Today’s Kitchens: Watching Their Weight?
Posted by Steve Kleber on Oct 24, 2007
With 7.6 million kitchen remodels in 2007, up 200,000 from 2006, todayâ€™s homeowners continue to deem kitchen remodels a valuable investment. But do extensive makeovers remain a priority?Â With the current housing slump, are todayâ€™s kitchens really going on a diet?
Not exactly; in fact, todayâ€™s kitchens are feasting on professional grade options including high-performance, energy efficient appliances, flooring, and lighting, with an increased appetite for universally designed spaces that will endure with age. Although homeowners are more hesitant to pour money into their kitchens than they were during the high of the housing market, the focus on energy efficiency and universal design has many in the mood for an update, even if itâ€™s not a total overhaul.
They may be slimmer, but todayâ€™s kitchens are certainly not disappearing from plain view.
What do homeowners want in a kitchen remodel?
Incorporating energy efficient dishwashers, cooktops, and refrigerators, ambient and overhead lighting, and bamboo flooring, continue to provide a newly-remodeled kitchen with an aesthetically pleasing look and feel, while upping the resale potential of the home.Â
When attending the recent Remodeling Show in Las Vegas, it was clear that open floor plans were an essential priority for todayâ€™s homeowners. Also prevalent was the availability of universally designed options for the entire home. Creating a space that will last with age and increase resale value when the home goes on the market remains very important. A multitude of storage options including drawers placed in lower cabinets and those that hold pots, pans, silverware and cooking supplies in an organized fashion is increasingly appealing to todayâ€™s home gourmands.
Creating a space where the stove, refrigerator and sink are within easy reach is another must-have for a universally designed kitchen space. Countertops and specific areas to prep, wash, cut and clean will make even the most â€œordinaryâ€ kitchen the favorite room of the house. Specialty accessories and plumbing fixtures that mount on the walls or the backsplash of stoves provide easy access while ensuring the kitchen remains neat and organized.
Reflect the growing trends
For manufacturers of home related products, remember to create products that mirror the desires of todayâ€™s consumers â€“ energy is key! Improved energy efficiency throughout the entire home is a major concern that begins with the kitchen. We all feel the effects of soaring gas prices and area attuned to the requests for environmentally-friendly product innovation. Promotion of ecological best practices will capture the interest of todayâ€™s homeowners and generate success within the remodeling market.
Although the market for kitchen remodels continues to remain healthy and robustÂ , homeowners want unique enticements. Weâ€™ve heard about prominent builders offering to pay for closing costs, so it comes as no surprise that todayâ€™s remodelers and designers are offering their own financing options and creating their own loyalty programs. And thatâ€™s not a bad ideaâ€¦incentives are a great way to make homeowners more comfortable during the remodeling process and feel that they are getting added value. These incentives may even turn them into brand evangelists and repeat customers.
Healthy not just hefty kitchens
What we all want in the end is a healthy kitchen jam-packed with high-performance, functional attributes. Smart manufacturers and marketers are making themselves very familiar with consumer spending habits and adapting products, services, and marketing campaigns to reflect homeowner needs, while providing incentives to keep customers comfortable and content.
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