Survey: Homeowners Planning Home Office & Playroom Remodels This Fall

Cynthia Nowak
September 5, 2013

Thinking of completing a home improvement project this season? You’re not alone! According to the Zillow Digs Fall Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey, more than half (52 percent) of American homeowners plan to make a home improvement or addition this fall. With an average estimated budget of $1,000 — $200 less than during the summer — homeowners are looking for creative and cost-effective ways to spruce up their indoor spaces for the season ahead.

What spaces are homeowners remodeling? Based on the survey results, more homeowners are planning home office and playroom remodels this fall compared with summer, and they aren’t playing it safe. Rather, homeowners are breaking away from the traditional with chairs suspended from the ceiling, charging stations, chalkboard paint and more.

Home office

As the line between work and home continues to blur, homeowners are looking for quiet and clean spaces where they can wrap up leftover projects from the office and host overnight guests.


“Homeowners want multipurpose rooms,” said Chris Barrett of Chris Barrett Design in Santa Monica, CA. “If they are giving up a guest bedroom to put in an office, they will definitely want the room to still have guest capabilities with, for example, a sofa or Murphy bed.”  Barrett often builds charging stations in drawers to keep cords and plugs hidden from guests.

Dual Office Space
Dual Office Space

Photo credit: Todd Davis Architecture


Mara Miller of Carrier and Company Interiors Ltd. in New York City says vintage furniture not traditionally used in home offices is in.

“Clients are getting more mobile and more paperless,” she said. “As laptops and tablets become more popular, we’re free to use more vintage furnishings than desks customized to contain a computer.”


Photo credit: Design Development NYC


Hues of gray or brown are also trending for home offices, according to several top designers. Michelle Workman of Michelle Workman Interiors in Chattanooga, TN says she’s found they have a “soothing and non-distracting effect” ideal for a productive workspace. Other designers agree that slate or gray keep a room’s mood up while allowing unique furniture pieces to stand out.


Photo credit: Corcoran Group


Indoor play doesn’t have to just mean puzzles or movies. Families want play spaces that keep the little ones climbing, sliding, swinging and jumping as well as nearby areas for adults to stay active.


Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors in Nashville, TN lets her clients “work with their children and let them dictate what they want in their space based on their own hobbies and interests.” From hanging chairs suspended from the ceiling to areas for displaying artwork and video game spaces, Beckwith says homeowners are viewing playrooms as the “perfect place to let creativity run wild.”


Photo credit: Vanessa Deleon

Chalkboard paint

Several designers are incorporating gender-neutral colors into playrooms. Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc. in Winter Park, FL says homeowners are “staying away from primary colors, as they get non-user friendly quickly and can be harsh and over stimulating.” Instead, his clients are turning to “grape, oranges and slate colors” as well as chalkboard paint.

“It’s a great way to allow boys and girls to express their creativity on the walls of the playroom,” he said.

chalkboard paint
chalkboard paint

Photo credit: Signature Homes

Kid friendly

When it comes to furniture in the playroom, homeowners are avoiding non-kid friendly materials. John Willey of Willey Design LLC in New York City says his clients steer clear of “tables with sharp edges, or wobbly chairs and tables that could tip over.” He tries to “keep the space full of light, with plenty of room to move around.”

light 4
light 4

Photo credit: WestleyMontgomery 

Inspiration for your next remodel?

Check out Zillow Digs here and start dreaming about your next home improvement project today! You can browse more than 90,000 photos to find remodeling inspiration based on your style, budget or paint color needs.