May 20, 2020

More Time at Home May Spark More Home Investments

By Chip West
Categories

Living in Connecticut, we’ve been in lockdown status for a couple of months now. As much of the country goes through similar stay-at-home orders, it’s easy to imagine that they like me — are getting more acquainted with their homes than they ever anticipated. 

And more time at home means more time to think about what your home can be, which means more desire and opportunity to invest in amenities, upgrades, and renovations. In fact, HBSDealer says that since the middle of April, 63% of consumers claimed to have kicked off a home DIY project. Many of these projects are focused on improving the looks of their home with half of consumers saying they plan to do lawn maintenance. Painting projects are the next top project they plan to start.

Making Home Comfortable and Functional.

But this isn’t just about making home beautiful, it’s about finding interesting new ways to enjoy your home, with your community and the outdoors in mind. For example, my next-door neighbor has started a tradition of showing movies outdoors against his barn on Saturday nights. He invites the neighbors to watch the movies for some “distance-appropriate” camaraderie. That’s prompted him to now install a big, beautiful fire pit. And I’m sure more updates are on the way. Of course, the rest of the neighborhood has been inspired to start our personal paths to purchase for the right new outdoor furniture for our space.

Creating an Optimal Home Office.

However, even when the current crisis subsides, our homes will continue to be more than just homes. They most certainly will be more multi-functional. Our living spaces have become — and may continue to be in some capacity — offices, classrooms, and social outlets. Those new to the remote concept, and those who will be working remotely with higher frequency, have significantly increased the demand for functional home office furnishings. In fact, close to one-fourth of consumers plan to purchase new office furniture, says a recent survey from Furniture Today.

Now that 74% of professionals are working remotely, as found by an American Home Furnishings Alliance survey, many of us have figured out that we need better workspaces — 27% of us are in the market for desks and chairs, with 9% looking for standing desks. Additionally, as more are thrust into this working-from-home experiment, employers may evaluate reducing office space to save on costs. If so, that will only spark the need to invest more in home productivity furniture and products.

What Else Could We Update?

Some fixes and updates jump out immediately to homeowners — particularly now that they have time for the projects that may have been put off for some time. But the more central the home becomes to everyday life, more creative projects may start to make the list: room renovations, DIY landscaping, creating smart homes, and installing mechanical equipment like HVAC (which could cut monthly heating and cooling expenditures by 10%, according to a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy).

Life, business, and the economy are likely to get back to normal, eventually. And purchase habits will inevitably shift to other aspects of life. But in the near-term, home isn’t just where the heart it, it may well be where a big portion of spending goes as well. And that may present an opportunity to brands and retailers.

For additional insights, visit our COVID-19 marketing and advertising information page.

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