Kitchens for living

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By Natalie Davenport, Head of Marketing, Häfele UK

The way we use our kitchens is continually evolving. Once a small add-on to a home used purely for cooking, kitchens are now the central hub packed with appliances, technology and features to help households achieve multiple purposes within the space. Since March 2020 in particular, the way we use and inhabit in our homes has transformed.

Earlier this year, Häfele undertook research with more than 2,000 homeowners to explore kitchens of today – what they’re used for, the biggest pain points, the most desired or useful features, and how they impact us day-to-day.

We discovered that functional kitchen design is integral to the way we live. We explored how customers interact with their kitchens and what drives their buying decisions, and provide advice on everything kitchen studios, designers and installers might need to take their designs to the next level, so you can gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Häfele have also partnered with architect and designer Laura Jane Clark from BBC’s Your Home Made Perfect, to provide further insights and tips to support the design and creation of effective kitchens.

How we use our kitchens

One in five people said they don’t like their current kitchen, with badly designed storage, limited space and poor layout cited as the top three bugbears. And the responses showed these things have a direct impact on people’s lives. Among the homeowners Häfele spoke to, 86% reported that their kitchen affects their emotional and mental health, and two thirds (65%) said that if their biggest issue was fixed in the kitchen, it would improve their quality of life. Get the design and fit out right, and homeowners feel happy, at ease and comfortable. On the other hand, not fully meeting the design and functional needs can mean people experience stress, depression and even anxiety.

Quick stats

4.55 million homeowners in the UK use their kitchens for socialising and entertaining;

15% say they want to be able to change the function of the room, for example by closing off areas to hide mess or change the use of the space;

On top of this, 13% said they want to be able to change the mood of their kitchen, for example by using lighting to create different atmospheres when cooking, working, entertaining or relaxing;

Nearly a third (31%) of the people questioned said they need to upgrade their kitchen but are worried about getting the design wrong;

When it comes to storage, 32% of homeowners said they don’t have enough;

17% said their storage is located too high for them to reach, a further 17% said they find it difficult to access items in corner to close and open up different zones using sliding doors, for example – are a better use of space;

27% of people said their kitchens are too small, with more than one in five saying their small kitchen leads to cluttered worktops. When it comes to layout, one in seven say their kitchen is poorly designed, with one in 20 citing worktops that are too high and badly positioned cupboards as their main gripes.

What customers are looking for:

52% of homeowners would like lighting built into their kitchen cabinets.

26% would like pocket or sliding doors to conceal kitchen areas.

25% would like to have Wi-Fi enabled appliances installed in their future kitchens.

What people want when updating their kitchen:

39% – Add style

27% – Add value

24% – Increase storage

19% – Improve functionality

8% – Create more space for socialising

8% – Accommodate an aging family

To access the full version of the white paper please click here 

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