Top 10 kitchen remodeling trends

  • (MoneyWatch) Kitchens have gone from small rooms relegated to the back of the home to the focal point of family life. They connect to our largest living spaces and speak loudly from the center of the home, offering a central gathering point for family and guests.

    So it's no wonder that Americans invest a lot of time and money into remodeling, updating and modernizing these spaces to their exact specifications. Houzz commissioned a survey of its members, most of whom turn to the site looking for inspiration while building or renovating their homes, and found a few trends along the way.

    Countertops are the biggest change homeowners will make in their kitchens -- 94 percent of survey respondents planned to change them -- and more than half want to upgrade their appliances.

    Those kind of more minor remodels can recoup as much as 75 percent of the cost when the owners resell -- one of the best ways to add value to your home, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2013 Cost V. Value report. Even a gut rehab will fetch up to 70 percent of the cost in added value.

    The key to remodeling in a way that adds value is to make choices that will appeal to a broad number of buyers, so these kind of on-trend remodels will go a long way when reselling. If you know that nearly two-thirds of homeowners want stainless steel appliances, it's easy to assume that buyers will have very similar desires.

    So what's looking good if you're looking to remodel? Check out these 10 trends:

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.