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Survey: Homeowners Want More Kitchen Storage

The pandemic-inspired desire for a bigger and better home has boosted the number of kitchen remodels that emphasize a need for more storage space.

NEW YORK – Kitchen storage is a top priority among renovating homeowners, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, based on a survey of more than 2,000 homeowners planning or in the midst of a kitchen remodel.

Many of the surveyed homeowners upgraded kitchen cabinets, either replacing them or refacing older ones. But the percentage adding or upgrading pantry space is also rising. Nearly half of homeowners upgraded pantry cabinets, and one in eight added a walk-in pantry – both up compared to last year’s survey.

“Storage has really come into focus as people have spent more time at home during the pandemic,” says Liza Hausman, Houzz vice president of industry marketing. “We’re seeing an increase in the amount of cabinetry added in renovations, and more homeowners are reaching out to professionals on Houzz for help making their kitchens work better, most often within the same layout and square footage.”

The focus remained heavily on adding storage in the kitchen, while other upgrades like kitchen light fixtures and appliances decreased over this past year, the study found.

Additional highlights from Houzz’s kitchen study

  • Bolder island colors: 41% of renovators differentiated their island cabinet color from the colors in the rest of the kitchen. Blue and gray are top choices for nearly half of homeowners with contrasting island cabinets. However, only 13% chose these colors for their main wall cabinetry.
  • Trending cabinetry: Shaker-style and white cabinet doors continue to be the top choice among renovators, despite decreasing in favor by five percentage points compared to last year.
  • Added built-ins: Cabinetry renovations tended to include built-in specialty organizers, drawers or trays. The most popular kitchen organizers are for cookie sheets and spices. The most common specialty drawers are pullout waste or recycling drawers. More than a third of kitchen renovations also included specialty shelving trays, such as revolving trays (such as Lazy Susans) or pullout or swing-out trays.
  • Not so open: The number of homeowners that created an open concept floor plan from their kitchen to other spaces in the home dropped significantly over the past year (53% in 2019 to 43% in 2021). But one in five homeowners opened up their kitchen to outdoor space (22%).
  • Appliances added to the island: Nearly two-thirds of kitchen-renovating homeowners added an island, and more than half added an appliance to the island. The most popular appliances within the island are a dishwasher and microwave.
  • Hardwood appeal wanes: Hardwood flooring dropped from the top-choice for flooring to number 2, behind ceramic or porcelain tile this year. Vinyl continues to grow more popular: 19% chose vinyl or resilient flooring last year, up 5 percentage points compared to 2019.
  • Neutrals dominate: Neutral tones like gray, white and beige on wall surfaces continue to dominate. Owners add in some color but reserve those color punches for multicolored backsplashes or blue walls.
  • High-tech faucets and appliances: More than half of homeowners who upgraded faucets and appliances sought high-tech models. Wireless controls for appliances are gaining popularity.
  • Median expenditures: The median expenditure on a major kitchen remodel – in which all the cabinets and appliances are replaced – was $35,000 last year. The median spend for a minor remodel is about $8,000.

Source: “2021 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study,” Houzz (Jan. 12, 2021)

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