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The economic downturn has lead to more homeowner investing in home improvements, which according to Granite Transformations, has had an impact on the worktop colours consumers are purchasing.

Granite Transformation states that the trend, known as ‘nesting’, where homeowners choose to spend money on their existing properties while they ride out the economic downturn has resulted in a move away from predominantly black hues to more mottled, earthen tones, as people follow their own tastes rather than market-led décor themes. The company also reports that there has also been a shift towards brighter colours with bright orange registering the biggest percentage growth.

“During the years of the housing boom and the subsequent downturn, black granite worktop finishes made up more than 50 per cent of our sales, because homeowners were choosing ‘safe’ colours that potential house buyers might prefer,” said Granite Transformations CEO Danny Hanlon. “In fact, shinny black kitchen worktops became almost a symbol of Britain’s property boom. Now, black finishes make up less than 35 per cent 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 a 23 per cent 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 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.

Granite Transformations, which provides a kitchen worktop product and fitting service, believes that it is well placed to meet consumer demand for affordable makeovers, rather than complete fitted kitchen installations that usually involves 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 company now predicts that many trendy black granite kitchens installed in new housing developments during the late 1990s 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,” said 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.”


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