With a year of quarantining, staying at home has taken on new meaning. With strategic touches, it can be an oasis of comfort where you can unplug and unwind. Your home can be transformed thanks to the surge of post pandemic remodeling and the latest home design trends.
“We are in a perfect place with residential real estate and remodeling,” according to Steve Kleber, founder and principal of Kleber & Associates and president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “There’s equity in remodeling, and houses are at an all-time high value. It’s an exciting time due to real estate values rising and historic low mortgage rates, along with the low inventory of houses to buy.”
Kleber added, “Since contractors are allowed back in, and people are not traveling, our homes have an opportunity to be a staycation, and a spa-like experience. We are ready to turn our homes into the vacation we could not take, and there are some things you can do that are easy and simple, rather than extensive. We have learned a lot from the pandemic and changing our homes to fit our new lifestyles is possible.”
He offered these creative fixes:
Update the Kitchen – Kitchen countertops can be resurfaced or replaced with anti-microbial clean countertops thanks to frontrunner Vadara stone, (www.vadaraquartz.com) which is a popular quartz and offers the solution to the classic argument of natural stone versus quartz. It is the best of both worlds with its quartz natural look, non-porous anti-microbial surfaces, and the look of marble. No more red wine stains and it offers easy living.
Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa – Spa-like features include hands-free touchless faucets that turn on when you wave your hands. Add rolled towels, an orchid, and Kleber suggests, “Check out Amba products (www.amazon.com or www.wayfair.com) heated towel racks so when you get out of the bath you have a warm towel. Free-standing plug-in units are available and make you feel like you are at a five-star resort or spa.”
Develop Your Outside Spaces – Outdoors is in vogue with cooking spaces and outdoor dining for that vacation feel. Decks and patios are increasingly popular and help to bring us back to nature, and a relaxing feeling of hanging out with family and friends at home.
A staycation advocate, Lisa Brown Lazarus, a realtor with Compass, transformed her home, and understands the trend as her clients request backyards and niche spaces. Her home with husband Dr. Zach Lazarus is referred to by guests as Club Lazarus with its well-stocked party pantry and at-home fun focus. Their backyard poolside setting entertains their family of five, friends and extended family nonstop.
A cool garage door opens the lower level to an indoor-outdoor living space ready for a barbecue. An outdoor shower for kid convenience and a big screen television on wheels offers pit-side fireplace football game watching and an outdoor home theater.
Add air mattresses and sleeping bags for sleepovers for the kids with s’mores-making at their two-sided open-air fireplace. A clever Camp Lazarus theme recently welcomed a visit from Lisa’s college friends and their families. Personalized caps, towels and food truck visits made everyone feel like they were on vacation.
Zoom Rooms and Home Offices – People are used to remote working and learning, and multiple niche spaces provide spatial separation but a visual connection to common areas. To keep the house clutter-free, innovative storage keeps everything in its place. The latest add-on is what is called a Costco closet filled with staples. Shopping less and organized closets store larger quantities and offer more quality family time.
Add a Pop of Color – This can lift your spirits, transporting you to a far-away place. Riad Tile owners Kale and wife, designer Aubrey Butcher feature a line of beautiful tiles. “When traveling around the world, we were inspired by artful patterned tiles we saw in Morocco,” Kale said. “Focal point decorating is important and keeps your home feeling like a staycation, giving you a sense of being somewhere else that’s special.”
It is the little touches that count. After all, all work and no play are no longer in vogue. A staycation can happen at home with a little planning and a renovation that adds value.