November 24, 2013

10 kitchen remodeling trends

When renovating, consider what will appeal to a broad range of future homebuyers.

By Marilyn Kalfus
McClatchy Newspapers

SANTA ANA, Calif. — When Michelle and Jon Christy bought their 1980s-era home in North Tustin, Calif., much of the residence already was remodeled.

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Michelle Christy's recently remodeled kitchen in North Tustin, Calif., features a large island and new appliances plus three sinks.

McClatchy Newspapers

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Homeowners today want a professional-grade range ...

Courtesy Viking

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Except for the kitchen. It was dated. And it was olive green.

“I wanted to lighten up the kitchen, because the kitchen had been dark,” Michelle Christy said. “I thought white cabinets would give it a nice, clean, crisp look.”

They didn’t stop there. Today, with a demolition behind them, and new Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances along with a spacious island, the couple’s kitchen is not just brighter, it also reflects several current trends in culinary design.

Nearly half of new homeowners undertaking a home improvement project within three months of buying a residence set their sights on a kitchen overhaul, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

The array of choices for big-ticket appliances to even a simple backsplash can be daunting. But people should consider what will appeal to a broad range of future homebuyers. Even a minor remodel can recoup most of the cost when the owners resell, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value report.

“You may have a hard time selling your house if it (the kitchen) is really ‘out there,’” said Debbie Nassetta, co-owner of Roomscapes, a home design firm in Newport Beach, Calif.

So what’s trendy, but at the same time, has some staying power?

Consider a survey released by Houzz, a popular home design and remodeling website based in Palo Alto, Calif. The site’s Fall Kitchen Trends study gathered responses from 7,812 homeowners either planning renovations or in the midst of them. Earlier this year, the National Kitchen & Bath Association came out with survey results from 300 of its member-designers.

The list below includes seven trends from the Houzz survey followed by three from the association. Some Orange County, Calif., kitchen designers also weighed in, as well as residents who’ve managed to wrap up their renovations, as it turns out, just in time for the holidays.

Here’s what’s hot:

1. Chef’s stoves. A professional-grade range – a stove with options such as a flat griddle or a cooktop to accommodate a searing pan or a wok – topped kitchen wish lists in the Houzz survey; 32 percent of respondents selected them as their dream appliance.

“What a consumer looks at, even if they don’t cook, is it looks cool,” Nassetta said.

Double ovens garnered 18 percent. Other high-end features such as induction cooktops, wine refrigerators and convection ovens seemed to matter far less. Only 4 percent of respondents considered warming drawers a priority.

2. Eco-friendly features. Nearly half of those surveyed – 49 percent – said using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchens is important.

While a variety of Energy Star-recommended appliances and green-certified building products are on the market, eco-friendly changes also can be as simple as using cloth rather than paper towels, replacing plastic containers with glass, or using non-toxic cleaners, Houzz contributors note.

3. Granite and quartz countertops. Most respondents – 94 percent – said they’re changing their countertops. Granite still rocks, topping the list at 50 percent, but quartz is a rising star, coming in at 36 percent. Marble only drew 10 percent. Tile got a paltry 2 percent.

Quartz countertops are resistant to stains and scratches and are easy to take care of, kitchen designers say. “They’re pretty bulletproof,” said Mike Close, president of Spinnaker Development in Newport Beach, which designs, builds and remodels custom homes.

David and Apryl Imboden went with Caesarstone, a quartz product, for the countertops as part of an extensive kitchen remodel on an Orange, Calif., house they bought in June. “With granite you’ve got to seal it and take care of it and can’t put certain things on the countertop,” David Imboden said. “I just wanted a countertop that you don’t have to think about.”

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... stainless appliances ...

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... granite countertops ...

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... and eco-friendly materials.



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