Two words define today’s design trends in kitchen renovations: style and function. The 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study surveyed more than 1,700 homeowners with recent or upcoming kitchen projects. The results show a shift away from traditional layouts, finishes and styles in favor of transitional, contemporary and farmhouse kitchens that are more open, functional and beautiful.
According to Houzz, here are the hottest trends coming out of American kitchens.
Organization for all the kitchen clutter
Storage is a number one priority for most homeowners.1 Clutter blocks the beauty of countertops, sinks and backsplashes — the top three most noted in kitchen renovations. Decluttering the counters and putting things away have become obsessions.
Homeowners are looking to stylish built-in storage to solve their organization issues. Pull-out waste and recycling bins, utensil organizers and wine and bar storage have grown significantly more popular in the last year. In-cabinet organizers for cookie sheets, spices, cutlery, dishes and other kitchen items are common.
New favorite finishes
Homeowners are choosing to splurge on the finishes. And those preferences are changing. Stone is out. Gone are granite countertops and tile flooring. Kitchens in 2018 are looking very different than a few years ago, featuring:
Granite has long been the most coveted countertop finish. After a three-year decline in popularity, it’s now been eclipsed by engineered quartz.1 The stone look, durability, ease of maintenance and selection of colors makes it worth the investment for many homeowners.
White shaker-style cabinets
More than 80 percent1 of homeowners replace their cabinets in a kitchen upgrade, and 43 percent1 are painting them white. Those white cabinets are typically custom or semi-custom with shaker-style doors instead of the raised-style panels common a couple years ago.
Whether it’s hardwood or just the look of it, wood is far and away the preferred choice. More homeowners prefer wood than all the other colors of flooring combined.1 Natural hardwood is still the most popular material, but the wood-like look of engineered wood, vinyl, or laminate is catching up.
One thing that hasn’t changed: stainless steel appliances. The industrial finish is the choice 73 percent1 of the time over colored appliances. Stainless steel fits the look of the most popular kitchen styles.
Layout with a capital ‘L’
Half of all homeowners1 change the layout of their kitchen during a makeover. The traditional U-shape is in decline, while the L-shaped kitchen has grown eight percent in the last two years to become the most popular layout.
Fifty percent1 of kitchen renovators want to open up the space, which helps explain the preference for the L-shape. It opens up an additional side of the kitchen to improve the connection to other interior rooms and create an ideal kitchen triangle.
Changing face of technology
Refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers and ranges are kitchen mainstays, but they look a lot different than they used to. One in four new appliances1 has high-tech features like a color touchscreen, wireless control or voice activation.
It’s not just appliances. Technology is working its way into the kitchen in other ways. Voice-controlled home assistants, wireless speakers and dedicated charging stations for smartphones and tablets are increasingly popular, while TVs are working their way out of the kitchen.
Connection to the outdoors
Tech is invading the kitchen, but not at the expense of nature. Homeowners are looking to make their kitchens feel more open by connecting to the outdoors. One way they achieve that is by replacing windows and doors. A third of homeowners opt for new windows and a quarter upgrade an exterior door.1 Instead of small windows over the kitchen sink, homeowners are adding large windows to connect to nature and create an overall feeling of wellness.