Kitchen renovations are getting far more high-tech according to a recent trends survey put out by Houzz. The study looked at 2,380 United States homeowners about their recent or planned renovation projects and what their priorities were in each. While kitchen countertops continued to be the most significant splurge among respondents (35%), high-tech appliances came in as the second most common feature homeowners splurged on in their home (27%).
The appliances most targeted by homeowners included the refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, range and range hood. However, beverage refrigerators and garbage disposals have been gaining significant traction with each moving up five and four percentage points respectively. Over a third of these appliances (35%) came with significant upgrades as well.
The most popular function among homeowners was smart phone control at (26%), however, color touchscreen displays and built-in apps (recipes, scheduling, etc.) came in second and third. The unassuming kitchen faucet, too, was the target of its own set of upgrades. According to the study, 51% of respondents said their faucet came with some form tech attached to it, with water efficiency and fingerprint proofing ranking the highest.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, digital home assistants and docking stations continue to rank the highest in terms of general electronics (41% and 40% respectively).
Kitchen Islands Expand to Accommodate New Functionalities
The kitchen island is expanding to accommodate its new role as a workspace, and it seems that kitchen sizes seem to also be expanding as a result. While most homeowners (70%) say they haven’t expanded the physical size of their kitchen, the Houzz study noticed that kitchens have gotten larger. More than half (54%) of all kitchens in the survey came in at or over 200 square feet in size.
In fact, homeowners seem to be less focused on opening their kitchens to other areas in comparison to previous years. In 2022, 38% of respondents said they had opened their kitchens to nearby interior spaces, down from 46% in 2020. Meanwhile, only 18% said they had opened their kitchen to exterior spaces, down from 20% prior.
The kitchen island, however, has come to be a main focal point of the kitchen. Nearly two in five (39%) of all projects involved a kitchen island that was over seven feet in length. This is due in part to the fact that many people are using the island as their main workstation whenever they are working from home. Following a renovation, one in five (20%) of people say that the island becomes where they conduct all their work.
This has led to many owners focusing on the lighting of the space as well. A whopping (92%) of all homeowners who had an island installed or already owned an island focused on adding lighting fixtures to over the island space during renovations. For this purpose, pendant lights continue to be the most popular (64%) even going so far as to grow four percentage points in 2022.
Wood, Stone and Plenty of Personality Enter the Kitchen
The most popular enhancement to the kitchen, countertops, were targeted nine times out of ten (91%) by homeowners, with quartz and granite being the standout choices for looks, cleanliness and durability (42% and 24% respectively). While most chose to keep the theming consistent across all surfaces, 20% did opt for a contrasting material when it came to the kitchen island. Here, one third (35%) of all respondents went with wood or butcher block for their central fixture.
Wood in general rose to greater popularity within the kitchen, acting both as a favorite contrast to the popular white countertops and a popular material for use in cabinets. Of the 94% of all kitchen owners who replaced their cabinets, 76% select solid wood as the primary material.
New décor has also been a core focus of many home renovations according to the study, with 87% of all remodels introducing new accents and elements into a space. This could be trending towards the greater amount of time people seem to be spending in the kitchen, either while working, resting or entertaining. The most popular addition is bar stools at 50%, however, wall art and wall furnishings are close behind at 48%.
A little injection of the outdoors has also grown in popularity, with plants and greenery factoring in at 27% for all new kitchen additions, mirroring a similar trend happening in bathroom spaces.