Tina Witherspoon/Unsplash

Working from home in lockdown has no doubt contributed to the increase in popularity of the home office.

The kitchen has traditionally been the heart of the home, but could Covid-19 have flipped that to the home office?

The global pandemic appears to have shaped New Zealanders’ interests in interior design and home renovation – with a huge surge in online searches for home offices, as well as increases in hunts for retro style, wall panelling, conservatories and the new-but-old folksy aesthetic known as cottagecore.

Dropping in popularity, according to an analysis by UK company Roofing Megastore, are subway tiles, floral wallpaper, blue kitchens and macrame.

June Dove Juneau/NZ House & Garden

This home shows elements of retro style – an increasingly popular Google search.

Home offices was the clear leader, with a 188% increase in Google searches since the beginning of the year.

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Although the New Zealand lockdown has not been nearly as extensive as many countries overseas, more than four in 10 employed Kiwis did at least some of their work from home.


Just as baking sourdough became a thing in lockdown – so did the wider phenomenon of cottagecore.

Cottagecore is a new interior design buzzword that describes an aesthetic or style that emphasises the return to older times and traditions such as baking, pottery and foraging as ways of life. If you can’t escape to the country – yet you’re spending more time at home – cottagecore brings those elements to city life.

We also appear to be appreciating the simplicity of more neutral colour schemes, with both ‘white kitchens’ and ‘grey kitchens’ increasing in popularity.

Creatv Eight/Unsplash

‘White kitchens’ and ‘grey kitchens’ are increasingly popular search terms.

Conversely, searches for black and blue kitchens are on the decline.

The Top 10 home décor trends increasing in popularity are:

1. Home offices

2. Retro style

3. Wall panelling

4. Conservatories

5. Cottagecore

6. Line art

7. Industrial light

8. Grey kitchens

9. White kitchens

10. Mid-century furniture


The love for dark kitchens – both blue and black – is declining, as is the popularity of subway tiles.

Trends we can expect to see less of in 2021:

1. Metro/subway tiles

2. Vintage style

3. Blue kitchens

4. Floral wallpaper

5. Roof windows

6. Black kitchens

7. Diffusers

8. Dried flowers

9. Cane furniture

10. Macrame


Once crazily on trend, macrame is now declining in popularity.

Global trends

Roofing Megastore tracks these trends across seven countries, including New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

The trends were similar across all countries tracked, with cottagecore topping the global top 10. In Australia, it saw a 684% increase over the year, perhaps reflecting the fact most people had never heard of it in 2019.

In the US, Scandi style trumped cottagecore, the much-loved aesthetic rising in popularity by 2,400%, while conservatories grew most in popularity in the UAE.

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