In addition to being one of the most popular renovations homeowners complete, the kitchen often nets the highest return on your investment (ROI) relative to other areas in your home. While many homeowners give the kitchen a minor update to keep it modern, others choose a full remodel to improve the style and function of the space, enjoy it more and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

5 popular kitchen trends with great returns:

1. Smart technology. Some of the latest kitchen appliances feature technology that allows you to control the appliances from your smartphone, save energy and work more efficiently in the kitchen. Imagine a refrigerator that tells you when you’re running out of milk, an oven that preheats on your commute home and a dishwasher that alerts you when there’s a leak. It’s all within reach and can save you time.

2. Open-space concepts. Consider removing some or all of the upper cabinets and store dishes, food and other items at eye-level. Utilize more efficient storage solutions in the base cabinets and outfit tall wall cabinets with pullout storage so you can easily view and access the items you need.

3. Touch technology. Activate the faucet with your elbow or the back of your hand when your hands are full or dirty. Touch technology streamlines meal preparation, makes it easier to keep your sink and faucet clean and helps ensure safer food preparation.

4. Comfortable gathering space. Creating a comfortable seating area encourages family to hang out together while dinner is cooking. Kids can do homework and your friends can socialize during parties.

5. Purposeful lighting. Take your lighting to the next level by illuminating the interiors or undersides of your cabinets. Cabinet and under cabinet lighting combine function and style to add an element of sophistication to your remodeled kitchen.


Make your small kitchen appear more spacious.

Choose light colors to give the illusion of openness.

Install open shelving to keep your dishes within easy reach and display them with style.

Incorporate patterns. Choose a bold pattern for the floor, countertops or wall to create visual interest in the room.

Diversify your lighting. Install flush or recessed fixtures that blend into the architecture of the room.

Create a mobile island. Kitchen islands increase counter and storage space in small kitchens. Install wheels on yours so it is front and center when you need it and movable to the side when you’re entertaining guests.


Things to consider before you start

1. Why are you remodeling? Are you planning to sell soon, or do you simply want to improve the style and function of your kitchen? The answer to this question will help you decide the scope of your project and your overall budget.

2. How long do you plan to live in the home? If you plan to move within five years, consider a renovation that will give you the highest return on investment. If you plan to stay in the home for a decade or longer, consider making long-term functional improvements that fit your style and budget.

3. Do you have or plan to have children? Choose durable, easy-to-clean materials for your renovation.

4. Are you planning to live in the home during the project? If you’re planning a major renovation, consider arranging accommodation off-site so you won’t be inconvenienced.


What are the costs and returns you can expect?

The major kitchen overhaul: 61.9% ROI

Cost: The average major remodel costs $122,991.

What it involves: An upscale major renovation includes 30 linear feet of custom cabinets with built-in sliding shelves, stone countertops, ceramic or glass-tiled backsplash, designer sink and fixtures, built-in refrigerator, wall oven and microwave, commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, under cabinet lighting, and tile or wood flooring.


The midrange kitchen overhaul: 65.3% ROI

Cost: The average midrange overhaul costs $62,158.

What it involves: A midrange renovation includes 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate countertops, standard stainless-steel sink, energy efficient appliances, built-in microwave, new flooring, paint and the installation of a 3-by- 5-foot island.


The minor kitchen update: 80.2% ROI

Cost: The average minor update costs $20,830.

What it involves: A minor update of a 200 square-foot kitchen includes replacing 30 linear feet of laminate countertops, replacing fronts of cabinets and replacing appliances with energy-efficient models. It also often includes painting and removing/replacing flooring.


3 Renovation tips for the best ROI

1. Keep updates in line with the style of the neighborhood. Expensive upgrades may not pay off if they’re not the norm of the neighborhood. If you plan to sell soon, choose materials and appliances that are on par with the style of the average home in your area.

2. Don’t over-improve the room; you’re unlikely to get a return on your investment. Instead, make simple upgrades to your lighting, fixtures, and hardware and freshen the space with a coat of paint.

3. Update appliances, especially if they’re no longer working efficiently. Resist the urge to upgrade to high-end appliances, unless it’s in keeping with the style of the home.
What are the costs and returns you can expect?1

Sources: 1. Remodeling Magazine, Cost vs. Value

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