What are homeowners planning for their next kitchens?

Top drivers among homeowners planning to change their kitchens are – a style update, more storage, accessibility, multifunctionality and sustainability.

These were just some of the findings in a new survey of 2,000 homeowners by German kitchen fittings specialist Häfele, which aims to provide its trade customers with insights into UK kitchen ownership trends that will help drives sales and marketing activity.

A change of style was the number one driver for change among homeowners surveyed, followed by improving the value of the home and a desire for more storage space.

Making their kitchen more accessible for an ageing family was also a top wish, with almost five times as many respondents in the East of England stating that as a priority, while sustainability was particularly important to those in London and Manchester.

The survey also showed that the average age of kitchens among respondents was nine years and three months, rising to 11 years in Wales. Londoners had the newest kitchens at just eight years old on average.

Most British homeowners, according to the poll, are planning to change their kitchens before 2027. Those in the South-East wanted a new kitchen in the next five years, but the most eager for change were those in Yorkshire and Humberside, who were looking to change within four years and eight months. Topping the list of those who strongly disliked their current kitchens were those in Manchester and Glasgow.

Looking at nation’s kitchens today, the survey showed that U-shaped layouts are most common, with islands being most popular in Northern Ireland. Galley kitchens are tops in Cardiff and Birmingham, while single-wall layouts are most common in London and Leeds.

London has the highest number of open-plan kitchens at just over half of those polled, although nationwide just under 60% of homes still have a kitchen separate from the rest of the house. Wales has the fewest number of open-plan kitchens at just 34%, followed by Yorkshire and Humberside at 34%.

Almost a third of kitchens are traditional in style, closely followed by ‘modern’ or ‘sleek’ at 29%. Wooden cabinets dominate (24.1%), followed by white (23.8%), while beige, cashmere and neutrals accounted for 21%.

London has the highest frequency of retro styling (10%), followed by Edinburgh and Southampton, with minimalist designs dominating in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Surprisingly, looking at how homeowners are using their kitchens, entertaining and socialising come sixth in every UK region, with cooking, baking, laundry, eating and cleaning the top answers.

In terms of their new kitchens, most respondents said they would opt for a modern or sleek aesthetic (44%). White, light grey, beige and wood were the most popular choices of cabinet colours. Those wanting stronger colours favoured dark grey, dark blue, light blue and light green.

Top among items homeowners do not currently have but would like to have in their kitchens were boiling water taps, push-to-open doors, wine coolers, concealed bins, an island, a built-in laundry basket and a breakfast bar.

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