Is 2018 a Good Year for Home Improvements?

According to a survey recently conducted by RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, American homeowners are poised to spend on home improvements this year.

66% of homeowners overall agree that 2018 is a good time to invest in their homes. This attitude is even more prevalent among younger homeowners, with 78% of millennial homeowners agreeing that this is a good year for improvements.

2018 is a good year for home improvements most popular feature updated are kitchen countertops
Is 2018 a Good Year for Home Improvements? | Design by Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith of Coastal Cabinet Works

Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in Home Improvements

The most popular feature to upgrade in home improvements for the kitchen are countertops. This data was found by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Their 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study surveyed over 1,700 homeowners.

In addition, 500 kitchen dealers and designers across the U.S. and Canada were recently surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News magazine for insight on most desired surfacing traits, views on the importance of surfacing and more. Survey says that 77.6% of designers believe countertops are extremely important to the overall look of the kitchen. Additionally, 58.3% of designers think countertops are extremely important to the functionality of the kitchen.

Countertops are seen as a worthwhile investment, and this view continues to grow. Specifically if the countertops are both beautiful and durable. This is why many homeowners choose wood countertops for home improvements in the kitchen.

View the Image Library for design inspiration for home improvements or visit the Countertop Design Guide to learn more about the copious wood countertop options available.

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Counter Intuitive

A kitchen counter has long been a anchor of kitchen design, and can offer a dramatic focal point, splash of color, textural interest, sense of warmth or visual contrast.

Counter Intuitive Surfacing Material Traits and Trends
Counter Intuitive | Design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen & Bath Design News magazine recently surveyed over 500 kitchen dealers and designers across the U.S. and Canada. The survey looked at material trends, including most desired surfacing traits, views on the importance of surfacing regarding design and functionality of the kitchen, and what percentage of their kitchen remodeling budgets dealers’ and designers’ clients devote to surfacing.

The growing role of the kitchen has expanded the functional role of countertops from durable food prep surfaces to multi-functional places for cooking, eating, entertaining and more.

77.6% of designers/dealers rate the importance of countertops to the look of the overall kitchen extremely important. 58.3 of designers/dealers rate the importance of countertops to kitchen functionality extremely important.

52% of the kitchen remodeling budget is spent on counters, as they are  increasingly being viewed as a worthwhile investment, particularly if they are beautiful, durable and long lasting.

What adds value to a countertop? The top three desired aspects are durability, beauty and ease of maintenance. Other desired countertop qualities cited included fits with overall design, color pattern options and a classic look that won’t get dated too quickly. Most desired aspects of surfacing materials include:

  • • Durability
  • • Beauty
  • • Low maintenance
  • • Affordability
  • • Fits with overall design
  • • Color/pattern options
  • • Classic look/won’t get dated quickly
  • • Fits with overall kitchen
  • • Unique look
  • • Trendy
  • • Creative fabrication options
  • • Flexibility

 

Clients’ top concerns with choosing counters:

  • • Price
  • • Damage from stains/scratches/heat/wear and tear
  • • Maintenance requirements
  • • Color/pattern going out of style too quickly
  • • Not getting something that looks unique/personalized
  • • Not looking “real”
  • • Natural imperfections
  • • Fabrication concerns

 

Wood is Counter Intuitive

Wood is counter intuitive because it contains all of the most desired aspects of surfacing materials including durability, beauty and low maintenance. Wood is trendy and classic at the same time. No matter how old a wood counter is, it looks right in the design. Durata® Finish can be applied to wood counters so no maintenance is required. Each wood countertop is custom made to the clients’ specifications, so each top is something unique and personalized. Visit glumber.com to learn more about wood counters.

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Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in a Kitchen Renovation

Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, surveyed more than 1,700 homeowners doing a kitchen renovation as part of its 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study. In addition to other things, the study asked what features homeowners are upgrading in their kitchens.

Survey respondents had completed a kitchen project in the previous 12 months, were working on one or planned to start one in the next three months. Their responses provide insight into what is currently trending in American kitchens.

 

Most Popular Feature to Upgrade in a Kitchen Renovation are Countertops
Major Upgraded Kitchen Features | Image Source: Houzz

As this graph shows, the most popular feature to upgrade in a kitchen renovation are the countertops. Countertops are the most common splurges during kitchen renovations, whereas homeowners tend to save on flooring, backsplash and lighting fixtures. This makes sense, as countertops are so much more than just a surface. Countertops create spaces for entertaining and spending time with family and friends.

Butcher blocks and wood slabs rank third in the top five popular choices in countertop materials, following natural stone and engineered quartz. However, these materials are often mixed together to create the perfect kitchen countertop flow.

While stone and quartz are beautiful in appearance, they are naturally cold, hard surfaces. Wood is a naturally warm, comforting material that is commonly used for food preparation or seating areas.

Countertop Materials in a Kitchen Renovation include a Walnut Butcher Block and Marble
Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs, this kitchen features a Walnut butcher block for a food prep station and a marble countertop for the kitchen island.

The countertop design guide on our website includes an image library, showcasing countertop inspiration for a kitchen renovation by some of the industry’s best designers. Click here to view the library!

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Gray Kitchen Walls Gain Popularity in 2018 Designs

Gray kitchen walls are gaining popularity in 2018 designs, according to the results of Houzz’s 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study. Each year, Houzz surveys American homeowners that have either completed a kitchen project, were working on a kitchen project, or planned to start a kitchen project in the next three months. The responses from over 1,700 homeowners provided insight into what is trending in kitchens this year.

Gray Kitchen Walls Gain Popularity in 2018 Designs
Most Popular Kitchen Wall Color Choices | Image Source: Houzz

27 percent of homeowners chose gray for the color of the walls in their renovated kitchens, making it the most popular wall color. Other neutrals topped the list with white at 24 percent and beige at 21 percent.

Designs with Gray Kitchen Walls

The cool tones in variations of grays are complemented by warm tones in wood countertops, which is why the industry’s best designers always incorporate wood into gray kitchens.

Gray Kitchen Walls walnut wood countertop white cabinets in a design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs
Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

This transitional kitchen designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs features gray walls, white cabinetry and a Walnut wood kitchen island countertop. The wood countertop ties in the wood flooring and brings warmth to the space.

Gray Kitchen Walls in contemporary kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Design by Paul Bentham for Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

A Rift White Oak wood half parsons table was designed by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath for this contemporary kitchen with light gray walls. The wood table ties in the wood floor, just like in the previously pictured kitchen, adding warmth to this otherwise monotone space.

Check out the Grothouse Image Library to see more designs with gray kitchen walls. Be sure to like @grothouseinc on Instagram for daily kitchen design inspiration!

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