18 February 2020
What are the nation's most popular dream plans? permanent tsb set out to learn just that with our IrelandLikes survey. Over 4,000 people nationwide shared the one big 'like' they most want to make happen, exploring the areas of 'home improvements', 'travel', 'new wheels' and 'life events'. Now, the results are in...
Some 41% of you most want to revamp your homes, IrelandLikes has revealed.
When it comes to your next big ‘like’, more people would rather get cracking on home improvements than travel (37%), buying a new set of wheels (15%) or planning big life events (7%) like weddings and further education.
But what part of the Irish home is getting the most attention?
Your “living” room might be inaccurately named; turns out the kitchen is the real hub of activity.
A kitchen makeover is the big dream for 15% of us, making it the most popular room in the house.
Kitchens pip bedroom makeovers (13%) to first place from an array of survey options. Living room revamps, new bathrooms and new heating systems round off the top 5.
On top of that, one-third of all extensions are being planned with a bigger kitchen in mind. Indeed, across all categories, ‘getting the kitchen done’ came out on top as Ireland’s biggest obsession.
The numbers chime with the wider current buzz around the idea of the “anti-kitchen”, suggesting us Irish will be very much on-trend in our makeover choices this decade.
Anti-kitchens essentially involve the kitchen becoming even more prominent in the home and spilling into other areas of the property. This sees it flow seamlessly into family and dining rooms, with clean counters and hidden kitchen storage.
It’s clearly what one Dublin respondent has in mind with their extension must-have: “A kitchen that opens into a conservatory. Wide space for a kitchen/relaxation area is a must for me!”
Time and again, people are craving more room in their kitchens, be it for storage, seating or increased natural light. Extra “space” and “storage” are the most-mentioned “must-haves” in the category. And if you can’t start knocking down walls and extending? We enlisted interior designer Caroline Flannery to give you some top tips on making the most of a smaller kitchen.
People are also three times more likely to want a minimalist, modern kitchen than the range cookers and country dressers of traditional kitchens.
An American-style fridge is the top appliance choice, with islands being the most sought-after fixture. Granite, meanwhile, is the most popular material, with people favouring it for a higher-end finish on countertops and workspaces.
Kildare, Kilkenny and Dublin lead the charge when it comes to the modern kitchen movement.
“Functionality” is prized in those first two counties, while Dublin proves to be the capital of forward-thinking makeovers. It is the county most likely to want a fully smart home: think LED bulbs and thermostats that can be controlled via smartphone app, Nest Protect alarm systems, and voice-controlled assistants and entertainment centres.
Westmeath is the only county with more votes for a “warm, country-style kitchen” than the “sleek, modern” alternative: 7 in 10 Westmeath respondents favour the traditional look.
However, some throwback preferences can be seen in other places. Meath residents are most likely to want a new stove as their kitchen centrepiece, while Mayo has the most mentions of range cookers. Sligo has the distinction of most fancying the addition of a pantry or walk-in larder.
Multi-purpose utility rooms are also popular, perhaps proving that “open plan” isn’t always desirable when it comes to some of the kitchen’s more mundane functions.
As for those “spillover” living spaces, conservatory mentions amounted to a tiny 3% but “sunrooms” are now cropping up more frequently. While the latter term is a recent American import, there are key differences between the two. A conservatory is typically made entirely out of glass (or a large proportion glazed). A sunroom, meanwhile, has a solid roof and forms part of the property’s architecture, making it more of a transitional space between the home and garden.
Speaking of buzzwords from abroad, although cosy Danish vibes have been all the rage in recent years, there was just one solitary IrelandLikes mention of “hygge” – in Waterford!
While trends come and go, it would seem Ireland’s love affair with the kitchen is set to continue.
No matter what dream project you’re hoping to make a reality, we’re here to help. For instance, we’ve a handy visual guide to pricing your next job right here.
You can click here to find out how to turn that ‘like’ into a loan today…
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