Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Keeping An Eye on Kitchen Trends

I’m not one to take design advice from the folks at Fortune magazine, but they recently posted an article entitled “The Home Renovations That Will Deliver The Biggest Bang For Your Buck“.  After reading it, I am still not one to take design advice from the folks at Fortune magazine.

The problem I have with the article is that it really isn’t about making sound financial decisions when renovating. It is about paying attention to trends, which is a different thing altogether. This article is about what kitchen and bath trends are currently fading and what trends might take their place. According to the most recent information I have for the San Francisco Bay Area, which is for 2014, there are few renovations you can make to a home that will make you more money on resale than you invested. There are exceptions to this, for instance if you are flipping a complete dog of a house, remodeling the kitchen might make a big difference, but, depending on the house, it may not.

Many of the trends mentioned in the article as likely to continue are, in my experience, already peaking and on their way out. The all white kitchen was very popular in 2013 and 2014, but I’m hearing lots of negative chatter about “another all white kitchen”. Most of my clients are still asking for stainless steel appliances and shudder at the thought of all white or all black appliances.

Some of the trends, like the alternative opening methods for ovens, microwaves, and cabinets are going to be long lived. They are designed to make it easier for older people to use the appliances and cabinets, but they are often just better solutions.

My general advice is that if you are renovating to resell the property, pay attention to what is current – but not trendy. For example, yes granite is now considered passe, so you may want to look at quartz or recycled glass composites, or plastic laminate (which is actually a very “green” and sustainable solution). But, if you are going to live in the house for more than 4 or 5 years after the renovation pick materials you like. If you like stainless steel appliances in an all white kitchen, go for it. Don’t worry too much about what is trendy. Keep things classic, functional, and good looking and your kitchen will always be appropriate and a good investment.

For more information about renovating your kitchen, check out my free ebook!

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