SEATTLE — Zillow predicts that in the coming year, homeowners will invest in projects and features that will make their home feel comfortable and calm, energized and inspired, safe and healthy — a home where they can thrive in 2022.
The new year marks an opportunity for renewal, and for many, that process will begin at home. Those who moved during the pandemic and those who stayed put will double down on their homes and rethink not only how they want that space to look, but how they want it to feel.
‘‘The pandemic forced a lot of people to reevaluate what’s most important in their lives and in their homes,’’ said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow home trends expert. ‘‘For many, 2022 is the moment to start living those values. That could be investing in sustainable home features, designing a space with well-being in mind, or leaning into comfort and function over high style.’’
Zillow combined its housing market data and analyses to identify the top seven home trends to watch in the new year.
1. A down-to-earth color scheme Paint colors have a huge impact on the vibe of a home, and people will gravitate toward nature as they seek out calm through color.
Natural colors will prevail — think greens, blues, taupes, and browns. Potential and recent buyers also appear to be drawn to colors associated with the water and sky. Zillow’s interior paint color analysis found homes with light blue bathrooms could sell for 1.6 percent more than expected, or nearly $5,000 on a typical US home. Meanwhile, dark, moody blues in the bedroom could add a nearly $1,500 premium.
2. Give in to the green scene It won’t be just paint that makes homes green. Sustainability will be a top priority for younger homeowners, who will seek out home features and products that allow them to live by their values.
First Insight’s The State of Consumer Spending report found that younger generations are the most likely to make purchase decisions based on their values and principles, and the Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and GenZ Survey indicated that nearly one-third of respondents started or deepened consumer relationships with businesses that benefit the environment.
Sustainable features can make a property more energy-efficient and less wasteful and are associated with homes that sell faster, too. Zillow research finds that home listings with descriptions mentioning ‘‘eco,’’ ‘‘energy efficient,’’ or similar terms have sold more than two days faster than expected. Listings that mention drought-resistant features sold 13 days faster, and smart sprinkler systems and double pane windows installed for energy conservation were associated with homes selling more than a week quicker than expected.
3. Throwback style is so hot right now As supply chain issues persist and with sustainability top of mind, homeowners are turning to secondhand furniture and décor to furnish their homes. Just like fashion from the ’90s is back, so is throwback home design. Instead of replicating Granny’s house, younger homeowners will find comfort in modern twists on design trends they grew up with. For example, faux paint finishes are updated with plaster finishes, wallpaper is in style again with contemporary and geometric patterns, and all-wood kitchens are back — although cherry cabinets have given way to white oak.
4. Homes as comfortable as sweat pants People are spending more time at home, and they want their space to be as comfortable and cozy as their stretchy outfits of choice. Instead of furnishing the home with what looks good, homeowners will prioritize what feels good. Furniture styles are already starting to reflect this, with curved couches and rounded corners dominating the market. Nubby fabric upholstery — versus leather — will be all the rage, ottomans will replace sharp-edged coffee tables, and there will be more cozy accent chairs that hug the body.
5. The year of renovation Longtime homeowners and recent movers alike will be doubling down on their current homes and making improvements to meet their new, evolving needs. A survey of homeowners suggested that nearly three-fourths would consider at least one home improvement project in the next year. These projects include adding or improving a home office space (31 percent), finishing a basement or attic (23 percent), adding another room (23 percent), and putting in another dwelling unit, such as a backyard cottage or a guest house (21 percent).
Renovations will come in all shapes and sizes in 2022, given supply and labor shortages. That will spur homeowners to become more creative in improving their homes’ functionality by turning garages into full-scale home gyms, transforming sheds into home offices, and even clearing out old clothes from closets to make room for ‘‘cloffices.’’
6. Mental health at home It’s been a tough two years, and people are prioritizing mental health. Thoughtful wellness home design will reflect that. Homeowners will prioritize creating retreats within their homes, such as private spaces for meditation or reflection, reading nooks, and spa-inspired bathroom escapes. Retreat features, such as a ‘‘she shed,’’ can help a home sell for 2.2 percent more than expected, while a freestanding bathtub can contribute to a home going for a 2.6 percent premium.
Natural light will be a priority, especially in home offices and common spaces, while indoor plants will continue to be popular for their soothing properties.
7. ‘Pawesome’ features. As more people bring home furry friends, they will be designing their homes with their pets in mind. Zillow research found that pet ownership among recent movers soared over the past year, affecting housing decisions. Nearly three-fourths of home buyers report having at least one pet (73 percent), up from the 64 percent in 2020.
Zillow research finds homes with a doghouse often sold for more than expected last year, while properties with a fenced yard or dog run sold faster than similar homes without these features. Look for pet owners to invest in custom feeding stations, built-in pet beds, and even pet playrooms in the new year.