#Nesting Homeowners Set A New Trend In Worktop Colours

The ‘nesting homeowners’ trend, identified during the recent recession by kitchen worktops company Granite Transformations, has persisted throughout 2010, with householders still choosing to ‘nest’ in their existing properties and invest in home improvements while riding out the economic downturn. Now, however, this trend seems to be having a profound impact on the worktop colours consumers are purchasing, with predominantly black hues giving way to more mottled, earthen tones as people follow their own tastes, rather than market-led décor themes; although surprisingly, bright orange registered the biggest percentage growth.

“During the years of the housing boom and the subsequent downturn, black granite worktop finishes made up more than 50% of our sales, because homeowners were choosing ‘safe’ colours that potential house buyers might prefer. In fact, shiny black kitchen worktops became almost a symbol of Britain’s property boom,” says Granite Transformations Chief Operating Officer, Danny Hanlon. “Now, black finishes make up less than 35% of our sales, as people are choosing colours that they actually want to live with over the next five or six years, as they ride out the recession.”

Reporting an impressive 23% overall increase in sales revenue across 2010, Granite Transformations has seen a dramatic upturn in demand for earthy tones like Lago Ambra, Terra Ombra, Tiger Beige and Rosso Fuoco, although vibrant Cristallino Orange is another big seller and equally eyecatching Dream Green is predicted to be a hit in 2011. In contrast, black tones like Nero Stella, Black Star and Nero Galaxy all registered a slight decline in sales last year.

Featuring muted blacks and warm pinks, overlaid with cloudy grey and milky white, Lago Ambra (+182%) projects the subtle colours and moods that are now popular with homeowners, in a surface made from Italian granite. With its contrasting browns, orange, black and yellow combining to create a fascinating textured look, Terra Ombra (+151%) is similarly sophisticated in style; as is Rosso Fuoco (+58%), with its rusty hues and deep browns, mixed with shades of grey, green and black to project a rich, dark, earthy feel. Lighter in mood to suit pine and birch cabinetry is Tiger Beige (+57%), which comprises splashes of desert sand and cool creams, flecked with pinpoints of brown.

In complete contrast, the biggest increase in 2010 worktop sales was for Cristallino Orange (+250%), a brilliantly coloured, flamboyant finish in the latest eco-chic recycled glass material. Feedback from Granite Transformations showrooms also suggests that brilliant emerald Dream Green is now in demand, indicating underlying consumer interest in brighter, bolder colours for kitchen makeover projects.

Thanks to its unique ‘top that fits on tip’ concept, Granite Transformations is well placed to meet consumer demand for affordable makeovers, rather than complete fitted kitchen installations involving all that extra mess, disruption and expense. Manufactured from 95 per cent natural materials like granite, quartz or recycled glass and a specially formulated polymer, its worktop finishes are cast into tough, lightweight slabs that are then custom-made and fitted over existing work surfaces. The transformation from old, worn and outdated surfaces to top quality, diamond-polished worktops takes as little as one or two days and the material is second to none in beauty, durability and resilience.

Granite Transformations now predicts that many trendy ‘black granite’ kitchens installed in new housing developments during the late ‘90’s housing boom will soon be showing signs of age, prompting a whole new swathe of homeowners to consider refacing their worktops and lubricants.

“Like many other fashion items, kitchen colours go in and out of style and we expect that browns and beiges will become the new black, while bolder colours like orange, green and blue could also come to the fore,” says Danny Hanlon. “After all, most people in these relatively new properties will be happy with the basic kitchen layout, but will be keen on updating the décor just to ring the changes. The kitchen is such a hub of the home, a makeover is like moving house … without actually moving house.”