The biggest trend in kitchen remodeling is tidiness, according to Houzz’s survey of more than 1,700 homeowners who use the site nationwide and are either planning a remodeling project, are in the middle of one or have just completed an update.
The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that for 75 percent of the homeowners, decluttering their countertops was the No. 1 priority. That was followed by 66 percent who wanted to put things away, and 49 percent who focused on recycling.
For their new kitchens, homeowners wanted pullout waste bins, utensil and dish organizers and wine bars.
Even microwave ovens are getting put away, said Tara Ryan, president and CEO of Ryan Young Interiors in California. The appliances are being built into lower cabinets with a pullout drawer design.
The trend in tidiness translates into making storage a priority in today’s kitchens. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed chose storage as the top functional concern, followed by space planning (38 percent), entertaining (32 percent) and cleanliness (32 percent).
For additional storage and countertop space, 39 percent of homeowners are adding islands. Islands have become an essential part of the kitchen, which might be one reason why homeowners now prefer L-shaped kitchens to U-shaped ones. (Galley and single-wall kitchens are also gaining ground.) Oversized light fixtures above the island to create a focal point are an increasingly popular design trend, Ryan said.
According to the Houzz survey, homeowners prefer transitional or contemporary styles and Shaker cabinets for their kitchen, although European cabinets with sleeker finishes are trending, Ryan said. And white continues to rule for backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes, according to the study.
“The kitchen trends I’m seeing in 2018 are a return to wood cabinetry. I see them in exotic woods with intricate and interesting grain patterns to warmer, deeper wood stains over muted, uniformed grain patterns,” said Nikki Klugh, principal designer of the Nikki Klugh Design Group in Chula Vista, Calif. “You will still see white cabinetry, as it works well with stainless appliances and the current gray tones for walls, tiles and color palette-driven elements. However, gray tones will be replaced with a stronger, darker gray, going toward black. You will see black stainless steel in coming months, as well as black with gold-accented plumbing fixtures. On the more expressive side, be on the lookout for painted cabinets in all colors — anything from a more stately navy blue to a bright, modern orange.”
For countertops, engineered quartz has become the favorite material, as granite continues to decline in popularity. Counters are the most common major upgrade and the most common “splurged on” item, according to the survey.
And when it comes to technology in the kitchen, fewer homeowners are installing TVs, while more are adding voice-activated home assistants and smart appliances that are voice-controlled or wirelessly activated.
“Chef’s kitchens are in demand, and we see no end in sight to this trend. Buyers want choices to customize their space with appliances, countertops, backsplashes, lighting and recycling stations under cabinets,” said Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing at Shea Homes San Diego.
For most homeowners taking the Houzz survey, renovating the kitchen is a major undertaking: 86 percent hired professional help, and the cost for a 200-square-foot or larger kitchen averaged $42,000. (A major remodel of a smaller kitchen was about $25,800.)