SEATTLE — Today’s ideal kitchen includes a spacious, multifunctional island that “can seamlessly flex from breakfast bar to homework headquarters to dinner prep station,” according to data and analysis from Zillow, the Seattle-based real-estate marketplace firm.
Zillow last month unveiled what the company said is the top five residential design trends to watch in 2023, noting that multifunctional kitchen islands drew a 19% increase in mentions among in listing descriptions on Zillow this year.
“As we redefine the spaces in our homes, kitchen islands are being designed to accommodate dining and entertaining activities in the kitchen rather than the formal dining room,” said Kerrie Kelly, creative director at Kerrie Kelly Design Studio. “In 2023, we will see a surge of larger and even double kitchen islands using unique colors and materials.”
Instead of islands blending in with the kitchen, “expect to see them stand out in contrasting paint colors or wood stains,” Zillow said. “Different countertop materials, combination wood and stone worktops, and mixed metal fixtures and hardware will become more common, as will homeowners increasingly repurposing unique furniture pieces or vintage tables as islands, the company added.
Among the other key design trends noted by Zillow:
- Closed Floor Plans. For nearly three decades, residential remodelers have been taking down walls, as homeowners embraced the concept of open floor plans. However, said Zillow, “the pandemic exposed the fatal flaw of the open floor plan – the lack of privacy – once everyone was living, working, and schooling at home.
“A soundless space for video calls or a quiet sitting room for reading became more desirable than ever, the company noted. “As home buyers and homeowners seek out privacy, calm and quiet, expect the closed floor plan to make a return to style in 2023.”
Closed floor plans create cozy, comfortable, enclosed spaces within a home, allowing for bold color and design statements in each room, Zillow said, adding that homeowners who have open floor plans will look to compartmentalize their space through furniture layout and design to create private nooks and corners.
- Focus on Backyards. The backyard “is the new luxury for today’s home buyers,” according to Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “The rising popularity of outdoor features suggests that the pandemic has changed the way we want to live, priming the backyard for a 2023 evolution,” Pendleton said. “When the pandemic forced all entertaining outdoors, homeowners reclaimed their backyards from the kids or the dogs. Now they’re rethinking how functional outdoor space could serve as an extension of their home in new, creative ways.”
- Impact of Millennials. The youngest homeowners will lead a new wave of the pandemic-era renovation boom, according to Zillow, whose survey found that 48% of homeowners younger than 40 have tapped the equity in their home in the past two years, most commonly to pay for home improvement projects
“However, 90% of those homeowners under 40 who took out a home equity line of credit or second mortgage, or opted for a cash-out refinance, have yet to spend all the money they borrowed, suggesting 2023 may be the year they complete all the renovation projects on their to-do list,” Zillow said, adding that the younger generation of renovators is likely to focus on projects that make their homes more sustainable, low-maintenance and high-tech.
- Mirrored Walls. “A mirrored wall or ceiling might conjure up 1970s flashbacks, but this throwback feature is primed to make a 2023 comeback in a modern way,” Zillow said, noting that mirrored surfaces reflect light and can make tight quarters feel more spacious. “Today’s mirrored wall is often antiqued and applied in a grid, adding character and an on-trend Parisian feel,” Zillow added