PALO ALTO, CA — Kitchens continue to command a significant investment on the part of homeowners, the vast majority of whom incorporate sustainable features during a kitchen renovation, a major new study has found.
According to the “2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study,” released today, homeowners “are gravitating towards sustainable choices during kitchen renovations, with median spending on minor renovations increasing by 40% year over year in 2022, while spending for major renovations of large kitchens remained flat following significant growth in the past two years.
The online survey, fielded to Houzz users from July through September of 2022, was undertaken among homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a kitchen renovation.
“It’s interesting to see the intersection of economics and environmental concerns,” said Marine Sargsyan staff economist for Houzz Inc., the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home remodeling and design. “The most frequent reason behind choosing sustainable options is long-run cost effectiveness, with environmental-friendliness as a secondary consideration.”
In addition, Sargsyan said, “homeowners continue to invest in their kitchens with both major and minor remodels, when homeowners partially upgrade their cabinets or appliances, and may tackle plumbing or electrical issues.”
The Houzz survey of more than 3,600 respondents found that the majority of remodeled kitchens in 2022 included LED bulbs (65%), energy-efficient appliances (61%), water-efficient fixtures (34%) and energy-efficient windows (27%). Nearly half of surveyed homeowners opted for “a timeless design as a sustainable choice during renovations, while the most frequently cited reason for incorporating sustainable options (74%) is “long-run cost-effectiveness.” Making choices that are environmentally friendly is also top of mind for more than half of renovating homeowners.
On the design front, open kitchens made a significant gain, in contrast to a dip the previous year. Forty percent of renovating homeowners are making their kitchens more open to interior spaces, up from 38% last year, and 20% are making kitchens more open to the outdoors, according to Houzz.
When opening kitchens to interiors, most homeowners completely open the space with no wall separation (61%), the Houzz survey found. The most common ways to open kitchens to the outdoors include double doors or a row of doors (46%), a single door (29%) or a pass-through window (14%).
Additional insights from the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study include:
n Style changes widespread: Consistent with past years, more than four in five homeowners change the style of their kitchens during renovations (83%). Transitional remains the top style choice for renovated kitchens in 2023. Contemporary style saw a decline to 12%, making it the third most popular style, trailing modern (14%). Farmhouse style saw a gain of one percentage point to 11%, and traditional increased by 2% to 11%.
n Cabinet style shift: While shaker-style cabinet doors remain the most popular choice for kitchens, the percentage of homeowners choosing them is three points lower this year than last year (61%). In contrast, flat-panel doors are on the upswing, with one in five (20%) renovators opting for them, up three points from last year. When it comes to cabinet pulls, bar pulls are by far the most popular (72%), followed by knobs (34%) and cup pulls (10%).
n Wood cabinets gain popularity: White cabinets remain most popular in renovated kitchens (40%), followed by wood-toned cabinets, which saw a three-percentage-point gain to 24%. Among the 46% of homeowners who installed contrasting island cabinet colors, blue and gray saw slight declines (24% from 26% in 2022, and 15% from 18% in 2022, respectively). Meanwhile, black, medium wood and dark wood saw increases for contrasting islands (12% up from 10%, 12% up from 10%, and 11% up from 6%, respectively).
n Recessed lights rising: In renovated kitchens, recessed lights gained six percentage points this year to claim the No. 1 spot from under-cabinet lights, with 72% of renovators choosing them.
n Electronic upgrades abound: Electronics are seeing an increase in popularity in the kitchen, including docking stations (up nine percentage points to 49%), wireless speakers (up 11 percentage points to 37%) and stereo systems (up 10 percentage points to 20%). Meanwhile, 51% of homeowners installed faucets with high-tech features, such as water efficiency (24%) and touch-only/touch-free activation (23%); and 39% install appliances with high-tech features, including Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone/tablet controls (25% and 24%, respectively).
n Kitchen usage is varied: While the majority of homeowners (96%) use the kitchen for cooking, they also eat (71%), bake (69%), entertain (57%) and socialize (46%) there. Nearly a quarter of homeowners (23%) also work from their kitchen, which remains relatively unchanged since 2019. One in three homeowners report that their lifestyle is healthier post-renovation (31%), and 68% report no change in healthy habits.