Home Renovation Revelation: How audiences talk about crafting their dream homes

Home Renovation Revelation: How audiences talk about crafting their dream homes

  • Retail

26th July 2023

When Ariana Grande told us to ‘hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it, flip it, flip it, flip it’ and ‘twist it, twist it, twist it, twist it, mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it’, we can only assume she was referring to hitting nails, flipping properties, twisting modular furniture and mixing paint. 

Conversation about Home Renovation is rife, online and beyond. We searched Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, VK, reviews, blogs, forums, news, TV, radio and podcasts - and analyzed over 200k data points - to bring you a wall-to-wall account of how audiences talk about Home Renovation.

Increasing one’s house price, adapting a space for lifestyle change, a cheaper alternative to buying a new house, modernisation and trends: there are many reasons people are motivated to renovate their house. 

Nothing is off the wall - audiences can talk about paint and politics in one breath. Let’s get into everything home renovation, from Pins about porches to blogs about bills.

Flat surfaces are all the rage in the Home renovation conversation, with walls, ceilings, windows, doors and floors taking the top spotlight. Despite home renovations being associated with large-scale projects, we see areas such as conversions, roofing and insulation garner much less traction. Let’s zoom out to the home as a whole.

While much of the location-based conversation focuses on the interior of the house, Outdoor and External areas take up less than a quarter of conversation.

What may be initially surprising when thinking of home renovation is that projects typically associated with ‘reno’s such as loft/attic/basement conversions and conservatory extensions skew rather low in both charts above.

One way to explain the underrepresentation of extensional activity in the home renovation conversation is the renovation audience’s focus on form and aesthetics over function. Even highly utilitarian areas of home renovation conversation such as Insulation and Basement gather aesthetic interest.

As we can see, home renovators are focused heavily on the form and beauty in their projects, with a focus on aesthetics and style.

We fed images mentioned in relation to Home Renovation to Pulsar’s vertical AI to detect interior design styles. Though Minimalist and Scandinavian styles gain a lot of popularity online, our search saw that traditional rural styles by far top the visual styles seen. These more homely styles often try to bring the outdoors in, to give recently renovated homes a more familiar feeling.

A high focus on stylistic choice is obvious throughout the Home Renovation conversation. Rather than conversation skewing towards large, functional, structural projects, we see a focus on DIY - smaller-scale projects to spruce up and add new life to an existing home.

It’s clear that DIY-ers and weekend home renovators aren’t going to found attempting to put in their new boiling water tap and gas stove by themselves any time soon. However, we once again find a focus on the aesthetic: here we can see audiences focusing on DIYing more aesthetic professions such as Interior Designer and Painter.

by u/Cuttt-Ad-1227 from discussion DIY doable?
in Tile

Many professions are mentioned in tandem with this type of conversation - though the conversation isn't wholly expressing distrust: we also see non-professional audiences showing preference and professional communities’ discourse.

But the projects associated with Home Renovation turn to smaller, manageable projects that can be completed by the professional and layperson alike. 

When we look at the tools and supplies mentioned in the Home Renovation conversation, this focus is corroborated. Decorative supplies lead conversation with 37.3% of total equipment mentions while structural project equipment takes up 32.6% of the conversation – with Windows & Doors taking up half of that alone. Once again we see a focus on the aesthetic of the home through Paint & Painting Supplies, Carpets & Flooring and Countertops.

Let’s examine where this conversation is coming from.

Pinterest takes over 50% of the conversation about home renovation - not surprising for a social media channel that has a high focus on the intersection of aesthetics and function. The extremely visual platform dwarfs the conversation of the individual platforms Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. News & Broadcast data is the second-biggest contributor to the conversation. 

A lot of the top-engaged home renovation posts on Pinterest hone in affordability when making domestic changes. Naturally, much of the discourse surrounding Home Renovation leads to money - however, with material prices and professional charges increasing along with inflation, the conversation around home renovation costs can range from positive and affirming to barbed and sour.

This conversation around affordability is highest on Pinterest and Twitter, signaling an optimistic approach to doing a lot with a little. However, channels such as Facebook and News & Broadcast skew the cost question towards showing how expensive things are, which has a correlation of more of a negative sentiment.

Influential ‘official’ media such as news, TV and radio have the opportunity to create and spread certain sentiments - they can even then in turn start brand new audience conversations.

While those in the UK lament the loss of government help for environmentally-focused home renovations, over in the US, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a government initiative in place with a similar purpose. The $750 billion initiative offers $9 billion to homeowners through tax incentives when making environmentally conscious upgrades to their homes. 

Mentions of home renovation in News and TV and Radio broadcasts frequently turn to the cost of living crisis, and motivations behind home renovation. And glamorizing TV shows also turn attention towards the cost of living crisis. 

Unsurprisingly, not everything on Twitter is optimistic. When we get down into granular conversation about home renovation, an undercurrent of money, cost of living and affordability comes into play very often on the platform

Let’s dive deeper into the Twitter audience of Home Renovation.

Talking politics at home- an audience map

When examining the sub-audiences of Twitter’s Home Renovation conversation, we can see a heavy emphasis on the political. Family-oriented Democrats share heart-warming home renovation stories, as well as memes about home renovation shows. Political Activists share similar stories and memes, as well as ‘hot takes’ on the concept of home renovation in general.

We also see many geographically-based groups: Australian Politicos, Canadian Real Estate Enthusiasts and UK Economy Commenters. These groups turn their conversation to local governments, tax credits, construction policy and workers’ rights as well as prominent local tradespeople.

In the current climate, buying a home is extremely difficult in many cities of the world, mortgage rates are high - audiences calling attention to this demonstrates the Home Renovation conversation’s ability to not just critique housing politics, but to shift people's behavior.

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