I recently attended the GTA Home Show where I was delighted to listen in on a special presentation by Liza Hausman, VP of Community at Houzz. Liza presented the results of the 2014 Houzz & Home Study (the largest study of North American homeowners’ plans for renovating, building and decorating their homes).
If you haven’t been seduced by Houzz yet, you are missing one of the greatest home improvement resources out there. With 16 million unique users as part of this design-loving community, you can get inspiration from the 2.5 million photos on the site that are searchable by style, room or function. You can also access 150,000 reviews on a variety of home service providers, like designers and trades. It’s easy to get lost for hours on Houzz, and I have.
The Houzz & Home Study showed that most of us who are looking to improve our homes are redecorating/decorating (78%) vs. full-on builds or major remodelling. The key motivators are to solve problems like improve storage (45%), upgrade appliances (41%), enhance energy efficiency (32%), or implement new technology (10%).
Not surprisingly – because I know this is where the bulk of our design dollars go – the most popular spaces for upgrades include: bath (27%), kitchen (20%) and landscaping (20%). The lion’s share of the money spent on these improvements is in the kitchen.
Given the interest in sprucing up our kitchens, Liza provided some trends as reflected on Houzz. A key point:
Nobody is neutral on the neutral kitchen.
We’re still seeing classic white being the go-to palette for our biggest investment room. Those under 45 are a bit more experimental and looking at darker wood cabinetry for instance, but for the most part neutral is where it’s at.
Hard surface countertops like granite, steel appliances and dramatic pendant lighting finish the delicious culinary look. We are practical as well though, and kitchen storage solutions is a big search item for Houzz improvers.
For a little on-trend, yet timeless inspiration, here are some of my favourite white kitchens. In these cases, white is by no means flavourless. I dream of cooking up a storm in all of them.