‘Housebarrassment’ and interiors inspiration: the lockdown renovation craze

Since the introduction of the first national lockdown in March 2020 and resulting national and regional lockdowns there have been some fascinating changes in consumer behaviour, with household spending patterns being directly affected by the measures that confined people to their homes. One thought-provoking statistic is that UK homeowners have, on average, each spent £4,035 on renovations since March, totalling a whopping £55 billion for the industry.

When consumers were asked why they had chosen to invest, 63% claimed it was to make their home feel comfortable as they were spending a lot more time in it. A further 27% stated that they were ‘adding value to their homes’, whilst 22% had more disposable income to spend, largely made up of unused holiday funds. Interestingly, Zoom has also had an influence, with almost half of homeowners claiming that renovations were sought out in part to avoid ‘housebarrassment’ on web calls.

So, what have been the focus areas for these home improvements? Research indicates that the pandemic has altered our home renovation ideas, with utility areas becoming a priority over social areas, such as gardens and living rooms, compared to pre-lockdown. It has been suggested that the perceived importance of these specialist areas has risen as they are seen as essential to people’s wellbeing at home rather than a novelty.

Consumers are also turning towards new sources of inspiration, such as Pinterest, which now has more than 320 million monthly active users worldwide, a 26% rise from 2019. Surprisingly, 85% of women on the app use it to plan life moments such as home improvements and purchasing decisions, compared to just 53% for Facebook and 44% for Instagram.

It’s valuable to understand why and where consumers are investing their lockdown savings – but it’s also important to look at the wider cultural influences that are playing their part. In an era when the question of sustainability is growing in significance in many purchasing decisions, 15% of renovators state that ‘integrating green materials’ is a priority when completing renovations, according to Houzz research. In addition to this, ‘eco’ also made it into the 2019 most-searched-for keywords on Houzz. Which raises an important question for brands in the home improvement space – are businesses that are looking to build towards a better future set to benefit commercially in the years to come?

Sources: www.money.co.uk, trend-monitor.co.uk, houzz.co.uk, sproutsocial.com, investor.pinterestinc.com