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Steve Tough

Steve Tough has been the commercial sales director of Masterclass Kitchens since 2013. He has previously worked in various roles at Waterline and Mike Walker Distribution.


Survey shows what makes consumers tick when buying a new kitchen

Posted 13th Aug 2015


It’s long been known and is almost never disputed that the kitchen is the hub of the home, a fact that is more than backed up by recent statistics uncovered in a Kitchen Trends Study undertaken by interior design website Houzz UK.

It revealed that we spend around 12% of our lives in the kitchen – that’s an average of 2.8 hours a day. Unless you’re a really keen cook, that may make for depressing reading, until you factor in the trend for open-plan living, which sees us not just using the kitchen to prepare food, but for myriad other activities too.

What did raise a few eyebrows, though, was the statistic that the average UK home owner will update their kitchen just once every 13 years. It really got us thinking about the importance of good kitchen design and the need for consumers to invest in quality fixtures and fittings if they are going to be spending so much of their home life in a space that only sees a complete revamp every decade or so.

The Houzz UK survey revealed that almost half of home owners will spend between £5,000 and £20,000 on a new kitchen, and that only around a quarter of them will opt to go down the DIY route. Luckily, consumers recognise that a new kitchen deserves some wise investment, with no point in cutting corners. Certainly this is something we see at Masterclass Kitchens; customers trust in our design team to help them create their dream kitchen.

When it comes to kitchen trends, there are certain criteria that will be common to the majority of customers. The Houzz UK survey suggested that 54% of consumers taking on a new kitchen project will opt for an open-plan design, with 63% of those looking to include an island unit as part of the layout. And just as we find at Masterclass, while looks are all-important, practicalities still have huge purchasing power, with storage being a priority. More than 60% of the Houzz survey respondents cited organised utility and cutlery drawers as important, with 60% being keen on pan drawers. This is a trend that is echoed among Masterclass customers, which is why we offer the widest, deepest range of drawers on the market.

In terms of style trends, the survey revealed what we’ve been seeing at Masterclass all along – while contemporary kitchens may lead the market, traditional and country kitchens are far from a forgotten fashion. Here though, the age of the consumer as well as the age of the property will be a factor, with consumers under the age of 34 more likely to opt for something modern, such as an industrial-style kitchen, while those aged 54 and over are likely to be in the market for something a little more traditional.

And it’s arguably this kind of information that is the most important to take from such research – by getting to know the purchasing trends of consumers in advance, retailers can be ready to point them in the right direction from the moment they walk into the showroom. It’s kind of like having your very own crystal ball, and what could be better than that?

Houzz UK surveyed 2,825 people from the UK and Ireland in December 2014. For more details visit www.houzz.co.uk

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