New kitchens lead to healthier lifestyles

For many, a new kitchen means a healthier lifestyle, according to the 2017 Houzz UK Kitchen Trends Survey. The survey of over 3,100 UK homeowners using Houzz, who are in the midst of, are planning or recently completed a kitchen renovation project revealed that more than a third of kitchen updaters report a healthier lifestyle post-renovation (35%).

Houzz, the leading platform for home renovation and design, found that 43% of those surveyed, cook more meals at home as a result of their kitchen upgrade, with nine in ten enjoying five or more home-cooked meals per week (91%). Other significant habit changes post-renovation include eating more fruit and vegetables (23%) and reducing the amount of takeaway and delivery meals, as a third boast that they are ordering in less (36%).

Open-plan living remains popular, with over half of kitchens more open to nearby rooms following renovations (59%). Nearly two thirds of kitchens also gain square footage during updates (63%). With these larger spaces, homeowners spend more time with their families (69%) and entertain more frequently (51%).

Along with these positive lifestyle impacts, the majority of kitchen updates also include a style change (88%). Contemporary tops the kitchen style list for UK homeowners (56%), with traditional and country styles trailing behind (10% and 7%, respectively). Neutral colour schemes are preferred in the majority of kitchen upgrades, with white (50%), grey (18%) and beige (12%) the top three wall colour choices. Green and blue, however, only make  modest appearances on new kitchen walls (5% and 4%, respectively).

The most popular features to replace or upgrade in a kitchen renovation are cabinets (93%), worktops (93%) and taps (90%). Of the 89% investing in appliances, more than four fifths opt for a dishwasher (82%) and fridge/freezers (78%). Among the more unusual appliances, homeowners are choosing boiling water taps (24%) warming drawers (18%) and drink fridges (16%). Many who are upgrading their appliances also opt for hi-tech features such as colour touch-screen displays (17%) and wireless controls via smartphone or tablet (12%). With such substantial investments, it’s unsurprising that kitchens command big budgets; more than one in 10 homeowners spent over £50K on their kitchen renovation in 2016 (16%) and another 22% spent between £25k and £50k.

“Houzz research has shown that the majority of kitchen renovations are unlikely to be motivated by the desire to improve a home’s resale value,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “With the growing trend of homeowners staying put, the return on investment from a kitchen renovation is less tangible, instead measured in healthier habits, personalised spaces and more face-time with family and friends.”

Additional findings include:

  • Popular pantries: When it comes to built-in features, 40% of kitchen updaters are installing pantry cabinets and nearly one in 10 make space for a walk-in pantry (9%). More than a quarter of homeowners purchase a built-in wine fridge for their renovated kitchens (29%).
  • Professional hiring remains high: The majority of homeowners hire professionals for their kitchen renovations (93%), including tradesmen (70%), kitchen fitters (49%) and kitchen designers (47%).
  • Warming up to wood: Among those updating flooring in kitchen renovations, engineered wood is the preferred flooring choice in 16% of updated kitchens, behind porcelain or ceramic tiles (30%). Of those upgrading worktops in kitchen renovations, 16% opt for a butcher’s block or wood slab and 15% of new worktops sport a medium-wood hue.
  • Classic colours: Colours that stand the test of time continue to be popular including stainless steel appliances (47%) and white cabinets (31%). Black stainless steel is having a moment and will be included in nearly one in ten of updated kitchens (9%).

You can download the full Houzz UK Kitchen Trends Study here.