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Kitchen Renovations Spotlight Storage, Houzz Study Finds

The Houzz 2021 Kitchen Trends Study highlights 4X growth in cabinet additions during minor remodels; Ceramic and porcelain ceramic are the top choice for kitchen flooring. 

Palo Alto, Calif., January 12, 2021 – Kitchen storage is a priority item in home renovations, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a kitchen renovation, found that nearly all renovations included some work on cabinets (94 percent), with most replacing all cabinets (63 percent). Of the one-third of homeowners who opt for partial cabinet upgrades, more than a quarter add at least some cabinets to their newly renovated kitchen (28 percent), nearly four times as many as the previous year. The percentage of homeowners adding or upgrading a pantry space also grew, with nearly half of homeowners upgrading pantry cabinets and one in eight adding a walk-in pantry (46 and 13 percent, respectively), both up three percentage points from the previous year. Not all major features saw an increase in demand compared to the previous year, in fact, upgrades to light fixtures and appliances declined (74 and 51 percent in 2020, versus 79 and 56 percent in 2019, respectively). 

Kitchen Island with lots of wood cabinetry and tile floor
Kitchen storage is a priority item in home renovations, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. Photography: Becki Peckham

The median spend on major kitchen remodels, in which all of the cabinets and appliances are replaced, is $35,000, whereas median spend for all other minor remodels is $8,000. Homeowners renovating their kitchens are overwhelmingly choosing custom or semicustom cabinetry (76 percent). Shaker-style and white cabinet doors continue to be the leading choices despite having fallen in favor by five percentage points each since last year (57 and 41 percent in 2020, versus 63 and 46 percent in 2019, respectively). 

Cabinetry in renovated kitchens is often equipped with built-in specialty organizers, drawers or trays. The most popular organizers are for cookie sheets and spices (48 and 39 percent, respectively), while the most common specialty drawers are pullout waste or recycling drawers (60 percent). More than a third of kitchen renovations include specialty shelving trays, such as revolving trays, otherwise known as Lazy Susans, and pullout or swing-out trays (38 and 34 percent, respectively), making deep or hard-to-reach spaces more accessible.

“Storage has really come into focus as people have spent more time at home during the pandemic,” said 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.” 

More than four in five homeowners hire professional help for their kitchen renovations (85 percent), including general contractors, cabinetmakers and kitchen designers (49, 27 and 19 percent, respectively). To move projects forward safely during the pandemic, homeowners and pros rely on digital tools like those that Houzz Pro offers to communicate, share ideas, pay invoices and host video meetings. 

white kitchen with tile backsplash
Following last year’s spike in interest for hardwood flooring, it returned to the number two position, behind ceramic or porcelain tile (24 and 23 percent, respectively). Photography: Jason Snyder.

Additional insights from the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study include:

  • Changes in Openness: The number of renovating homeowners creating an open-concept floor plan by opening up their kitchen to other interior spaces has dropped dramatically since 2019 (43 percent in 2021 versus 53 percent in 2019). That said, one in five homeowners opens the kitchen up to outdoor space (22 percent), which is consistent with increased demand for outdoor home professionals on Houzz.*
  • Appliances in Islands Take Center Stage: Nearly two-thirds of renovated kitchens feature an island (63 percent) and more than half of those newly added or upgraded islands feature a new appliance (55 percent), up three percentage points from the previous year. Among these islands, more than a third include a dishwasher and/or microwave (34 and 33 percent, respectively).
  • Hardwood Flooring Steps Down, While Vinyl Steps Up: Following last year’s spike in interest for hardwood flooring, it returned to the number two position, behind ceramic or porcelain tile (24 and 23 percent, respectively). Vinyl continues to grow as a desired flooring material, with 19 percent of renovators choosing vinyl or resilient flooring in 2020, up five percentage points from the previous year, and now significantly more popular than engineered wood (14 percent).
  • Neutral with Hints of Color: Renovated kitchens continue to feature neutral tones of gray, white and beige on wall surfaces (28, 26 and 21 percent, respectively). That said, some homeowners are going for more colorful looks, including multicolored backsplashes, black stainless appliances and blue walls (18, 10 and seven percent, respectively). 
  • Faucets and Appliances Feature High-Tech: High-tech features appear in more than half of upgraded faucets and nearly one-third of upgraded appliances (53 and 29 percent, respectively). Popularity for appliances with wireless controls has grown by five percentage points since last year (19 percent in 2020 versus 14 percent in 2019).  

You can download the full 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study here.

Houzz has over 20 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, including completed bathroom projects, and more than 2.5 million active home remodeling and design professionals including kitchen and bath remodelers, kitchen and bath designers, architects and general contractors. The Houzz Shop offers millions of products, including items for the bathroom from showers and vanities to tile and linens.

The “U.S. Kitchen Trends Study” is an online survey fielded to U.S. Houzz users between June and July 2020. n=2,014.

*Data was gathered from “Houzz Reports Nearly 60 Percent Increase in Demand for Home Professionals,” August 2020.

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