After purchasing a new home, nearly half of all homeowners set in motion a full makeover of the kitchen.  

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From a survey released by Houzz and another from the National Kitchen & Bath Association, we've gathered the top features that homeowners are incorporating into their home's eating areas. From pretty to practical, you're sure to see a few of these additions in the homes of your friends and family in the near future.

Beginning with functionality, 32% of survey respondents identified versatile, professional-grade ranges--otherwise known as chef stoves--as highly desirable.  Another amenity are the countertops: While granite is still the top preference, 36% of people plan to make the switch to quartz, a more resilient and lower-maintenance option.  

Almost half of all respondents noted the importance of an eco-friendly kitchen--and that doesn't stop at energy-efficient appliances.  Anyone can create this environment beginning with small, easy changes such as replacing paper towels with cloths or cleaning with non-toxic solutions.  

New designs and decorations are gaining momentum in the kitchen as well.  69% of those remodeling will incorporate a blend of traditional and contemporary styles along with white cabinetry, bringing a light and bright feel into the room.  At the same time you may notice a few more gray color schemes, as they have increased in popularity a full 46% since mid-2012.  The updated looks will be topped off with stainless steel appliances in 65% of the kitchens.

To add more zest to the food prep stations, half of the homes under construction will be outfitted with tile backsplash, an accent that Sheila Schmitz of Houzz.com describes as "the jewelry of the kitchen."  You'll continue to see tile flooring as well.  However, hardwood floors have become more favorable and now have a stronger foothold on the charts.

Last but not least, what about islands?  Over 60% of respondents plan to include one in the room.  Since spatial restrictions and the ease of traffic flow must be taken into account, islands are still enjoyed for their convenience but are not considered a necessity.

Are you embarking on a remodeling journey too?  Which trends will you be bringing into your home?  As you set out to make your kitchen your own, keep in mind that the future may lead you to another home and a different family will then be in the house.  Beware of making major changes that will have to be toned down and adjusted at your expense if and when you decide to sell your property.  Simplicity is always in style!

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