After another weekend of HGTV binge watching — yes, our family might have a problem — my youngest son professed his love for kitchen islands, but not necessarily for the kitchen. “It would be great for homework and stuff,” said the precocious 8-year-old. “In the cabinets, I’d put my fanny pack, perfect tests and probably gum … if there’s room.”

Ah, a boy can dream. Here are some more realistic kitchen remodeling trends to watch, according to a recent Houzz.com market study:

Kitchens serve multiple purposes: Renovating homeowners not only cook but entertain, socialize and do work there. Nearly two-thirds spend three or more hours in the kitchen per day. “We do a lot of kitchens with large islands,” says award-winning designer Shelley Tanner of John Cook Kitchens. “People want their kitchens to be a good place to hang out – entertaining friends, homework with the kids, whatever.”

It’s about flow: Half report kitchens are more open to other indoor spaces as a result of updates; 65 percent of renovated kitchens are open to outdoor spaces. Some even take that a step further and build outdoor kitchens, which can be a challenge here in Hawaii. “We have a beautiful climate, but it’s also one of the most corrosive spots on Earth. There’s no mercy,” says Glenda Anderson of Details International, which offers Danver and Brown Jordan outdoor cabinets, a stainless steel line powder coated to withstand the elements. “Nobody wants to be trapped inside. These cabinets make it possible to have a great kitchen and be outside.”

Expanding kitchen features: Many are adding dining tables, chandeliers, TVs and desks/workspaces, as well as wine refrigerators and built-in stations for coffee/tea. “A lot of homeowners want a ton of features in their new kitchens,” Tanner says. “I’ve seen people spend $50,000 on just their appliances.”

New kitchen, new style: Three in four homeowners are changing the styles of their kitchen during updates, with many adopting transitional or contemporary styles. “We do a lot of projects with that modern, contemporary look – everything gray with white counters, floating shelves, lift-up wall cabinets,” says Tanner. “I think sometimes people go more for look than function.”

Take it easy,

Tom Kunz, Editor
tomk@hawaiihomemag.com

 

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