Houzz kitchen survey tracks transitional style’s popularity and trend

Our kitchens are going more transitional in style, and we’re mixing it up a lot more in our choice of materials, according to Houzz’s annual kitchen trends study.

Based on its online survey of people who remodeled kitchens in the second half of 2020 or were planning to tackle the project in the first half of 2021, homeowners clearly want more function, more color and more style in the room we call the heart of the home.

2020 may be remembered as a year of sudden, mass unemployment, but for those taking on home remodeling projects — contractors everywhere say they’re busier than ever — even more (40 percent, up from last year’s 37 percent) said they started renovations because they can finally afford it. Some 35 percent said they simply “couldn’t stand” the old kitchen; 30 percent said their old kitchens had just deteriorated and 28 percent were updating or personalizing a home they’d just purchased.

The most popular upgrades — in both large and small projects — was adding new counters (88 percent) and backsplash tile (83 percent). Sinks (80 percent), plumbing fixtures (79 percent), lighting (74 percent) and flooring (65 percent) were also popular.

Cost savings were evident, though, with more people opting to paint existing cabinets and replace their doors instead of installing all new cabinets. Other cutbacks came with homeowners scaled back on new appliances, lighting grades and wall finishes.