GAUSTALLA, ITALY — Long established as the heart of the home, Americans are “increasingly prioritizing their kitchens,” with large, state-of-the-art kitchens still in high demand despite forecasts for a cooling housing market.
That is among the key findings of a recent Harris Poll survey conducted among some 2,000 U.S. consumers on behalf of Bertazzoni, the Italian manufacturer of premium kitchen appliances.
According to the survey’s findings, three out of four homeowners (75%) say they use the kitchen more than any other room in their home, and will likely prioritize investing in kitchens when looking at a potential remodel or home purchase. More than half of those polled (61%) “consider a large kitchen a must-have feature when buying a new home,” Bertazzoni said.
“As we continue to spend more time at home, consumers are craving a sense of sanctuary and are being drawn to spaces that support rest and providing a source of joy and inspiration,” said Bertazzoni, noting a trend toward biophilic design that’s now being evidenced not only through the usage of nature-inspired elements like wood and earth-toned color schemes, but through eco-conscious materials.
“Today’s consumers are … taking environmental considerations, as well as aesthetics, into account in their spaces,” the company said.
According to Bertazzoni, many high-end homeowners also aspire to have a “back kitchen” or “prep kitchen,” to create a separate, discrete space for food preparation or to host guests in an adjacent space that keeps food prep out of sight.
Homeowners are also “breaking out of the cookie-cutter mold and venturing into more expressive designs” through colorful cabinetry, bold surfacing, and appliances that provide a more personalized aesthetic,” said Bertazzoni, whose survey found that only 19% of those polled saying they find all-white kitchens appealing.
Among the other major trends identified in the survey were the following:
n Less than a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said that contrasting colors or finishes – such as like blue lower cabinets and white upper cabinets – are of interest. “Instead, designers and homeowners can create contrast through eye-catching appliances, which can serve as the focal point of the kitchen without overwhelming the space,” said Bertazonni.
n Mixed metals, formerly a taboo design choice, are becoming mainstream, with nearly 3 in 4 (73%) of those surveyed saying they are now open to mixing metals within their decorative finishes.
n While the majority of homeowners (72%) are interested in sustainable home design. only 1 in 10 own an induction appliance and more than half didn’t even know what induction was, “leaving room for the rise of this eco-friendly cooking technology,” Bertazzoni said.
n While stainless steel has long been the best-selling material for appliances, it’s become an increasingly sophisticated option, with today’s homeowners “embracing refined, industrial finishes and incorporating stainless everywhere from their appliances to their fixtures, furniture, backsplashes and even countertops,” Bertazzoni said.
n Open shelving “is officially out,” and instead, homeowners are embracing more sleek, integrated styles like enclosed cabinets and built-in or flush-to-cabinet appliances,” Bertazzoni said. “These more functional options allow seamless, custom style with little maintenance,” the company added.