For many, a new kitchen means a healthier lifestyle, according to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey. The survey of more than 2,700 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning or recently completed a kitchen renovation project revealed that a third of kitchen updaters report a healthier lifestyle post-renovation (33 percent). That includes cooking more meals at home (41 percent), with three-quarters cooking five or more meals at home per week (76 percent). Other healthy habits post-renovation include eating less takeout (34 percent) and more fruits and vegetables (26 percent).
While the positive lifestyle impact of a new kitchen is consistent across age groups, Millennial homeowners (ages 25-34) and Baby Boomers (ages 55 and older) vary widely in the choices they are making for their renovated spaces. When it comes to style, Millennial homeowners are more likely to opt for Modern or Farmhouse while Traditional style is nearly twice as popular with Boomers. Overall, contemporary has surpassed transitional as the top kitchen style (22 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in 2016-17 projects versus 19 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in 2015-16).
Age also comes into play with major built-in features and color preferences. While pantry cabinets and islands remain popular across the board (41 and 40 percent respectively), Millennial homeowners are more likely than Baby Boomers to install them (52 percent versus 40 percent for pantry cabinets and 49 percent versus 36 percent for islands). White cabinets continue to dominate (42 percent, up from 38 percent in 2015-16 projects), and white countertops are gaining popularity (21 percent, up from 18 percent in 2015-16 projects), especially among younger homeowners (32 percent of Millennials versus 18 percent of Baby Boomers). Gray remains the top wall color for all ages (up four percent from last year), but it is especially popular among Millennials (43 percent versus 22 percent for Baby Boomers). While stainless steel appliances continue to be the norm (72 percent), seven percent of homeowners opt for trendy black stainless steel.
“Houzz research from the past three years shows that only one in six Millennial homeowners and one in 12 older renovators start a kitchen renovation to improve the resale value of their home in preparation for a sale,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “With the growing trend of homeowners choosing to stay in their home for the long-term, the return on investment from a kitchen remodel is less tangible, measured in healthier habits and more face-time with family and friends instead of dollars.”
When it comes to choosing kitchen materials such as countertops and flooring, look and durability are top factors across all age groups. Millennial homeowners are twice as likely to be driven by countertop cost considerations than older homeowners (42 percent versus 24 percent of Gen Xers and 19 percent of Baby Boomers). Older generations are more likely to consider physical qualities such as countertop heat resistance (23 percent for Baby Boomers, 19 percent for Gen X and 12 percent for Millennials) and flooring comfort for standing (15 for Baby Boomers, 12 percent for Gen X and four percent for Millennials).
Additional findings include:
- Spending on the rise: Spend on kitchen renovations increased again in 2016. Nearly one in 10 homeowners spent more than $100K on a completed kitchen renovation in 2016 (nine percent), up from seven percent the two years prior. Another 20 percent spent between $50K and $100K.
- Custom cabinetry is king: Two in five updated kitchens include custom cabinets (40 percent), a slight decrease from last year (44 percent). Semi-custom cabinets follow closely (36 percent). Older homeowners are more likely to install custom cabinetry (42 percent for Baby Boomers and 37 percent for Gen X). Surprisingly, a whopping third of Millennial homeowners go custom (32 percent).
- Even greater room: Great rooms remain popular, with more than half of kitchens open to nearby rooms following renovations (51 percent). Over a third of kitchens also gain square footage during updates (36 percent).
- Varied qualities drive finish preferences: Certain finishes are preferred for their specific qualities. Marble counters and wood flooring are rated highest for their look, while granite and quartz counters and porcelain flooring.
- Professional hiring remains high: Similar to last year, the majority of homeowners hire professionals for their kitchen renovations (88 percent), including general contractors (54 percent) and kitchen remodelers (10 percent). Design specialists, such as kitchen designers (25 percent), interior designers (14 percent) and architects (14 percent), are also in very high demand.