by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
How To Get The Most Out Of A Kitchen Renovation In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
My personal opinion on all things home renovation: Your home should reflect what you love, and if what you love is bright crazy colors and unusual finishes, no one, including me, needs to be driving you away from that.
My professional opinion, as a Nashville Realtor: Certain home renovation decisions can have a positive effect on your home’s value, and some can have a negative effect. So if you’re thinking about selling your Nashville-area home any time soon, and you want to get the biggest return on any money you put into the place now, it’s not the worst idea to consider broader preferences and trends before you make your choices.
On that note, home-focused site/home goods e-retailer Houzz issued a kitchen trends study, and it gives us a good sense of what modern homebuyers and homeowners are looking for in a kitchen, from function to form, all across the country.
I think focusing all your home-renovation choices on of-the-moment trends is a bad idea, but a study like this gives you a chance to take the information holistically — to see what people are looking for in a broad sense, what materials are steadily falling out of/into favor, and what’s cemented as desirable.
Using that to inform decisions, if not drive them, can help you squeeze the most money out, should you decide to sell your home in Nashville in the near future.
You can read the full Houzz Kitchen Trends Study here. Below, I pulled together a sketch of what I think the best kitchen renovation/installation choices for today’s Nashville homebuyers would look like. (If you’re thinking about selling and want some more specific advice, I’m glad to help — call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.)
Popular kitchen design choices for 2019
Overall style: transitional
It makes a lot of sense that transitional style is leading in kitchen-design choices (it’s up almost 10 percent, with a quarter of study respondents choosing it). At its core, transitional style is kind of sweet-spot style: not too formal, not too relaxed; not too minimal, not too busy. It’s classic and simple, right in the midpoint between traditional and contemporary (both of which are on the wane as kitchen style choices).
Leaning toward transitional style is what a lot of us do naturally. Shoot for a light palette to evoke clean and calm, simple furniture lines that feel sophisticated but not stuffy, and if you’re bringing in colors and patterns, focus on accents, like curtains — but overall, keep the accessories minimal, to stave off a cluttered feeling.
This is the most popular upgrade by far (94 percent), and it’s been where most folks splurge for the highest-quality options. I’m on board, and the choice is easy: quartz. It’s now the most popular kitchen countertop choice (with almost 45 percent), beating standby granite handily, and I don’t see that changing, except to go way, way up. Quartz is beautiful, easy to buy (since it’s manufactured, you don’t have to go hunting for the right slab) and incredibly easy to maintain (no sealing, stain- and crack-resistant).
Sinks are another majorly popular upgrade (89 percent of respondents), and farmhouse/apron sinks are a much-loved choice. I’d also say, in probably 8 out of 10 new builds, you’ll see stainless undermount sinks, which remain really popular too.
Another massively popular upgrade (88 percent of respondents picked it), adding or replacing a backsplash can make a huge difference in a kitchen. It might surprise you, but patterns are leading — most of Houzz’s best-selling wall and floor tiles are intricate patterns in calm, transitional palettes, like the above (from a home on the market now in the Buchanan Arts District), along with some standbys, like white subway and Carrara hex tiles. If shooting for muted choices overall has you bored, this is a place where you can have a little more fun, and still be right where buyers are. (Personally, I might shoot for gray/black/navy tones over the brown here, but the sensibility is on point.)
Gray is the way of the day, still, with almost a third of homeowners choosing it. White’s still popular too, as is beige and greige. “Gray” is, ultimately, a massive family of colors, so if you’re not sure what to pick specifically, here’s some valuable help from Sherwin-Williams.
Decluttering counters was the top obsession in the study, with 75 percent of respondents choosing it as one of the drivers of their kitchen-renovation decisions. Other (connected) priorities: easy storage/finding things, and pullout waste or recycling receptacles, with 63/67 percent, respectively. Using homeowners’ desires to drive additions or changes (maybe adding a pantry, or finding creative ways to work in more cabinet space) could be a plus if/when you sell.
No surprise — people still overwhelmingly prefer stainless steel appliances, with a whopping 73 percent picking it over white, black and other options (even on-the-rise black stainless, which captured under 10 percent and may have its time some day, but clearly isn’t quite there yet).
White shaker cabinets are the top choice, and not by a small degree — almost 60 percent chose it, with the next closest pick (flat panel) at less than 20 percent. It’s a timeless, clean and charming option, so you really can’t go wrong.
I love personality-filled tile in a kitchen, but hardwood is still leading. Not by too much — 29 percent to 25 percent for ceramic/porcelain tile — so either seems a good bet. For hardwoods, medium tones are way in the lead; for tile, gray is tops.
Hope this gives you some worthwhile points to think about if a kitchen renovation is in your near future, and selling a home in Nashville is in your a-little-less-near-but-still-near future.
Properties are listed with their own respective real estate firms, and not under agreement with TJ Anderson and/or Benchmark Realty, LLC, except where noted.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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