The desire for custom kitchens is steadily increasing with consumers now viewing their kitchens as extensions of their personalities, according to a new report.
As the COVID-19 pandemic caused people to spend more time in their homes than ever before, many consumers began to look at their kitchens as not just additional workspaces, but expansions of their personalities. Consumers are increasingly seeking statement pieces and designs that represent their individuality, according to findings from appliance maker JennAir.
“Over the last few years, through the JennAir brand’s deep consumer research and our work with the interior design community, we have observed a growing desire from consumers to create kitchens that reflect their personalities and cater to their individual cravings,” said Lauren Bigger, senior brand marketing manager at JennAir, Michigan. “Moving forward, we anticipate this trend of increased desire for high quality materials and individualization continuing to gain prominence in luxury design, as people are beginning to reimagine the possibilities of what a kitchen can look like.”
The survey, conducted on behalf of JennAir by Wakefield Research, tapped 500 luxury interior designers and architects, with 250 across the United States and an additional 50 each in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Dallas.
The kitchen as a reflection of self
One of the most prominent findings from JennAir’s research is the clear desire for individuality in design.
Nine in 10 designers and architects agree that their clients are more focused on designing a space that reflects their own personality than the resale value of the design, while 89 percent say customizing a kitchen design plan became more important to clients over the past one to two years. Fifty-eight percent of clients are also asking for a home that reflects their personality more than a home that reflects common trends.
Affluent consumers want more sophisticated appliances
Consumers are actively looking for statement appliances when designing kitchens that reflect their personalities.
Ninety percent of respondents agree clients are looking for statement pieces to make their kitchens unique. Consumers are not willing to sacrifice quality, however, as 98 percent of professionals agree that appliances should be as beautiful as they are functional.
Fifty-one percent of architects and designers say that sleek and modern appliances are the most common growing trend in 2021.
Research shows that consumers spending so much time at home due to COVID-19 did affect their design desires, with 73 percent of designers and architects saying COVID-19 at least somewhat impacted client's design preferences and 60 percent of respondents saying client interest increased for professional-style kitchen appliances since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Forty-three percent of respondents reported their clients asking for more technology features in their kitchen build-outs than they did prior to the pandemic.
When it comes to kitchen expression, consumers are also willing to pay the costs.
Designers and architects report their clients budget an average of $20,211 for appliances with 30 percent stating their clients are willing to spend more than $20,000. Sixteen and 20 percent of designers and architects in New York City and Los Angeles areas, respectively, report that their clients are willing to pay more than $50,000.
Sixty-four and fifty-four percent of respondents in New York City and Chicago, respectively, note that sleek and modern appliances are preferred. Respondents from New York City and Chicago are also most likely to agree that high-end kitchen appliances should be as beautiful as they are functional.
In Los Angeles and Miami, consumers are particularly interested in marble countertops, with the results suggesting that consumers are prioritizing kitchen finishes as design accents. Half of architects and designers in Dallas rank professional restaurant-grade appliances as their top trend, while 46 percent state these appliances are the top kitchen design feature clients are requesting.
The top trends designers and architects recommend vary across regions, with place glass and mirrored kitchen design accent panels being the top suggestion in New York City and Los Angeles, while respondents in Miami and Chicago state distinctive lighting is their top design recommendation.
JennAir is highlighting some of its current products to respond to these rising consumer trends, including smoke and brass pieces that feature a distressed smoke finish and brazen brass accents, an exclusive burlesque column refrigeration with only 13 available units and more.
Pandemic-born home habits
Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic affect all sectors of luxury, but its remnants and trends may be around to stay.
Speaking at the State of Luxury Real Estate eConference in January 2021, interior decorators and luxury specialists elaborated on the ways in which their clients are pouring money into their living spaces. Interest in upscale interior design has grown after months of confinement and the rise of remote working.
A lasting consequence of the COVID-19 crisis is that affluents are now aficionados at the home improvement game and this means the current boom in home furnishings is set to continue in 2021 (see story).
Thanks partly to COVID-19, the market for online home decor, which reached $98.4 billion in 2020, is likely to balloon to $348.3 billion by 2027, according to forecasts released last year in the report “Online Home Decor: Global Market Trajectory & Analytics” (see story).
“The designers and architects from our survey said they’re seeing increased client interest in professional style kitchen appliances since the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as an increased desire for more advanced technology features in kitchen build outs,” Ms. Bigger said.
“We expect our modern luxury consumers to double down on this beyond the pandemic, and we’re excited to continue delivering on those desires through our provocative design, as well as the disruptive progress we’re making through the JennAir digital platform, which boasts a powerful backbone to control appliances remotely, engage the JennAir call center, beckon specialists with the touch of a finger, enhance food journeys and access personalized insights — all in the pursuit of experiential luxury.”