Top kitchen renovation trend: Upgrading for love alone

(BPT) – If you follow home improvement trends, you’ve probably read in recent years that Americans are willing to invest significantly to create luxurious dream bathrooms. Now it seems the same is true for innovative, beautiful kitchens. More than half of homeowners planning a renovation will upgrade their kitchen, and nearly four in five would give up something for a year— such as a family vacation, date nights or even Internet access — in order to get the kitchen of their dreams, according to a new survey from home appliance manufacturer, LG Electronics.

“Great kitchens have always sold homes, but this study shows that kitchen renovation is truly having its moment,” says Robin Baron, president of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). “More people intend to redo their kitchens not just to enhance functionality or salability, but also to make the room more aesthetically appealing, luxurious and one they can really fall in love with.”

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation, here are the key areas to consider, according to homeowners who responded to LG’s survey:

Aesthetic appeal

More Americans are drawing inspiration from showcase kitchens featured in home design shows, websites and magazines. They’re no longer content just looking, however; they want to create that stunning visual effect in their own kitchens. Twenty-six percent of those planning to renovate their kitchen say aesthetic appeal is the primary driving factor.

Four in ten American homeowners say their current kitchen doesn’t look as good as they would like. In fact, many dream of changing the color scheme (25 percent) and overall style (23 percent) of this room. In changing their overall style, homeowners may consider modernizing their kitchens with distinctive styling palettes that include sleek, clean lines, unique knobs and handles, beautiful yet functional task lighting and leading-edge technology.

Better appliances

Homeowners see premium appliances as essential to their kitchen upgrade and are willing to pay more to get the best. Nearly half (49 percent) say they would be willing to spend more on a top-of-the-line refrigerator and 44 percent felt the same way about ranges. In fact, nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) say they would pay top dollar for a premium appliance, especially if it is ENERGY STAR certified (64 percent), offers a 10-year warranty (60 percent) or has advanced features or functionality (49 percent).

From convection ovens that distribute heat more evenly through relocation of the heating element from the bottom of the oven to the back to an energy efficient refrigerator that features pro-style details and cabinet-depth styling, new top-of-the-line appliances are available from leading premium brands, such as LG Electronics’ high end kitchen line, LG Studio. The recently launched LG Studio appliance suite includes a counter-depth refrigerator, gas and electric slide-in ranges and an over-the-range microwave, all featuring the latest in kitchen technology and a distinctive style palette aimed to complement any high-end kitchen design.

Countertops and cabinets

Functionality is still important to homeowners, with 40 percent citing that they would like their kitchen to be more functional, whether they plan to renovate or not. Specifically, homeowners wish their kitchen had more counter space (44 percent) and additional cabinets (37 percent).

From eco-friendly composite countertops made of recycled paper and engineered stone with enhanced durability to classic materials like natural granite and butcher block, homeowners have many options for countertops that look great and function beautifully. Traditional woods like oak, maple and cherry, and modern choices, such as stainless steel and bamboo, give homeowners virtually endless options in cabinet design.

“Homeowners have always known a great kitchen can make their homes easier to sell one day, but now they’re willing to spend more to improve the kitchen for their own enjoyment as well,” Baron says. “In fact, nearly half of the people LG talked to said the kitchen was the room they were most likely to splurge on if they were to renovate their home.”