Kitchen design trends 2017: What’s hot & what’s not

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4 min readWhen it comes to renovating a kitchen, it’s easy to spend hours agonising over which fixtures, fittings and style to go for.

To help guide you towards making the right design choices we’ve summarised the key findings from the latest annual Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey.

The survey was carried out in late 2016 by 2,380 Houzz users who had completed a kitchen reno in the past 12 months or were in the process of doing one or planning to renovate in the next three months.

Renovating is always a stressful time because it involves significant financial investment (a third of Aussie homeowners surveyed spent over $40k on their kitchen renos!) and you know that it isn’t easy to change if you don’t like the result.

Without further ado, here’s what kitchen materials, appliances, features and lighting are hot right now that renovators strive for.

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HOT- Breakfast bars & islands

When it comes to built-in features most renovators chose island benches (44%) and breakfast bars (41%) as their top priority.

Breakfast bars and island benches are the perfect addition to a kitchen if you’re aiming to spend more time with family there, make your kitchen a more social space and have more room and seating for entertaining purposes.

For sale: 5 Westbourne Road, Lindfield, NSW


NOT- Walk-in pantries

As far as favourite kitchen features go, walk-in pantries are on the way out. Most renovators (41%) reported they planned to install cabinets to act as the pantry compared to only 24 per cent who desired a walk-in style pantry. So that’s good news if you just didn’t have enough space for that butler’s pantry addition, simple reach-in cupboards and cabinets will do the trick.

HOT- Contemporary & modern style

More than half the renovators favour contemporary (30%) and modern (25%) styles when looking to update their kitchens style. Where traditional (7%), country (6%) and industrial (4%) styles were the least popular looks.

NOT- Dark finishes

When it comes to cabinetry design white is a firm favourite, with a whopping 61 per cent of renovators sticking to the timeless appeal of white for kitchen cabinetry. Only a minority of renovators were into grey (7%) or black (5%) cabinetry.

Engineered quartz came in as the most desired bench top finish (34%) with granite losing favour with renovators (16%). White benchtops were also preferred (31%) over black (12%) and grey (18%) ones.

Sticking to a clean and classic white kitchen colour palette will serve you well for years and years to come. White cabinetry always looks chic and fresh, and can be easily enlivened with accessories and adding a feature splashback.

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HOT- Keeping neat

The easiest way to keep a kitchen tidy and always looking good is to have a specially designed spot for everything. Interestingly pull-out waste and recycling cabinets were named as one of the most desirable storage updates by 62 per cent of renovators.

So, don’t forget to add a special spot to tuck your rubbish and recycling cleverly out of the line of sight, like an under sink bin drawer with two sections.

NOT- Black and white appliances

Stainless steel is the appliance finish go-to for most renovators (64%), with white (19%) and black (12%) coming in second and third place respectively.

Also, if you’re replacing your cooktop (the most desirable appliance upgrade 87%), gas cooktops came in as the first preference for respondents (47%). Important features for most homeowners, dishwashers (74%) and rangehoods (77%) are also high on the appliance upgrade wish list.

For that modern look and resale value, you can’t go wrong by upgrading to a sleek stainless-steel stove, dishwasher and rangehood.

HOT- Pendant lights

More than half of the homeowners (54%) selected pendant lighting as their lighting upgrade of choice.

Pendant lights over your kitchen bench not only look great and make a statement but are good practically for getting the task lighting in your work space just right. Now all that’s left to decide is to go with an edgy Edison bulb light cluster fitting or a set of three sleek metallic pendant lights.

For sale: 5 College Street, Manly, NSW


HOT- Open concepts

Most renovators wanted to increase the size and openness of their kitchen when renovating. Either by making the kitchen more open to other rooms (58%) or more open to outdoor entertaining (40%), open plans and good flow are still in vogue.

Consider finally taking down that wall to combine your kitchen and living room or embrace the outdoors by adding a wall of glass bi-fold doors onto the side of your kitchen so you step directly into the garden or patio.

For sale: 18 Coonanga Road, Avalon Beach, NSW


We hope these survey findings help you approach your kitchen design decisions with confidence and ease.

For more kitchen renovation ideas check out these practical kitchen must haves, six lessons from a rookie kitchen renovator and our kitchen lighting guide.

Happy renovating!

The Homely Team

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Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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