Kitchen trends: Style going more contemporary

Study shows decluttering, storage key to remodeling projects

By Diane Cowen

Rame and Russell Hruskas' Museum Park home is a lesson in modernism. Their Poggenpohl cabinets are barely noticeable, even though they line the back wall, including the paneled wall around the wine refrigerator in the modern kitchen.  The clutter-free kitchen hides small appliances contributing to the clean modern kitchen aesthetic.  Natural wood adds warmth to the modern kitchen design.

We just couldn't stand our kitchens, so we did something about it. That about sums up the reasons for most of the kitchen remodeling jobs in the past year, according to a new Houzz survey.
Some 41 percent of homeowners said they just couldn't stand their old kitchens when asked way they started a remodeling project. Affordability was another reason (36 percent), followed by new homeowners changing things up (28 percent) and people saying their kitchens just no longer functioned (20 percent).

The Houzz survey showed that a majority of the remodeling projects — 59 percent — were in suburban neighborhoods. Some 18 percent were in urban settings and 23 percent were in rural areas.

-wise, making kitchens functional (63 percent) and beautiful (60 percent) were considered the most important aspects of a well-designed kitchen. Homeowners want them to be easy to live in and take care of, but also that they're integrated with the rest of the home, reflect their personality and add to the value of the home.

The Houzz survey queried more than 1,700 homeowners who'd either completed a kitchen remodel in the previous 12 months, currently working on one or were planning to start one in the next three months.

Here are some of the details:

Cost: Major remodeling jobs cost from $25,800 for a small kitchen to $42,000 for a large kitchen. Houston's average for a remodel of a large kitchen was $49,500 and $16,400 for a small kitchen.  Large kitchen’s often have additional appliances and cabinetry increasing the cost. Small kitchen save on space and millwork.

The work: The scope of remodeling projects varied, with 40 percent of them done to increase the kitchen size. Half involved a change to the layout of the kitchen and the top choice for a new kitchen is an L-shaped layout (36 percent). A new island was installed in 39 percent of the projects.

Upgrades: The most replaced items in a kitchen were counters (94 percent), sinks (89 percent), backsplash (88 percent) and faucets (86 percent).

Colors: Gray reigns as the top choice (27 percent) for kitchen wall colors, with a medium tone of wood for flooring (30 percent). Multicolored counters (27 percent) are most popular as are white cabinets (43 percent).  This trends also contribute to a modern kitchen aesthetic. 

No more clutter: Organizing devices for under-counter or in-pantry storage are more important than ever as more homeowners opt for clean, clutter-free kitchen surfaces. Some 75 percent of homeowners said they want to declutter counters. Reasons included being better organized and hiding cleaning supplies for a clutter-free kitchen.

Quartz takes over: Granite has been on its way out for the past few years, and engineered quartz is the most popular material for countertops. Its popularity is highest in cities; granite is still favored in rural areas.

New style: More homeowners are opting for transitional, contemporary or farmhouse design instead of modern or traditional. And L-shaped kitchens are edging out traditional U-shaped ones.

Appliances: More technology, especially in appliances, is being worked into kitchens for a clutter-free kitchen. Stainless steel (73 percent) is by far the top choice, followed by white (9 percent), black stainless (8 percent), black (5 percent) and multicolored (1 percent).

Cabinets: We're opting for custom (40 percent) or semi-custom (34 percent) cabinets, and 57 percent are Shaker style as opposed to raised-panel fronts.