021 there will be very little international travel. Overseas holidays will be replaced by a big increase in domestic tourism and holidaying at home or increasingly popular “staycations”. Some of the money saved on international travel will be spent making home improvements. As people spend more time in their houses the following items may be given consideration:

  • Outdoor Living/entertaining areas/Outdoor Kitchens.
  • Home gyms.
  • Hobby or craft rooms.
  • Swimming or plunge pools.
  • PV roof panels to reduce power bills.
  • Home cinemas.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Updating furniture and appliances.
  • Adaptability, multi-use, flexibility of spaces.
  • Providing parking for the caravan or motorhome purchased for domestic holidaying 
Renovation ideas 2021 -- home cinema

As testimony to the growing home renovation trend, many businesses selling homewares, appliances and furniture recorded high volumes of sales during COVID 19.

Increased comfort and luxury — home design and renovation ideas for 2021

In 2021 homes will generally be upgraded to provide more comfortable and enjoyable accommodation. In general, due to the continuing increase in house values, people are prepared to spend more money on their houses than in previous eras. This will likely lead to the following home renovation trends: 

  • An increase in high end Kitchen and Bathroom renovations. Kitchens in particular will receive much consideration due to their prominent position in the main Living/Dining space.
  • Older houses will be opened to the outdoors with larger windows and sliding glass doors to provide better natural light and ventilation. 
  • These renovations will continue the desire to create houses that are more unique and distinctive with creativity used to create differentiation.
  • The use of natural materials (timber, bricks, polished concrete, stone, etc.) and muted, natural colours will dominate. These materials provide the desired aesthetic as well as the low maintenance, casual lifestyle desired.
Home design 2021 -- outdoor living
  • For flooring, Australian hardwood floors and ceramic tiles will remain popular. These materials give a natural appearance and suit our indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Internal wall colours will be crisp white to reflect light and highlight the natural materials. 
  • Stone benchtops (natural and reconstituted) of various colours from black, concrete look-alikes, greys and darker shades will continue to dominate.  

All of these selections have proven their qualities over a long period to suit our more casual lifestyles and avoid the shorter cycles of fashion trends for the home.

Home design 2021— so much more than accommodation

renovation ideas 2021

The importance of the family home will be greater than ever  in 2021. The home will expand its role beyond just accommodation to become a part time or full time workplace, gym, holiday destination and recreation center. These influences will be felt in both new homes and particularly in house renovations. With our homes becoming our full time location and serving multiple purposes, the old cliché “Your home is your castle” will certainly ring true in 2021.


Mark Lawler Architects can show how your house can be reconfigured for new purposes or extended to provide additional spaces. Call to arrange a consultation at your home.