A recent report from investment firm UBS suggested boldly that the kitchen as we currently know it, a central location in the home used for food preparation and family camaraderie, could soon be gone for good. USB analysts certainly took the speculative process to the extreme as they highlighted the growth and relative affordability of food-delivery platforms, but USB is not the only industry source suggesting that kitchens could start trending smaller again in the near future.

In a report for Realtor.com, home design expert Jamie Wiebe noted, “Plenty of homeowners are…rethinking everything from size to palette” in their kitchens these days. Seattle broker Cindy Peschel-Hull chimed in, saying, “In order for Millennials to afford housing, smaller [kitchens] are becoming more popular.”

How to Design a Smaller Kitchen

As the kitchen space shrinks, retro styles could make a comeback, said Wiebe. “Luckily, retro styles were designed to shine in compact spaces,” she added.

Wiebe provided examples of ways to make a smaller kitchen space stand out, including:

  • Decorative flooring, including patterned tiles and laminate
  • Vintage-inspired appliances in pastel hues
  • “Dining nooks” rather than a full dining room or designated eating area in the kitchen

Investors working with properties likely to attract interest from younger buyers may find the trend toward smaller kitchens works to their advantage, since it could allow for a more limited rehab on older properties. While most markets will not likely not allow for a kitchen with only a microwave and a mini-fridge (one suggested “kitchen of the future”), open floor plans may no longer be the design necessity they once were.

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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