Homeowners That Stay Put During Kitchen Renovations Avoid Extreme Stress

2019 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study also highlights prevalence of home technologies.

Homeowners that stay put during kitchen renovations (66 percent) are less likely to experience extreme stress than those who move out, according to the 2019 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. The survey of over 1,300 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a kitchen project, found that those who move out of their homes completely (eight percent) are three times more likely to report extreme stress than those who stay (10 versus three percent, respectively). Interestingly, those who choose to partially move out (26 percent) regret this choice the most (23 percent), compared to those who completely move out or stay (14 and 16 percent, respectively).

The majority of homeowners who choose to stay in their homes during kitchen renovations set up an alternative cooking station or dining area inside the home (62 and 43 percent, respectively). That said, a surprising one in five homeowners make no changes to their routine (22 percent). Among those who completely move out of their homes, the most popular options include staying with family or friends, taking a vacation or trip and staying in a hotel or motel.

Whether the homeowner stays or goes during their project, installing the latest technology is key to many kitchen renovations. More than half of upgraded faucets are high tech (57 percent), boasting water efficiency, no-fingerprint coating and/or touch-free activation. Other high tech features such as wireless controls in upgraded appliances and home assistants in upgraded electronics are growing in popularity. When it comes to appliance finish, black stainless steel is no longer a rarity, appearing now in one of every 10 upgraded kitchens.

Trending kitchen styles, features and finishes:

  • Farmhouse Style Gains Popularity: Among the 82 percent of renovating homeowners who change the style of their kitchen, farmhouse has seen steady gains, now nearly tying with contemporary for the second most popular style (14 versus 15 percent, respectively). Transitional still tops the list at 21 percent.
  • Mixed Finishes Abound: More than half of homeowners mix metal finishes across fixtures and hardware (54 percent). Among matched finishes, brushed or satin nickel is by far the top choice (44 percent). Those that mix finishes also favor nickel, although many opt for oil-rubbed bronze or brushed or satin black finish for door hardware and lighting fixtures.
  • Gray Cabinets Break Through: While white cabinets maintain their prevalence (43 percent), one in ten homeowners choose gray (11 percent). Those who select gray cabinets are significantly more likely to pair them with brushed or satin nickel door hardware (52 percent) than those with white or wood cabinets.
  • White and Quartz Countertops Trending: Among the 93 percent who upgrade countertops, engineered quartz surpassed all of the natural stone materials combined in popularity (48 versus 43 percent, respectively), as granite continues a multi-year decline (40, 34, and 30 percent in 2017, 2018, and 2019 studies, respectively). White counters continue to trend up, representing nearly one in three upgraded countertops (22, 27, and 31 percent, respectively).
  • Floored by Engineered Materials: Among the 69 percent who update flooring, only a quarter opt for natural hardwood, a significant decline from recent years (32, 30, and 24 percent in 2017, 2018, and 2019 studies, respectively). Instead, engineered flooring, such as engineered wood, vinyl and laminate, has become nearly twice as popular (40 percent).
  • Addressing Aging Needs: When deciding to remodel, aging in place is top of mind among over a third of baby boomers (37 percent). Those addressing aging are more likely to make their kitchens larger and more open and equip them with in-cabinet lighting, cooktops, wall ovens, touch-free faucets, and stone flooring.

“This year’s study illuminates a number of prominent trends in today’s kitchen,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Engineered materials are clearly taking over natural stone in countertops and flooring. Thanks in part to the versatility of these materials, white continues to dominate the kitchen, from cabinets to countertops and walls. Finally, rapid advances in wireless and voice technology are transforming some kitchens into ‘air-traffic-control’ centers of the home.”

Motivations for starting kitchen renovations have been surprisingly dynamic over the years. Reasons that signal pent-up renovation needs, such as “no longer being able to stand the kitchen” and “finally having the means,” continue to decline year over year. In contrast, customizing ”a recent home purchase” has remained a steady trigger of kitchen renovations (29 to 31 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019 studies). Spend has also increased, coming in at $11,000 for a median kitchen renovation and $33,000 median spend for a major renovation of a large kitchen (more than 200 square feet), both a 10 percent increase from last year.

Given this financial investment, it’s not surprising that eight in 10 kitchen renovators hire a professional for their project (83 percent), with general contractors and kitchen remodelers topping the list (50 and 11 percent, respectively). One in five hire specialty service providers (19 percent), such as electricians or plumbers directly, without a general contractor.

Learn More. Read the full 2019 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study here.