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How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Renovate


2020. Four numbers that say so much. It was a year that dramatically changed the way we live and caused disruptions in our lives. Whether you took Zoom calls from your bedroom or scrolled TikTok late into the night (to the embarrassment of your kids), 2020 had us doing all kinds of things we never thought we’d do. 

For many of us, that includes renovating.

Today, I’m sharing 3 big ways the pandemic has changed the way we renovate, along with my (humble) predictions for how these trends will evolve over the coming year…


Credit: Coddington Design Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

1. Increased Demand, Strained Supply

2020 pushed us into our homes for extended periods of time, and it didn’t feel like a long holiday break. No, you worked at the dining table because that was the only place easily converted to a home office… or an at-home classroom for little Susie.

Not unlike the empty shelf of eggs at Whole Foods, increased demand (for materials, goods, and services) has stretched supply to its breaking point. The result has been a lumber and foam shortage, and backordered (or straight-up discontinued) materials, furniture, appliances, and more. 

How is this changing the way we renovate? 

Although we can’t control lead times, we can control which suppliers we choose to source from — and we are partners with the best around the world. We are being extra strategic about choosing vendors who can deliver in a reasonable amount of time and offer superior customer service without compromising quality.

Did we already do this anyway? Yes. Have we also narrowed down our list during this time? Yes. We are doing whatever we can to make sure your home is expertly designed and supporting the needs of your family as soon as possible.

Looking forward…

Looking forward, I do think 2022 will see a slight decrease in demand but nowhere near where it was pre-pandemic. This is simply because so many of us have become intimately aware of our homes’ essential role in our daily lives. Interior design has stepped one foot out of the realm of luxury and into wellness. 

Fortunately, I’m also confident that we will see new suppliers and manufacturers entering the scene to meet demand and offer new, innovative solutions. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.


Coddington Scandi Modern Project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

2. Increase in DIYers

According to this survey, 89% of homeowners made improvements to their homes in 2020, and over half were DIYers. Yeah, we had more time on our hands, didn’t we? But out of those DIYers, 27% already regret it. Why? 

  • They didn’t plan ahead now their project budget is ballooning
  • They didn’t know what to expect during a remodel
  • The project took too long without the professionals to help
  • They were disenchanted with the finished results 

This results in even more money spent to pay the experts to come in and do it right — and sometimes fixing problems that weren’t there initially. Not as easy as HGTV makes it look, is it? 

How is this changing the way we renovate? 

Aside from increasing the demand for professionals (again), it often means that we have to fix or navigate problems before we start. We’re familiar with all situations and scenarios — you wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve seen — but it also means that we’re spending quite a bit of time educating homeowners about hiring the experts BEFORE attempting any updates.

If you’re moving into a new home anytime soon, please save yourself the headache and call us first. Let us help you make a plan, invest wisely, and do it right the first time! Cutting corners with online DIY videos doesn’t pay off. Sorry.

Looking forward…

I think this trend will continue into the next year, but I am hopeful that any discouraged DIYers will tell their horror stories to their friends to prevent further design casualties.


Coddington Scandi Modern Project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

3. Shift to Virtual Interior Design

Yes, I’m talking about social distancing, that 6-foot rule that has lengthened grocery store lines and limited seating at your favorite tapas bar. Social distancing has touched every area of our lives and forced us to go digital. 

In fact, I recently wrote this love letter to our clients, as our staff has survived not one, but TWO Covid experiences that have required us to keep our distance for everyone’s safety. It’s unfortunate but necessary, and we’re committed to keeping you safe. Enter, Zoom. 

Impact on Renovating: 

Social distancing is required everywhere, including a renovation work-site. The good news is that we can design your kitchens, baths, and living rooms and MANAGE them… totally virtually. The key is constant and efficient communication with both the client and the builders, and we rely on skilled, trusted laborers to implement the design. We don’t have to step foot inside the site unless we want to.

This means peace of mind for you and a project that keeps moving along on schedule. Win-win.

Looking forward…

Yep, I think this one is here to stay, as well. It’s safe. It’s equally effective. And nearly every industry out there is expanding and adapting its services to include virtual options. Plus, considering the internet only became publicly available 30 years ago, I’d say we’re still in the heart of the Digital Revolution with only one way to go.

What Can You Do?

First, avoid any DIY projects that have you opening up walls, playing with electrical and plumbing, or involve construction. (And feel free to email this blog post to your S.O. if they need a professional warning.)

Second, define your family’s needs clearly. You want a more functional home to enjoy, so being transparent with your designer about how you live will help them give you precisely what you are looking for. We’re your trusted confidant and judgment-free design guru. We have your back. 


Most importantly, be flexible and patient. This is probably the most challenging part because you like to check off those to-dos, if you’re like us. But right now, that’s just not how it works. Our projects are high-quality, and that means no cutting corners just because we want a project done. We want it done right, and you will have a beautiful home.

Ready for some help renovating the right way? Give us a call and get to know our team





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