Clean it up: Top kitchen trends for 2018

The biggest trend in kitchen remodels is tidiness, according to Houzz’s survey of more than 1,700 homeowners.

By Pat Setter

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The biggest trend in kitchen remodels is tidiness, according to Houzz’s survey of more than 1,700 homeowners who use the site nationwide and either are planning a remodel, are in the process or have just completed an update.

The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that for 75 percent of the homeowners, decluttering their counters was the No. 1 priority. That was followed by 66 percent who wanted to put things away and 49 percent who focused on recycling.

For their new kitchens, homeowners wanted pullout waste bins, utensil and dish organizers, and wine bars.

Even microwaves are getting put away, said Tara Ryan, president and CEO of the design firm Ryan Young Interiors. The appliances are being built into lower cabinets with a pullout drawer design.

The trend in tidiness translates into making storage a priority in today’s kitchen function. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed chose storage as the No. 1 function concern, followed by space planning (38 percent), entertaining (32 percent) and cleanliness (32 percent).

For additional storage and countertop space, 39 percent of homeowners are adding islands. Islands have become an essential part of the kitchen, which might be one reason why homeowners now prefer L-shaped kitchens to U-shaped ones. (Galley and single-wall kitchens are also gaining ground.)

Oversized light fixtures above the island to create a focal point are becoming an increasingly popular design trend, Ryan said.

According to the Houzz survey, homeowners prefer transitional or contemporary styles and Shaker cabinets for their kitchen, although European cabinets with sleeker finishes are trending, Ryan said. White continues to rule for backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes, according to the study.

For countertops, engineered quartz has become the favorite material as granite continues to decline in popularity. Counters are the most common major upgrade and the most common “splurged on” item, according to the survey.

And when it comes to technology in the kitchen, fewer homeowners are installing televisions, while more are adding voice-activated home assistants and smart appliances that are voice-controlled or wirelessly activated.