Are home improvement shows changing the purchasing path to reno projects?

Oct 27, 2022

A university study finds homeowners are increasingly influenced by home improvement media, leading to continuing anxiety about whether their homes are measuring up to standards.

“Historically, home is understood as a place for you and your family that represents who you are,” said Annetta Grant, Bucknell University Freeman College of Management professor, in a press release. “The home improvement media is shifting that to an understanding of the home as your biggest asset that must meet some marketplace standards.”

The popularity of industrial-grade appliances, large kitchen islands with bar stools, open floor plans, neutral color schemes and spa-like bathrooms is attributable to homeowners trying to live up to “the modern tastemakers of home design” featured on home improvement TV shows, magazines and blogs, the study concluded.

“Uniqueness is shunned while professional expertise and market standards are celebrated,” said Ms. Grant.

In many cases, homeowners partake in continual renovation projects, seemingly never satisfied with the upgrades. The researchers concluded that firms can help consumers experiment more in refurbishments by creating platforms that celebrate uniqueness.

Houzz & Home’s eleventh annual homeowners survey found home renovation activity and spend reaching a four-year high. Said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist, in a statement, “Market fundamentals, including limited and aging housing stock, continue to propel the home renovation market.”

A survey from FrogTape that came out in February found that when it comes to design inspiration, homeowners are most likely to turn to home renovation magazines (59 percent) or blogs/websites (49 percent). Sixty-nine percent agreed being indoors during the pandemic had inspired them to renovate their homes.

The “9th Annual LightStream Home Improvement Trends Survey,” released in March, found some renovation project planners seeking emotional fulfillment, not just a return on investment. Only one in three (34 percent) homeowners felt joyful in their home and nearly one in three (29 percent) cited being “happy with a space for years to come” as an important reason why they would invest in a 2022 renovation project.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How has the popularity of home improvement television, magazines and blogs influenced home renovation projects? Should home improvement retailers emphasize return on their housing investments over creating customized dream homes?


“The popularity of home improvement endures and smart retailers should highlight their offerings appropriately, whether it is making a dream home or renovating for resale.”

“Absolutely, home renovation content inspires us to invest in our nest.”

“I would encourage big box home centers to appeal to women, and create new functionality on their apps to help customers find what they’re looking for.”