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The relationship we all have with our living spaces has changed significantly this year. Thinking ahead to 2021, it’s time to re-evaluate how we live in our homes. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the future is impossible to predict. However, the one thing we can be sure of is that the impact of the pandemic will last for years to come.

There are two factors to consider when it comes to renovations right now— what needs to be done to make your home as comfortable as possible for the immediate future and what investments make the most sense for re-sale value. Not sure where to begin? Here are the renovations that experts and interior designers suggest seriously considering.

Creating A Home Office

At the given moment, most people are working remotely without an exact end date in sight, so a home office or designated working space may ultimately become just as indispensable as a kitchen or bathroom. According to Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow, home offices are essential. “Even as business and offices reopen, many companies have made a conscious shift to a work-from-home hybrid model that only requires employees to come into the office a few days a week.”

Updating Your Kitchen

Kitchens have always sold homes and apartments, but the pandemic has placed new emphasis on this room’s importance. “This means that having a kitchen that is both functional and beautiful is an increasing priority,” agent Allison Chiaramonte of Warburg Realty tells me. “More and more, I see potential buyers even in city apartments looking at the kitchen not just for its appearance, but functionality for cooking multiple meals a day and storing excess supplies and food.” 

If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, Chiaramonte recommends adding a pantry if possible. “Kitchen storage [is] at a premium since everyone is conscious of the ability to store extra food and pantry items these days.”

Extending the indoors into the outdoors

“Creating a comfortable outdoor living space that is an extension of your indoors will continue to be popular with 2021 home renovations, and not just in the warmer climates,” says Blythe Yost, lead designer and cofounder of landscape design company Tilly. “Designing so that there is a natural flow between the indoors and outdoors with features like large sliding or folding glass doors allow for the option to let the outside in, and vice versa. Drop-down screens on the porch to help with mosquitos, outdoor heating lamps, outdoor fire places that create warmth, and cozy couches will extend your relaxation into the cooler months.”