Open-Concept Kitchens Bounce Back, Houzz Study Finds

Published: January 24, 2024

This article was originally published on January 24, 2024; it was updated on January 30, 2024.

Open-Concept Kitchens Bounce Back, Houzz Study Finds

Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home remodeling and design, including the all-in-one software solution for industry professionals, today released the 2024 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. The kitchen trends survey of more than 3,400 respondents found that interest in open-concept kitchens is returning following the pandemic. A growing number of homeowners make their kitchens more open to other interior spaces (43%, compared with just 38% of those who renovated in 2021) and to the outdoors (23%, compared with 18% of those who renovated in 2021). Among homeowners making their kitchens more open to nearby interiors, nearly two-thirds remove any wall separation (64%) and a quarter choose double doors, a row of doors or a wide opening (25%).

Improving functionality is the driving force behind creating an open-concept space (64%), while 54% of renovating homeowners want to enhance their entertaining space and 47% simply appreciate the layout’s aesthetic. The majority of open-concept kitchens share similar flooring and wall colors with neighboring rooms (79% and 61%, respectively).

“We’re seeing a return to more open-concept spaces following a brief drop in interest during the pandemic when people sought separation and privacy from other household members,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist. “Creating a more open kitchen appeals to homeowners for both functional and aesthetic reasons, but doing so may impact the project’s overall budget, requiring more technical changes, such as modifying walls and changing the layout.”

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Among renovating homeowners, 45% reconstruct the kitchen’s layout and 43% upgrade systems. The share of renovating homeowners making other structural changes like modifying kitchen walls (39%) and completely changing the kitchen’s location (7%) grew by 3 points each. One in 7 renovating homeowners modify the kitchen ceiling (13%) and 5% modify the flooring by reframing or adjusting the height. Homeowners often turn to home professionals for assistance with more technical projects. In fact, more than 4 in 5 homeowners rely on professional help during a kitchen renovation (84%).

General contractors are the professionals most commonly hired for kitchen renovations (55%), followed by cabinetmakers, which are at a four-year high (35% in 2024 versus 26% in 2020). One-third of homeowners hire kitchen designers and remodelers (33%). Nearly 1 in 5 homeowners hires one or more pros directly, without relying on a project manager.

Along with growing substantial structural changes to the kitchen, the median spend on kitchen remodels is up 22% from the previous year to $55,000 for homeowners undertaking major remodels. This reflects a 57% growth since mid-2020, when the median spend on major remodels was $35,000. The median spend on minor remodels continues to increase as well. It was $18,000 in mid-2023, increasing by 29% year over year, and has more than doubled since mid-2020, when it was $8,000. Despite the rising costs, homeowners are saving up for these projects, with 36% of renovating homeowners citing having financial means as a key motivator for starting their kitchen update.

Kitchen Trends At-A-Glance

Additional insights from the 2024 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study include:

  • Bigger islands: More than 2 in 5 homeowners opt for islands that are 7 feet or longer (42%), which has increased by 10 points since 2020. Islands that are less than 6 feet long are losing popularity, down 5 points year over year. This may coincide with homeowners’ reported usage of islands for entertaining and socializing post-renovation (54% and 44%, respectively).
  • A pop of cabinetry color: White continues to be the most common cabinetry color (46%), up 6 points year over year, but wood and green both inched up by 1 percentage point each (25% and 4%, respectively). Despite a slight dip in popularity as a primary cabinet color (4%), blue remains a top pick for island cabinets that are a different color than the main cabinets (25%). Green also saw a jump in popularity for island cabinets that contrast from the main cabinets (10%, up from 5% in 2023).
  • High-tech appliances: More homeowners prefer to replace all appliances during a renovation (54%), rather than just a few (34%). Homeowners are increasingly opting for appliances with high-tech capabilities, showing a 5-point increase to 44%. Nearly a third of homeowners now choose appliances with Wi-Fi connectivity (30%) and some prefer those controllable via smartphones and tablets (29%), both figures rising by 5 percentage points. Interest in features like touch-screen displays, smart-home connectivity, and built-in apps and cameras has also grown compared to last year.
  • Backsplashes that reach new heights: Homeowners overwhelmingly choose to replace backsplashes during kitchen renovations (86%), up 2 points since last year. Backsplashes most commonly extend to the cabinets or range hood (62%); however, 1 in 10 extends up to the ceiling (10%). The most popular backsplash material is ceramic or porcelain tile (54%), followed by engineered quartz (11%). Homeowners also choose natural stone, such as marble, quartzite and granite (9%, 6% and 4%, respectively).
  • Design with longevity in mind: Among renovating homeowners addressing special needs in the kitchen, the most common reason is to accommodate aging household members’ future and current needs (36% and 27%, respectively). Functional elements incorporated for this purpose include pullout cabinets, extra lighting and wide drawer pulls (58%, 54% and 48%, respectively). Safety features are also a priority, including nonslip flooring and rounded countertops (37% and 34%, respectively).

You can download the full 2024 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study here.

Photo credit: Design by Nuela Designs; photo by Avery Nicole Photography

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