Homeowners looking to update their kitchens are setting their sights on creating inviting and personal spaces. White Euro-style cabinets layered with darker neutral furniture, man-made countertops and a helpful dose of technology prove that a modern kitchen can still be the heart of the home.
Two main factors determine a kitchen remodel, said Jason Avery, owner of Avery Construction Design Consulting in Clearwater, Florida. In most cases it’s what’s on trend in magazines, on Pinterest boards and at Houzz.com, Avery said.
Secondly, there’s budget. Costs varies widely based on size, scope, location and other factors. The average spend on a major remodel, which includes replacing at least all of the cabinetry and appliances, for a 200-square-foot or greater kitchen is $42,000, while a major remodel of a smaller kitchen averages $25,800, according to the 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study.
Most projects are budget-driven, with homeowners and professionals discussing priorities and remodelers helping them negotiate with themselves about how to get the most out of their budget, Avery sai
The all-white kitchen that once dominated is now eclipsed by a two-toned effect, Avery said. White-painted cabinets paired with an espresso-hued island or a darker floor are popular choices. White backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes are also trending, according to the Houzz study.
“People relate to the white because it feels brighter and cleaner,” Avery said.
Countertops are having a moment, too. Homeowners are obsessed with decluttering countertops to show them off, according to the Houzz study.
For materials, quartz is king. Engineered quartz is much more than just an alternative to natural granite, Avery said. With so many finishes, patterns and colors, quartz mimics stone but is nonporous and resistant to staining. White quartz is trending followed by marble; the budget-conscious opt for granite, Avery said.
It’s worth the splurge to go custom in cabinetry to get the most storage space possible, Avery said. Storage and organization features include revolving corner trays, pull-out shelves and spice drawers, double trash and recycling sliders, deep pot-and-pan drawers and pantries loaded with pull-out shelves, he said.
Kitchen experts can also help create cabinets that hide appliances inside cabinets to roll in and out as needed.
Mass-produced face-frame cabinetry may not provide enough strength or flexibility for storage needs, according to Consumer Reports. Custom European construction-style cabinets provide not only a solid and sturdy frame for the kitchen, but maximize function and storage needs, Avery said.
Integrating home automation in the kitchen is one of the biggest trends of the Houzz report, but from a remodeler’s standpoint, Avery said many homeowners take that next step on their own or with a tech specialist. A three-year decline in televisions in the kitchen has been met with the increasing popularity of home assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, the study found. Wireless and voice-controlled kitchen appliances are also rising in popularity.