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Top 5 Takeaways From the 2021 US Houzz Kitchen Trends Report

Cabinets, cooking, and outdoor connections rule 2021 kitchen trends. Here’s what that means for remodels. 

January 26, 2021
white kitchen with island, pendant lights, and cabinetry

Margaret Wright Photography © Houzz

What kitchen design trends should you have your eyes on in 2021? Houzz has released its 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, and the pandemic has definitely affected some of the results. 

Houzz surveyed over 2,000 Houzz members during June and July of 2020 to get a pulse on homeowner preferences during a remodel. Here’s what they found:

How are homeowners using their kitchens differently in 2021?

Remember when everyone was baking sourdough bread? A spike in baking actually showed up on the report, with 69% of respondents saying they use their kitchen for baking, versus only 60% in the 2020 report. This is the largest change of all the use-case categories, including cooking (+3%), entertaining (-1%), and eating/dining (no change). Nearly all respondents (97%) use their kitchens to cook after the renovation. Functionality really is the name of the game, which brings us to the largest takeaway: storage, storage, storage. 

storage in cabinetsStorage is king for the coming year. 

Cabinetry is hot for 2021—perhaps to house all products and baking tools stress-bought during the pandemic. 

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

Ninety-four percent of homeowners chose to partially upgrade (31%) or fully replace (63%) their cabinets. Of those who opted for partial cabinet upgrades, over one-fourth of those surveyed added more cabinets to their kitchen, which is nearly four times as many during 2019. Interest in both walk-in closets (13%) and pantry cabinets (46%) rose three percentage points from last year, and over three-fourths of renovators went with custom or semi-custom cabinetry. 

Three storage-solution rising stars to remember: deep drawers, pull-out recycling, and swing-out cabinetry to optimize hard-to-reach spaces.

White and beige are still in, but organic shades and accent colors abound

The HGTV-staple, white cabinetry, retains its crown for the most popular choice for cabinet color (41%), but its popularity dropped a full five percentage points from 2020's report. Meanwhile, multicolored (9%) and medium wood (13%) rose three percentage points each. This is in line with a trend toward warm, organic colors and accents. Though a vast majority of appliances are stainless steel in color, multicolored appliances (2%) rose a full percentage point, while gray shades (1%) dropped a percentage point. 

Is this the death of open-concept kitchen designs?

In 2019, over half of homeowners wanted the trendy open-concept kitchen, but now, only 43% reported pursuing an open-concept design for kitchens planned for or currently in progress during 2020-2021. Although open concept designs were already on the decline in the 2020 Houzz report, the style dropped another 3 percentaopen concept kitchenge points during the pandemic. This finding is in line with the speculation that open-concept is falling out of favor as people grapple with close living quarters during the quarantine. 

But a decline in open-concept kitchens hasn’t stopped homeowners from opening up their kitchen to the outdoors. According to the report, one in five homeowners opted to include some outdoor connection in the design, which is a slight increase from 2020. Over half of homeowners who include an outdoor connection go with double doors or a series of doors. Other popular options include single doors and pass-through windows. 

What materials are rising in popularity for 2021?

The largest shakeup in materials in the 2021 Houzz Trends Report is the dip in interest for hardwood (23% of homeowners chose this material for the remodel), a six-percentage point drop, and the rise in vinyl (19%), up 6 percentage points from 2019.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top material choices for renovations:

  • Backsplashes: Ceramic or porcelain tile (54%)
  • Countertops: Quartz (40%)
  • Flooring: Ceramic or porcelain tiles (26%)
  • Appliances: Stainless steel (70%)

Want to see all the 2021 insights? Read the full report here.

 

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