The living room was No. 1 area of interest, followed by the bathroom and kitchen
HIGH POINT — The subject of home renovations is almost of equal interest to the furniture industry as home construction or home sales for the simple reason that it could spur consumers’ interest in new furniture. Thus, we have covered the subject previously in addition to covering financial reports and developments at big-box home improvement stores that are becoming a major distribution channel for home furnishings.
A recent survey released by Journo research on behalf of Storyboards delved deeper than previous research we have covered, namely, which are the top areas of the home consumers are interested in renovating.
For this particular survey, the living room ranked No. 1, based on 629,832 Google searches associated with renovating specific areas of the home. It was also found to be the most popular home improvement project in 19 of the 50 states with Louisiana, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Massachusetts in the top five states where these searches took place. This is good news potentially for living room furniture sales, including upholstery, occasional, home entertainment and even home office. While projects may be as simple as repainting or wallpapering the room, this should spur interest in pieces that complement the overall look.
This certainly is true of other rooms in the home as well that are prime for home renovation projects. Here are some of the other areas of interest, according to the survey.
+ The bathroom ranked N0. 2 with 620,253 Google searches and 262 monthly searches per 100,000 people. This is the most popular project in 31 states, with Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland and Delaware in the top five states. The most obvious furniture tied to this type of project is a single or double vanity sink, or a wardrobe for storing towels, blankets and other bathroom necessities.
+ The third most popular area for renovations was the kitchen with 411,120 monthly searches. Top states for this type project were New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. While much of this may involve new counters, cabinets, backsplashes and sinks, a decent dining set featuring a regular or counter height table might just complete the look for this type of project, as would a sideboard or small buffet/hutch.
+ Fourth in popularity was the bedroom, which can include any number of updates, from built-in bookcases to a new walk-in closet. It had 323,297 monthly searches nationally, with New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Maryland and New Jersey as the top states. Bedroom furniture is an obvious choice to complement the renovation, but so is chair, loveseat or bench seating that can go anywhere in the room, including that large walk-in.
+ Fifth on the list was the backyard, with 141,728 monthly searches. The most popular states for this in order were Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas and New Jersey as well as Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Rhode Island. Note that many of these are states in the West, Southwest and Southeast, although some of their northern neighbors also are interested in the outdoor category. The selection here can include anything from outdoor dining and seating that can also easily be moved into the screened-in porch or sunroom for those colder Northeastern states.
+ Ranking at number six was the basement, a room that could also be a fully finished area off the garage in some three-story homes. It had 92,217 monthly searches with Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island topping the list. Interest was also high in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While a new bathroom or game room might be part of this type of renovation, the basement is also a prime area for a sofa and occasional table set, new bookcases and even a desk for those who want a quiet area to work at home.
+ The attic was number seven on the list, with 20,998 monthly searches. Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Hampshire and Maine were the top states where these searches were taking place in addition to North Dakota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Dakota and Montana. If the room is fully finished with central air and heat, this could also be a home for any type of furniture, creating an oasis such as a second living room, or even a small guest bedroom.
+ Home extension was the last renovation project on the list, with 12,032 monthly searches. Hawaii ranked first in terms of searches, followed by Alaska, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Hampshire in the top states. Here, there are many possibilities including a new den or library, a sunroom or even a guest bedroom.
For retailers, it pays to be aware of what’s happening in your region, city or town with such projects and market accordingly. With mortgage interest rates remaining relatively high for the foreseeable future, these projects will likely take the place of a move for some consumers.
Thus, it pays to be curious and ask questions in a way that seeks to serve the customer or solve a problem for them. Perhaps they aren’t doing a project themselves, but can refer someone they know with the promise of a reward for a referral that yields a sale. It’s obvious that business is soft, but there are still ways to interest consumers in home furnishings, whether they are buying a new home or not. Renovations, as this data indicates, may be another avenue to get more customers into your store.