“The Island Is a Crown Jewel of the Kitchen: Islands are a prominent feature in a renovated kitchen, with one in two homeowners opting to add a new island or upgrade an existing one. Storage and over-head lighting are the norm in upgraded islands (98% and 92%, respectively). Over half of islands house new appliances (52%) such as microwaves and dishwashers. Additionally, sizable proportions and standout colors make many islands pop. For example, gray and blue are top choices for 39% of contrasting island cabinets, while white and wood are top picks for 29% of contrasting island countertops.
Kitchen Spend Increases, Project Scope Retracts: Financial investment in kitchen projects continues to grow, with median spend on major remodels completed in mid-2019 at $35,000, up 17% from a year ago ($30,000). However, the breadth of kitchen renovations has declined for the second year in a row. For example, upgrades to countertops and sinks are not as widespread (89% and 83%, respectively) compared with two years ago (94% and 90%). Similar trends apply to opening the kitchen to other interior rooms and changing the layout or size.
Farmhouse Loses Steam, Full-Wall Backsplash Emerges: Transitional style, followed by contemporary style, continues to lead in popularity among homeowners changing their kitchen’s style (21% and 16%, respectively). The third most popular style is new, as modern style springs forward (15%) and farmhouse style loses steam (11%). In a surprising twist, homeowners who upgrade their backsplash are embracing a feature wall, installing the backsplash from the countertop all the way up to the ceiling (11%) or to the upper cabinets or range hood (63%). That said, neutral palettes still prevail in today’s upgraded kitchens.
Features on the Rise: Blue in kitchen walls is an emerging trend, appearing in 7% of upgraded kitchens (up from 5% last year). Hardwood returned to the No. 1 spot in flooring materials (29%), while vinyl/resilient flooring took the No. 3 spot (14%). After rapid gains in market share from 2016 to 2018, engineered quartz continued its rise in countertop materials but at a slower rate (to 51% versus 48% a