When it comes to resale value, the kitchen is prime territory. Remodeling recently noted that it’s not unusual for kitchen upgrades—minor or major—to garner a 72-percent return on investment. “Right now, 80 percent of our business is remodeling,” says Lori Graf, a designer and sales manager at Century Kitchens in Malvern. “People want their idea of their dream kitchen.” Here are some of the most popular wish-list items these days.
White and bright. “Clients want a much cleaner look than it was even five years ago,” says Trez Pomilo of Sugarbridge Kitchen & Bath in Exton and Paoli. Installing glass-front cabinetry or adding color with an espresso-stained island are a few things Pomilo suggests for keeping the space from looking too stark.
Honed granite. “It’s a more natural-looking surface,” says Graf. Marble may look appealing, but it’s not as durable as granite.
Islands. They’re a must. Even in smaller kitchens, a well-planned design ought to be able to include one. “Guests love to gather around an island,” says Pomilo. “It also provides a separation between you and your guests when you’re busy preparing a meal.”
Stainless steel appliances. And make sure they’re exposed. “People aren’t as crazy anymore about wood fronting,” says Graf. “We advise clients not to do it.”