4 Up-and-Coming Living Room Trends Real Estate Agents Love Seeing

published Sep 15, 2020
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Credit: Minette Hand
Credit: Minette Hand

You’ve likely been doing a whole lot of, well, living in your living room these past few months. Now, realtors are starting to notice a shift in the way people interact with these multi-functional spaces. As far as advice goes, they’re stopping short of telling you to tack up walls in your open floor plans (after all, you might go back to an office again). But real estate agents have pinpointed four up-and-coming living room trends that have emerged amid COVID-19—and they believe they have staying power, even in the Post Pandemic Age.

A ‘backdrop’ for Zoom calls

If you’re among the masses who’ve started working from home, you’ve probably been virtually inviting your co-workers into your house via Zoom every day. As a result, more people are tidying up and designating spaces in their living rooms to serve as “framed” background shots, says Susan Chan, a real estate agent with Triplemint in New York City. This means they’re majorly decluttering (a phrase that makes listing agents beam with pride). “It may also mean curating an existing bookcase, adding artwork and getting new lighting,” she says. “People are wanting to make sure that the background is aesthetically pleasing, and not too distracting.”

Credit: Ana Kamin

Living rooms that open up to the outdoors

Whether by way of bifold doors, stacking doors, or hinge doors, people are using large glass doors that span floor to ceiling to create the illusion of the living room being one with their backyard or deck, says Alex Waidley, a Los Angeles real estate agent with Compass. “And when the doors open up the illusion ends: the living space is actually one with the backyard to create a beautiful, living area.” This type of feature is a great way to increase your property value, she says, as convertible indoor/outdoor living spaces are highly sought after by buyers these days.

Collapsible furniture

With living rooms doubling as work spaces, those who live in small apartments are getting creative with collapsible desks, dining tables, chairs, and trays to make their compact spaces more modular, says Ben Falchi, a New York City realtor with Triplemint. While space-saving may have been born out of necessity as people WFH, collapsible furniture is here to stay because it can make small spaces feel less cramped.

Credit: Viv Yapp

Bringing nature indoors, too

Massive home entertainment centers are no longer the focal point of living rooms. Rather, today’s buyers are loving a wow-worthy green statement piece, like a vertical wall or giant Monstera plants, says Ryan Long, a realtor with the Sue Long Realty Group in Corvallis, Oregon. “Houseplants and vertical gardens are taking over the nooks and crannies of the living room to help give a breath of fresh air and bring nature indoors,” he says. Homeowners are thinking long term (i.e. post pandemic, when we probably won’t be home quite as much), and are incorporating low-maintenance plants and self-watering containers. 

John Romito, a real estate agent in Eugene, Oregon, says he’s seeing living rooms decorated with soft, neutral earth tones and furniture with natural wood accents. It’s appealing, he says, to people’s desire to have an oasis of nature after being cooped up indoors. Curious what other trends real estate agents are spotting in our homes? Here are six bedroom transformations that have staying power.