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Median spend on minor renovations increased by 40% year over year, while spend for major renovations of large kitchens remained flat following significant growth in the past two years

Houzz Study Finds Sustainability Is Key to Kitchen Renovations in 2023

Houzz Inc. released the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study that found that homeowners engaging in kitchen renovations overwhelming want to incorporate sustainable features in their remodels with. Popular choices for sustainable features include LED bulbs (65%), energy-efficient appliances (61%), water-efficient fixtures (34%) and energy-efficient windows (27%). While the most frequently cited reason for incorporating sustainable options is “long-run cost-effectiveness” (74%), making choices that are environmentally friendly is also top of mind for more than half of renovating homeowners (54%) the study found. 

“Homeowners are gravitating towards sustainable choices during kitchen renovations, and it is interesting to see the intersection of economics and environmental concerns. The most frequent reason behind choosing sustainable options is long-run cost effectiveness, with environmental-friendliness as a secondary consideration,” says Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist. “In addition, homeowners continue to invest in their kitchens with major and minor remodels. We are seeing a significant increase in the median spend for minor remodels, when homeowners partially upgrade their cabinets or appliances, and may tackle plumbing or electrical issues.”

On the design front, open kitchens made a significant gain, in contrast to last year’s dip. Forty percent of renovating homeowners are making their kitchens more open to interior spaces, up from 38% last year, and 20% are making kitchens more open to the outdoors. When opening kitchens to interiors, most homeowners completely open the space with no wall separation (61%), although this is down four percentage points from last year. The most common ways to open kitchens to the outdoors include double doors or a row of doors (46%), a single door (29%) or a pass-through window (14%).

Additional insights from the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study:

Style changes widespread: Consistent with past years, more than four in five homeowners change the style of their kitchens during renovations (83%). Transitional remains the top style choice for renovated kitchens in 2023, down two points from last year. Contemporary style also saw a decrease of three percentage points to 12%, making it the third most popular style, trailing modern (14%). Farmhouse style saw a gain of one percentage point to 11%, and traditional increased by two points to 11%.

Cabinet style shift: While shaker-style cabinet doors remain the most popular choice for kitchens, the percentage of homeowners choosing them is three points lower this year than last year (61%). In contrast, flat-panel doors are on the upswing, with one in five (20%) renovators opting for them, up three points from last year. When it comes to cabinet pulls, bar pulls are by far the most popular (72%), followed by knobs (34%) and cup pulls (10%). Six percent chose no cabinet pulls at all.

Wood cabinets gain popularity: White cabinets remain most popular in renovated kitchens (40%), followed by wood-toned cabinets, which saw a three percentage point gain to 24%. Among the 46% of homeowners who install contrasting island cabinet colors, blue and gray saw slight declines (24% from 26% in 2022, and 15% from 18% in 2022, respectively). Meanwhile, black, medium wood and dark wood saw increases for contrasting islands (12% up from 10%, 12% up from 10%, and 11% up from 6%, respectively).

Recessed lights rising: In renovated kitchens, recessed lights gained six percentage points this year to claim the No. 1 spot from under-cabinet lights, with 72% of renovators choosing them. Interestingly, however, under-cabinet lights also gained favor, rising by three percentage points to come in a close second (70%). Pendant lights saw a slight decline of three percentage points compared to last year. While pendant lights remain the most popular over-island choice (64%), recessed lights saw an increase of five percentage points from last year (35% from 30% in 2022).

Electronic upgrades abound: Electronics are seeing an increase in popularity in the kitchen, including docking stations (up nine percentage points to 49%), wireless speakers (up 11 percentage points to 37%) and stereo systems (up 10 percentage points to 20%). Meanwhile, 51% of homeowners install faucets with high-tech features, such as water efficiency (24%) and touch-only/touch-free activation (23%); and 39% install appliances with high-tech features, including Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone/tablet controls (25% and 24%, respectively).

Kitchen usage is varied: While the majority of homeowners (96%) use the kitchen for cooking, they also eat (71%), bake (69%), entertain (57%) and socialize (46%) there. Nearly a quarter of homeowners (23%) also work from their kitchen, which remains relatively unchanged since 2019. One in three homeowners report that their lifestyle is healthier post-renovation (31%), and 68% report no change in healthy habits.

Sargsyan shares additional insights into economic trends in 2023 here.

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