SASKATOON -- Saskatoon interior designers say they’re seeing an increase in home renovations and improvement projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everybody is busy right now which is definitely a good thing to see because a few months back, it didn’t necessarily seem like this is where we would be at this particular point,” said Brandon Gay, sales and project director at Metric Design Centre.

Gay said he and his staff have been working been working on a lot of residential renovation projects this year compared to last year, with many focused on home office spaces and outdoor decks.

“With people not able to travel the same way that they were, they a) see the opportunity to reinvest that money in the space where they’re spending a lot more time or b) they see the opportunity to keep themselves busy while they’re not able to move around quite as much as they were before.”

Full floor renovations, basement build-outs as well as kitchen and bathroom renovations have also been highly requested, he said.

He notes that the focus has shifted from commercial projects to residential projects this year as a result of more businesses being forced to close due to the pandemic. But he said that’s slowly starting to change as more people return to work and companies start to think about updating their work spaces.

Luminary Design, another local interior design company, has also noticed a trend in that direction.

“I think people are more invested in their living spaces because they’ve been in them for so long over the last few months. Businesses still haven’t quite opened up the same as home spaces have,” owner Lucienne Van Langen said.

Since June, Van Langen said business has picked up and is about as busy as it normally is during the summer months. She said the main thing that’s changed is how she interacts with her clients.

“There’s always the uncertainty of whether or not they’re comfortable with you coming into their homes. So we, like everyone else, have done our due diligence of wearing masks on site and in people’s homes,” Van Langen said.

She said they also maintain physical distance and try not touch things in the home.

Like Metric Design Centre, Van Langen said her company continues to see people interested in full renovations of their main floors, basements, and outdoor spaces.

“I see people looking at the larger picture and the long-term of any particular project a lot more than before,” he said.

“I am very happy to see that this particular industry has continued to grow and to remain strong.”