Cutting clutter - the current kitchen trend

Posted: 28th Feb 2018

Home renovators are cutting through their kitchen clutter, a survey has found

The study, conducted by Houzz UK, looked at nearly 5,000 UK homeowners who are in the middle of, are planning, or recently completed a kitchen project.

It revealed the main drive for upgrading cabinets during a kitchen renovation project (55 per cent) was reducing clutter. The most popular built-in cabinet storage included cutlery organisers (75 per cent), deep drawer organisers (60 per cent), pull-out waste or recycling cabinets (49 per cent) and revolving corner trays (40 per cent).

Another motivation for decluttering proved to be showing off beautiful worktops, which are the most frequently upgraded feature during kitchen renovations (93 per cent), followed by cabinets and taps (92 and 90 per cent, respectively). Engineered quartz has become the leading surface material for those upgrading their worktops (28 per cent versus 24 per cent in the 2017 study). It was particularly popular for homeowners aged between 35 and 54 (28 per cent), compared to those under 35 and over 55 (25 and 23 per cent respectively).

The study also revealed the generational differences between kitchen layout and built-in feature preferences. Nearly three quarters of renovating homeowners change their cabinet and appliances layout during kitchen projects (74 per cent), with U-shaped and L-shaped layouts the most popular.

Interestingly, it was homeowners under 35 who are the most likely to opt for the L-shaped layout, compared to older generations (32 per cent versus 29 and 24 for those between the ages of 35 and 54, and those older than 55, respectively). 

A popular feature for homeowners between 35 and 54 was adding an island (46 per cent), compared to those under 35 and over 55 (38 and 32 per cent, respectively).

"Irrespective of generations, we’re seeing a continued emphasis on the kitchen as a common gathering area, with homeowners looking for ways to make the space more sleek and efficient," said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. "People are not only making kitchens larger and more open, but also choosing alternate layouts, elaborate cabinetry storage and versatile surface materials."

Over a quarter of homeowners would increase the size of their kitchens during the renovation process (26 per cent), with those between 35 and 54 the most likely to do so (30 per cent versus 23 and 24 per cent for those under 35 and over 55 respectively).

Nearly three in five homeowners would open their kitchen up to nearby rooms (58 per cent) or to the outdoors (52 per cent) in a bid to take advantage of space in the surrounding areas.

The average spend on a kitchen renovation is £10,300, though homeowners average £11,700 on large kitchens (100+ sq. ft.), and £8,100 for small kitchens (less than 100 sq. ft.). Those over 55 are the most likely to splurge, spending nearly twice as much as those under 35 (£11,200 vs £6,100, on average).

Additional trends include:

- Style in a Contemporary World

Among the 88 per cent of homeowners who change the style of their kitchen during renovations, contemporary is the most popular kitchen style for UK homeowners (55 per cent), followed by traditional (10 per cent) and Scandinavian (seven per cent). Homeowners over 55 are more likely to choose contemporary (59 per cent versus 56 and 46 per cent of those between 35 and 54 and under 35 respectively).

- Shades of White and Grey

White is leading the way as the most popular colour for walls (49 per cent), cabinetry (29 per cent), worktops (27 per cent) and splashbacks (25 per cent). proved to be the second most popular opinion, appearing on 20 per cent of walls, 29 per cent of cabinetry, 16 per cent of worktops and 14 per cent of backsplashes.

- Walking on tile

For homeowners planning a floor update during kitchen projects (88 per cent), ceramic or porcelain tiles top the list (31 per cent), and are twice as popular as engineered wood, the next most utilised material (16 per cent).

- A recipe for Technology

Homeowners are starting to update their appliances as part of their kitchen renovation, as they incorporate technology through their colour touchscreen displays, smartphone or tablet wireless controls and connecting appliances to the home's smart meter to optimise energy use (14, 13 and 11 per cent, respectively). Homeowners over 55 and more likely to purchase colour touchscreen appliances (18 per cent) than those aged between 35 and 54 and under 35 (15 and 11 per cent respectively).

- Pro hiring

Over nine in 10 homeowners would hire a home professional for their kitchen project (93 per cent). Kitchen fitters (49 per cent), kitchen designers (45 per cent) and architects (32 per cent) are the most likely to assist with homeowner renovations.

Image courtesy of Russell J Milligan / survey data courtesy of Houzz