Renovation trends for 2022


We’ve all spent a lot of time at home in the past two years – so it’s no surprise many New Zealander‘s have grown tired of eyesores around their homes.

COVID-19’s impact will continue to be felt across many industries as we venture into 2022, and the building industry is no exception. So if you want to renovate, it pays to start planning now, especially as many tradies’ books are already filling up for the year.

So what can we expect to see more of in 2022? Now, more than ever, people want comfort, a refreshed aesthetic and spaces which fit the demands of their adapted lifestyle.

Multi-zone kitchens

Remember sourdough and banana bread? We might not be baking them anymore, but we’re all still crammed in the kitchen at home. Enter the rise of multi-zone kitchens. Today, people want cooking spaces which allow for everyone to flow through the room. Often, that means installing large kitchen islands, big enough for handling prepping, chopping and serving endless loaves of sourdough – all at once.

Dan Gallagher, of Gallagher Trade Building Limited and NZCB Mid & South Canterbury President says local builders are also seeing fewer sinks put into pantries, now.

“We are seeing bigger walk-in pantries for more storage, but all food prep is done in the main kitchen,” he says.

Bathrooms which double as spas

Zen vibes only. That’s what we’re all hoping for and what better place to find it than right in the home? Create your own spa with freestanding soaking tubs, big rain showers and bidets (because, as we know, toilet paper isn’t always so easy to find).

Richard Poff, of RTP Builders and NZCB Canterbury President says he’s seen a lot of bathroom renovations since lockdown. “Many homeowners want to modernise what they already have.”

Meanwhile, Dan says he’s seen bathroom upgrades really step up a notch recently. “The last two houses we have done have had open plan bathrooms – a freestanding bath and big rain water showers in one, then the glass screen. Rain water showers and twin shower heads have also become the norm.”

Home office nooks

Nobody expected so much working from home and yet here we are. What was once unused space has become the most productive corners of the home. Nooks, garages and guest bedrooms are becoming home offices as more businesses make the decision to shift to a work-from-home hybrid model, even after we leave lockdowns.

Richard says he’s seen many homeowners looking for space to work from home. “There’s definitely a renovation trend to find space for an extra room for office/workspace space. This has been both using the garage and the main house,” he says. “Local trends are moving to two bedrooms and one smaller room which would suit office space.”

So even if you’re not still working from home, creating a useable office space could be a wise investment.

Open floorplans… or not?

Have you ever been in a single room where several people are attending multiple different virtual meetings? Forgetting to unmute your mic is the least of your worries!

Thanks to all those Zooms, we’re starting to see the ever-popular open floorplan being reconsidered overseas. And while there’s not much evidence of it here in New Zealand just yet, the addition of sliding doors and partitions will likely become more common. And it’s not just good for privacy, adding optional doors will also make winter heating easier.

A Zoom-worthy background

If walls could talk, they would say, “give us a facelift, please!” After all, they never expected to be the star of so many meetings or virtual happy hours. But we encourage you to think beyond slapping on a new coat of paint. Luxe-yet-striking looks revitalise any room – from floral wallpaper and fabric upholstery to textured or timber finishes and eye-catching built-in shelving. Give your walls some love!

Windows that wow

Let there be light! Spending more time indoors, especially later in 2022 over the winter flu season, we’re all going to look to install windows or skylights to liven up spaces with natural light.

Beyond installing new or additional windows, you could also add new lighting. Sconces in the kitchen, a new chandelier in the entryway or back lighting in the bathroom. Whatever you choose, this year’s going to be brighter than last.

The great outdoors made greater

With outdoor gatherings encouraged at the moment, and the great Kiwi love affair with their decks and barbecues, outdoor spaces have never been more valuable. International trends show homeowners now want their exterior to be as grand as their interior.

Dan says many Kiwis are choosing to build roofing or a covered outdoor space, so it becomes an additional room which can be used year-round. We say step it up a notch and treat your backyard or deck space like an additional room, with furniture, rugs, lighting, the list goes on. You could add a pergola, in-ground pool, water features, outdoor kitchen or firepit.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with your nearest builder and start planning your grand designs before they’re booked up for the year.

To find a nearby NZCB builder to help you with your section purchase, use the Find A Builder search function on

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