Current Kitchen Trends: How Has COVID-19 Affected Kitchen Remodeling?

Current kitchen trends, like many different facets of life, are a reflection of the lives we lead in our increasingly more complicated, more technological world. Collectively, we have to adapt our home lives to what’s going around us and this includes the massive changes to our lifestyles brought about by COVID-19. This is just one key finding of the recently released 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. This study polled homeowners across the country about their kitchen remodeling habits, and while many things have stayed the same, a few key things have changed.

More Time In The Kitchen Requires More Storage

There is no doubt that the lockdowns related to COVID-19 have changed the day-to-day lives of countless people. Whether due to unemployment or shifting to working remotely from home, people found themselves spending more time at home than ever before. Fears of contracting or spreading the virus has also prompted people to forgo restaurant meals for eating at home, which often means more cooking at home. This is reflected in kitchen renovation statistics, which saw a dramatic increase in the need for more storage space.

Compared to the previous year, almost four times as many remodelers who were upgrading their kitchen cabinetry opted to add more cabinets to their kitchens. Almost all of those who chose to remodel their kitchen (94%) decided to do some work on their cabinets while 63% of people chose to replace their cabinets altogether. Pantry space is also more important these days, with the number of pantry and walk-in pantry upgrades both increasing 3% from the year prior.

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Current Kitchen Trends Require Specialty Cabinets

In keeping with the years prior, homeowners who choose to remodel continue to equip their cabinets and pantries with built-in specialty organizers and drawers. It simply isn’t enough to have cabinet space; it must be accessible and easy to organize as well. Organizers for baking sheets and trays, spices, cutlery and the like continue to be popular. Deep drawers, pull-out recycling bins and Lazy Susans remain popular as well.

Kitchen Islands Mean More Storage & Work Space

Kitchen islands have also seen a surge in their unwavering popularity as more than half of homeowners added new islands or upgraded their current ones. Upwards of 98% of homeowners utilize their islands for storage space, with the majority opting to use cabinets with doors or drawers. Kitchen islands are not only used for storage, however, as their aesthetic appeal also comes into consideration during design. Contrasting cabinet and countertops for kitchen islands continue to remain on trend, while pendant lights shine as the preferred lighting choice for above the island.

As more time in the kitchen means more cooking and cleaning, it isn’t surprising that more homeowners are opting to add new appliances to their spaces to make things a bit easier. Of those who installed new islands or upgraded their old ones, more than half include a new kitchen appliance. Around 1 in 3 of these feature a microwave or dishwasher, while 1 in 4 include a garbage disposal.

Current Kitchen Trends Embrace High Tech

Kitchen trends have stepped firmly into the future with high tech, innovative appliances and upgrades becoming mainstays in more and more households. More than half of upgraded faucets and almost a third of upgraded appliances boast high-tech features. Upgraded faucets are more water efficient and offer cool features such as no-fingerprint coating and touch only/touch-free activation. Similarly, upgraded appliances are featuring more wireless controls such as speakers and touch-screen displays.

A Look Towards The Future

If current kitchen trends are any indications, more people are settling into their kitchen spaces and using them more regularly than they used to. This creates a desire to make time spent in the kitchen as seamless, efficient, and enjoyable as possible. Homeowners are anticipating needing more storage space that reflects their unique needs. They’re also embracing more technology inside of the kitchen as ordinary appliances such as faucets and dishwashers are becoming more advanced. While simplicity and versatility in design remain strong factors in remodeling decisions, designing a comfortable kitchen space that’s uniquely their own seems to be a driving motivation for remodeling homeowners.

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