Greater Kitchen Storage Is in Demand

A new survey from Houzz finds walk-in pantries and high-tech faucets are among the top trends.

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Kitchen storage is a top priority among renovating homeowners, finds the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, based on a survey of more than 2,000 homeowners planning or in the midst of a kitchen remodel. Renovators are paying closer attention to their cabinet and pantry storage.

Many of the surveyed homeowners turned their attention to upgrade their kitchen cabinets, either replacing them or refacing the ones they already have. Also, the percentage of homeowners adding or upgrading a pantry space is on the rise. Nearly half of homeowners upgraded their pantry cabinets, and one in eight added a walk-in pantry—both up compared to last year, the survey finds.

Becki Peckham © Houzz

“Storage has really come into focus as people have spent more time at home during the pandemic,” says Liza Hausman, Houzz vice president of industry marketing. “We’re seeing an increase in the amount of cabinetry added in renovations, and more homeowners are reaching out to professionals on Houzz for help making their kitchens work better, most often within the same layout and square footage.”

The focus remained heavily on adding storage in the kitchen, while other upgrades like kitchen light fixtures and appliances decreased have over this past year, the study found.

Margaret Wright Photography © Houzz

Here are additional highlights from Houzz’s kitchen study:

  • Bolder island colors: Forty-one percent of renovators differentiated their island cabinet color from the colors in the rest of the kitchen. Blue and gray are the top choices for nearly half of homeowners with contrasting island cabinets. However, only 13% chose these colors for their main wall cabinetry.
  • Trending cabinetry: Shaker-style and white cabinet doors continue to be the top choice among renovators, despite decreasing in favor by five percentage points compared to last year.
  • Added built-ins: Renovations for cabinetry also tended to include built-in specialty organizers, drawers, or trays. The most popular organizers in the kitchen installed are for cookie sheets and spices, the study finds. The most common specialty drawers included are pullout waste or recycling drawers. More than a third of kitchen renovations also included specialty shelving trays, such as revolving trays (such as Lazy Susans) or pullout or swing-out trays.
  • Not so open: The number of homeowners renovating their kitchen spaces that created an open concept floor plan by opening up their kitchen to other spaces in the home has dropped significantly over the past year (53% in 2019 to 43% in 2021). But one in five homeowners is opening up their kitchen to outdoor space (22%).
  • Appliances added to the island: Nearly two-thirds of homeowners renovating their kitchens add in an island, and more than half added an appliance to the island. The most popular appliances to include within the island are a dishwasher and microwave.
  • Hardwood appeal wanes: Hardwood flooring dropped from the top-choice for flooring to number 2, behind ceramic or porcelain tile this year. Vinyl continues to grow more popular; 19% of renovators chose vinyl or resilient flooring last year, up 5 percentage points compared to 2019.
  • Neutrals dominate: Neutral tones like gray, white, and beige on wall surfaces continue to dominate. Owners are adding in some color but reserving those color punches for multicolored backsplashes or blue walls.
  • High-tech faucets and appliances: More than half of homeowners who upgraded their faucets and appliances sought more high-tech models. Wireless controls for appliances are gaining popularity.
  • Median expenditures: The median expenditure on a major kitchen remodel—in which all the cabinets and appliances are replaced—was $35,000 last year. The median spend for a minor remodel is about $8,000.

Source: “2021 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study,” Houzz (Jan. 12, 2021)