The 10 Kitchen Upgrades Americans Want Most in 2024

published Apr 7, 2024
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Kitchen with green cabinets, marble island, and dining area.

Ever wonder what kitchen design trends people actually want in their home — not just the ones that go viral on social media or are touted by interior designers? Good news. Leading home improvement and design website Houzz conducted a recent study of over 3,000 homeowners to find out what’s really hot when it comes to designing, decorating, and renovating their kitchens — and the results might surprise you. 

After sifting through the findings, we’ve compiled 10 of the hottest kitchen design trends of 2024 that homeowners love when updating their homes, which can ultimately increase resale value or simply just make you feel more at home in your space. 

10 Kitchen Trends Homeowners (and Designers!) Are Loving in 2024

Credit: Jennifer Chase

1. Large kitchen islands

According to the survey, nearly half (42%!) of homeowners now choose to have a kitchen island that’s 7 feet or longer, which could be a nod to an ever-increasing desire to entertain in the home (especially post-pandemic). Among those who install a kitchen island, 30% choose a white island countertop, with wood tones coming in a close second, according to Houzz. Among kitchen islands with cabinets, blue is the most popular cabinet paint color, with 25% opting for this hue, 11% going with gray, and 10% choosing shades of green. 

Credit: Plan Shooting 2 / Imazins/Getty Images/ImaZinS RF

2. Smart appliances

High-tech, or “smart” appliances, are on the rise, with more than 44% of homeowners leaning toward some sort of high-tech capability when replacing kitchen appliances (which 77% want to be stainless steel). 

Perhaps that’s because nearly 70% of respondents view functionality as the single most important factor when selecting new kitchen appliances. Some of the most popular smart features homeowners opt for today include Wi-Fi connectivity (30%), the ability to interface with an app (29%), and a color, touch-free display (17%). 

Credit: Viv Yapp

3. Extended backsplashes

Today’s kitchens feature all sorts of different types of backsplashes, from geometric and colorful to subtle and modern. But whether homeowners choose custom tiles from global travels or classic white subway tile (a whopping 54% of people opt for tile backsplashes), Houzz is seeing backsplashes take up more and more space on kitchen walls. While 62% of homeowners choose to install a backsplash that extends to the range hood or cabinetry, 1 in 10 are now extending their backsplash all the way to the ceiling for a dramatic look that functions almost like an accent wall. 

Credit: Artazum/Shutterstock

4. Open concept floor plan

A majority (64%) of homeowners who make major kitchen upgrades opt for an open concept floor plan, meaning no walls or doors separate the kitchen from the rest of the home. This layout lends a cohesive look to the main living space and allows light to flow into every corner of the home. 

Using the same paint color in the entire space is a popular option for homes with an open floor plan. (This is especially beneficial if you will sell your home in the future, since buyers tend to gravitate toward neutrals when home shopping.) You might also use different shades of the same color, go light and dark, or use contrasting colors for a funky vibe. 

5. Refinished cabinets

One of the biggest expenses homeowners face when upgrading a kitchen is the cabinetry. According to home renovation experts, the average cost of replacing kitchen cabinets entirely hovers between $25,000 and $75,000. Despite this expense, the Houzz study found that 70% of kitchen upgraders actually take the plunge and choose to replace their cabinets. 

Of the remaining few who opt for a partial upgrade, 59% refinish their cabinet exteriors using paint or stain. When it comes to kitchen cabinet paint colors, blues, greens and neutrals like cream and gray are hot, hot, hot this year, with 46% percent of homeowners opting for white cabinets, 8% choosing shades of gray, and 4% going with blues and greens. 

Credit: Abe Martinez

6. Transitional kitchens

You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of a transitional kitchen. This hot kitchen trend on the rise essentially blends traditional and contemporary kitchen styles. Transitional kitchens might have sleek marble countertops with a butcher block kitchen island, or a moody, modern paint color mixed with rustic wooden accents. 

About 25% of homeowners are now leaning toward a transitional vibe, while old favorites like ultramodern kitchens and farmhouse-style kitchens are starting to see a decline after being wildly popular for years.

Credit: Max Maloney

7. White countertops

Perhaps because of its versatility, the white countertop is here to stay, at least in 2024, Houzz finds. Forty-three percent of homeowners opt for white countertops, while gray and multicolor stone options may be on the way out, with only 11% and 17%, respectively. Stone countertops still reign supreme in American kitchens, with 46% of people preferring engineered quartz, followed by granite (20%), quartzite (11%), and marble (4%). 

Why are homeowners loving white countertops so much? It’s likely because they’re a good fit for just about any type of kitchen, from modern to contemporary, farmhouse to traditional. They’re a neutral backdrop that allows homeowners to change out decor seamlessly, and they reflect light for a bright, clean look. 

8. Recessed lighting

Kitchen lighting can help define the atmosphere of the space, and many homeowners end up combining two or more types of lights in their kitchen space. But the simple versatility of recessed lighting is a favorite among homeowners, with more than 75% of homeowners adding can lights to their kitchen ceiling during an upgrade. 

And perhaps that’s because, according to realtors, recessed lighting can actually make your kitchen seem bigger by providing an even illumination to the entire space. It’s especially great in kitchens with low ceilings, or in smaller kitchens where oversize light fixtures might feel too bulky.

9. Lighting above island

Unsurprisingly, those oversize kitchen islands people are installing are practically begging for their own light fixtures. That’s why Houzz found that a whopping 94% of upgraders add lights above those shiny new kitchen islands. Sixty-three percent opt for pendant lights, while 36% opt for recessed lighting, and 10% go for chandelier-style light fixtures. Perhaps as a reflection of the increased size of kitchen islands, a whopping 86% of homeowners install two or more lights above their kitchen islands, rather than just one. 

Credit: Carina Romano

10. Hardwood flooring

A full quarter of homeowners are still choosing hardwood as the de facto flooring for their kitchen upgrades. Beautiful, durable, and versatile, hardwood comes in tons of different colors and finishes to suit any style, which makes it an enduring choice for homes. The Houzz study also found a rise in popularity of vinyl flooring, with 23% of homeowners choosing to install vinyl. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are next up, with 18%, while natural stone kitchen floors see only 6% of homeowners’ choice.  

What’s your favorite kitchen trend of the year so far? Let us know in the comments below!