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Covid Remodel Style and Inspiration (Part 3 of 3-Part Series)

Lantern Covid Remodel Style and Inspiration Image1
Sarah Mattie
Sarah MattieUpdated June 17, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
As mentioned in Parts 1 and 2, we surveyed 600 people who remodeled their home during the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020 to January 2022) and asked questions about everything, including reasons, regrets, style, and inspiration.This is Part 3 of the three-part series about our results from the survey. Here, we’ll talk about the most common sources of inspiration, popular design styles, and most/least expensive aesthetics.If you want to start from the beginning, be sure to read, Part 1: What and Why We Remodeled During Covid and Part 2: How Much Does Remodeling Really Cost?For regional insights, we looked at the data for the country’s 10 most populous states. Note: Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Design Inspiration

From Pinterest to Property Brothers, there are myriad sources of inspiration for home design. But we wanted to know where people turned to most for ideas during their remodels.Here’s the breakdown of where Covid home remodelers got inspiration for their projects:
  • Social media: 37%
  • TV home renovation shows: 21%
  • Other people’s homes: 19%
  • Home design magazines: 16%
  • Other: 7%
Though social media was the #1 source of inspiration overall, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina broke the mold by primarily gaining inspiration from others’ homes.

Most and Least Popular Design Styles

Choosing a design aesthetic is one of the most exciting parts of the remodel process. Do you prefer a spare and streamlined minimalist look? Or do you love the colorful expression of a bohemian space? Our respondents were all across the board, but there were certain styles that emerged as the most and least popular.

Most popular remodel styles by percentage of respondents who used it:

Contemporary - 18%: Clean lines, minimalistic with flair, lots of neutral colorsPhoto by @ourtunnelvisionPhoto by @renovating.no62Minimalist - 15%: Focused on essentials, no clutter, monochromatic with an accent colorCoastal - 14%: Inspired by beaches, often blue and white but can have regional differencesPhoto by @mycoastalchiclifePhoto by @seacoastfarmhouse

Least popular remodel styles by percentage of respondents who used it:

Eclectic - 6%: Mixes elements of different design stylesPhoto by @houseonbraytonBohemian - 3%: Unstructured, highly personalized, mix of patterns and materials, “more is more”Photo by @wilfredhouseShabby Chic - 3%: Lots of vintage items, mixture of time periods, distressed appearancePhoto by @ritalavoeOn a regional level, a few states broke the mold:
  • In New York, minimalist was the most popular aesthetic (26%); Rustic was the second-most popular (21%). This is a divergence from the overall survey results, for which contemporary was the most popular (18%).
  • In Pennsylvania, contemporary was the least popular aesthetic (4%).
  • In Georgia, modern farmhouse, mid-century modern, and contemporary tied for most popular aesthetic (15%). This is the only state where mid-century modern made the most popular list.

Most Expensive Design Aesthetics

No design aesthetic must be more expensive than the other ones; it all comes down to finding the right pieces at the right price (and maybe even DIY-ing a few!). That said, below are the percentages of people who spent over $50K for each remodel style:
  • Industrial: 19% spent over $50K
  • Coastal: 11% spent over $50K
  • Mid-century modern: 7% spent over $50K
  • Minimalist: 7% spent over $50K
  • Bohemian: 6% spent over $50K
  • Contemporary: 6% spent over $50K
  • Eclectic: 3% spent over $50K
  • Modern farmhouse: 3% spent over $50K
  • Rustic: 0% spent over $50K
  • Shabby Chic: 0% spent over $50K
By these numbers, industrial appears to be the priciest design style. This makes sense considering how the price of steel and lumber — signature materials of the aesthetic — rose during the pandemic. Steel prices have risen 219% since early 2020, and lumber prices are 80% higher than they were before the pandemic.  

Least Expensive Design Aesthetics

Photo by @myillinoishomePhoto by @ellejay.smithWhile no design style has to be pricey, some are easier to achieve on a budget. Below are the percentages of respondents who spent less than $10K on their remodel by using the following design styles:
  • Modern farmhouse: 53% spent $10K or less
  • Rustic: 47% spent $10K or less
  • Shabby Chic: 44% spent $10K or less
  • Mid-century modern: 40% spent $10K or less
  • Minimalist: 38% spent $10K or less
  • Contemporary: 37% spent $10K or less
  • Eclectic: 37% spent $10K or less
  • Industrial: 26% spent $10K or less
  • Coastal: 25% spent $10K or less
  • Bohemian: 19% spent $10K or less
The bleak state of the American economy gave rise to affordable styles like modern farmhouse and shabby chic. Both aesthetics were born out of recessions: shabby chic in the late ’80s and modern farmhouse in the early 2000s. The simple, reclaimed, and rustic characteristics of each style make them budget-friendly options for home remodelers.It may seem surprising that bohemian had the fewest people who spent less than $10K, but it’s important to remember what the term really means. A bohemian space is highly personalized and often features a mixture of patterns and materials from around the world. It takes a “more is more” approach, which could lead to spending more money in the end. No matter how much you plan to spend on a home improvement project, remember that personal loans for home improvement are available and can make larger purchases more manageable.

Turn Your Vision Into Reality

If reading this series, and about the designs above, has you itching to start remodeling, there’s no time like the present! Whether your style is minimalistic or bohemian, whether you have a tight budget or unlimited funds, your perfect home is just waiting to be created.Once you have a vision of how you want the space to look, create a budget and compare personal loans to help finance the project. From there, you (or a hired professional) can start making your dream home a reality. Haven’t gotten to read the rest of the series yet? Check out Part 1: What and Why We Remodeled During Covid and Part 2: How Much Does Remodeling Really Cost?

About the Author

Sarah Mattie

Sarah Mattie

Sarah Mattie is a researcher and writer with an education background. She's passionate about teaching others about financial issues and has written extensively for a variety of degree sites and financial institutions. Her writing covers credit cards, lending products, and paying for college, among other economic topics.
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