What you didn’t know about your customers’ kitchen preferences

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As a designer or developer you will know that every client you speak to is unique. They have individual tastes and hugely different budgets that mean you must plan to accommodate to ensure they are pleased with the final result.

These preferences are all established in the consultation stage and without that you may as well do your work blind folded with monopoly money, as what is crucial here is the way you perceive your clients’ vision. You can then interpret this as best possible to suit the space and budget.

 Of course, a little background knowledge never hurt anyone.  Knowing the current trends is obviously innate, but knowing who is more likely to lean towards a certain style will help you to whittle down your design ideas so you present something that your client is going to love, even at an early stage.

Houzz UK did a little research earlier this year to find out more about homeowner preferences when it comes to kitchen renovation and design and we thought we’d highlight some of the best bits, for your reference. It’s OK, thank us later.

Stay don’t sell

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In 2014, 87% of those surveyed undertook decorating projects. Contrast with this, the mere 16% that upped and moved home instead, it reveals that (a) the housing market is still as turbulent as ever and (b) homeowners across Britain have not lost their love for a good household renovation project.

In fact of all the renovation projects that took place, the kitchen was the second most popular at 33% with living rooms coming just slightly more in need of transforming at 34%. These similar figures could hint that the desire for a more open plan living space is increasing; converting separate living rooms and kitchens into a shared space. And, with 54% of homeowners opting for the seamless integration of cooking and dining, we might just be right.

The grey pound is still strong

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Now, it’s commonly known that those with a more disposable income are homeowners in the 55 + age bracket. Also known as the grey pound, the influence and buying power of those in the autumn of their lives is not to be underestimated, especially in the home improvement market. These consumers will have more than likely paid off their mortgage and have children who have flown the nest, which reduces their outgoings considerably for them make the improvements they’ve always hoped for. This is reflected Houzz’s results.

64% of people aged 55 to 64 made home improvements last year and 20% aged over 60, who plan to stay in their current home, upgraded their kitchens. Furthermore, 63% of those had ageing in mind.  Interestingly it is this age group who are also more interested in a more contemporary style that is focuses on functionality.

Millennials are making their mark

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Considering the above, it may come as quite a surprise that homeowners aged 25-34 are the most likely to renovate their home. In 2014 77% of this group decorated their homes, which trumps the grey pound by almost 15%.  We think this is down to the desire to put a unique stamp on a new home.

For many young families that may have previously rented, having their very own bricks and mortar can open up a whole new world of design possibilities that were never available on temporary owned properties. Having a space to well and truly make a home, of course, takes a lot of decorating and design.

Speaking of design, the research also highlighted resurgence in industrial style kitchens, which are favoured by millennials the most. In fact, this youthful bunch is six times more likely to choose an industrial inspired kitchen, with exposed brick, metro tiles and reclaimed wood, than their 55+ counterparts.

Stripping off

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The exposed trend isn’t just lead by millennials. The Houzz survey highlights that exposed brick is actually more popular than wallpaper in kitchens, with 6% of UK and Irish homeowners incorporating the pared back style within their designs. This compared with the 4% that plan to use wallpaper, reveals that the Industrial trend may be evolving as a national favourite.

Good old paint is still the most popular when it comes to wall coverings, with 77% of homeowners opting for it in their kitchen renovation.

All in all the results of the survey show that, as a nation, the UK and Ireland are pretty on trend. As we have highlighted in our previous blogs, the Industrial trend is huge at the moment and looks like it’s going to stick around for most of 2016. Combine this with open plan living and a desire to create a unique stamp and you have the basis for an impressive brief.

You can find more information from the House UK Kitchen survey here, with further details about home renovations here.

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