CHICAGO — Kitchen and bath clients in the wake of COVID-19 are increasingly viewing their home as a sanctuary and a shelter that reflects their increased focus on the impact of interior living spaces on physical and mental health and overall wellness.

At the same time, homeowners are reportedly spending more time at home than before the pandemic, while investing in a widening array of sustainable, health-related products and features inside and outside the kitchen and bathroom – a reflection of post-COVID attitudes, lifestyles, and household composition, as well as a growing desire for flexible, multi-purpose residential spaces.

Those are among the key findings of a nationwide survey of kitchen and bath design professionals conducted by Kitchen & Bath Design News in conjunction with its exclusive research partner, the Research Institute of Kitchen & Cooking Intelligence (RICKI). The survey, fielded among 300+ dealers and designers, was aimed at assessing how kitchen and bathroom design, along with homeowner lifestyles, product preferences and design needs, have changed in the wake of COVID.

According to the findings of the online poll, 63% of surveyed dealers and designers say that their clients are looking more than ever to their home as a sanctuary that provides them with an all-important sense of physical and mental health and wellness.

Two in three report their clients are generally spending more time at home now than before the pandemic. A sizable percentage says their clients, in general, are more environmentally conscious in the wake of COVID, and are casting an eye toward a wealth of sustainable products and design options in their home.

More than half of those surveyed (53%) also say that more attention is currently being paid to kitchens than before the pandemic, while a majority (57%) report that the kitchens they’re designing have increased in square footage, and 60% say their clients are willing to invest more in their kitchens than before the pandemic.

Two in five (42%) report that bathrooms have increased in size in the wake of the pandemic, while 56% say that the bathrooms they design are about the same size. In a similar vein, about half of the survey’s respondents say that bathroom spending has increased in the wake of the pandemic, while 42% say it has remained about the same, and only 6% say it has declined.

Home offices, followed by outdoor living spaces, laundry areas, smart phone/mobile device charging stations, and mudrooms are reported by surveyed dealers and designers to be the leading other-room projects rising in demand in the wake of COVID.

Products seeing the greatest increases in client requests include organizational features, universal design/aging-in-place elements, smart/WiFi-connected products, outdoor kitchens, and hands-free products.