7 trends shaping today’s kitchens

Kitchens are the hub of homes — and the spaces most likely to be renovated. More than half (56%) of designers say clients will be requesting a kitchen redesign this year, according to 1st Dibs’ most recent Interior Designer Trends Survey.

Kitchens (and baths) are also top of mind for many in the home furnishings industry this week, with the National Kitchen + Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show running through Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

So, I thought I’d do a deeper dive into what consumers want from their kitchens. Renovation and design resource Houzz recently released a nearly 40-page report on kitchen trends, drawn from a survey of 3,437 homeowners who either recently completed a kitchen remodel or had one planned in the next coming six months. It is a treasure trove of insights.

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·       Big projects: In 2023, the median cost of a major kitchen remodel (all cabinets and appliances replaced) was $55,000, up 22% from the previous year, Houzz says. Inflation, which continues to plague construction trades, probably accounts for a chunk of that rise in costs. For large kitchens (250 square feet or more), the median renovation cost is $66,000. Significant numbers of homeowners are making other major changes to their kitchens: 43% are changing the layout and the same percentage are upgrading systems, while 39% are modifying walls. More than a third (37%) add square footage during their renovation. And every homeowner swaps out countertops (91%) and backsplashes (86%).

·       Hardest-working room: Of course, homeowners primarily use their kitchens for cooking, baking and eating, but 59% see them as a hub for entertaining and 46% for casual socializing. Those social aspects help account for the popularity of kitchen islands, which provide a central gathering space and extra seating — and explain why homeowners are willing to invest in their kitchens in the first place.

·       Open up: After sequestering at home during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, some trendsetters predicted homeowners would move away from open floorplans and toward more private, delineated spaces. That doesn’t seem to be happening with kitchens. As the Houzz survey says, “the share of renovating homeowners opening their kitchen to other interior spaces reached 43% … compared with 38% in 2022.” For some homeowners that means opening the kitchen to an adjacent interior room, but 46% of homeowners are linking the kitchen to an outdoor space.

See Also

·       Hot cabinet hues: Nearly half of homeowners (46%) choose white cabinets — and that number is up 6 percentage points over the previous year. About a quarter of homeowners select wood tones. Gray cabinets are slowly losing favor; while green is gradually picking up fans. I noted this in my column last week, but only 16% of those in the Houzz survey hired or plan to hire an interior designer for their kitchen remodel, though that number has steadily crept up since 2022. (About a quarter hire a kitchen designer.) I can’t help but wonder if working with a professional interior designer might encourage homeowners to explore other cabinet colors and finishes.

·       Hot countertop hues: White remains tops for countertops, too, with 43% of homeowners choosing them — the highest percentage since 2000, Houzz notes. The popularity of gray and multicolor countertops is waning.

·       Thinking ahead: Homeowners are thinking about outfitting their kitchens to make them more accessible and functional as they age, adding elements as pullout cabinets, extra lighting and wide drawer pulls, as well as safety features such as nonslip floors and rounded countertops.·       Getting smarter: More than half of homeowners (54%) replace all their major appliances during a renovation and 44% are investing in smart appliances, up 5 points from Houzz’s previous kitchen trends survey. About a third (30%) incorporate appliances with Wi-Fi connectivity and 29% chose models they can control with a smartphone or tablet.

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