Mention the words ‘luxury kitchen’ and the phrase may conjure up pricey appliances, posh tile and expensive countertop materials, set amidst an enormously vast expanse that vaguely resembles a place where people might actually cook.
However, when KBDN asked several designers about how they creatively add luxury to kitchens on the smaller end of the square-foot spectrum, conversations moved beyond simply throwing a bunch of high-priced products into a plan and calling it a day.
Certainly high-end products and design elements can elevate a space, especially when you consider how something like a built-in appliance or handmade tile makes a space look and feel. Admittedly, these are a good place to begin a discussion about luxury.
“We define luxury design by products that offer professional performance, or materials that heighten the experience of the space, whether functional or aesthetic,” says Christy Bowen, CKD, CBD, Twelve Stones Design, in Austin, TX, who often collaborates with design/build firm Realty Restoration, LLC and remodelers/architects David Davison and Christopher Davison to implement her designs.
“A standard refrigerator will keep items cold, but a built-in model not only gives the user a more efficiently designed space, but the aesthetics are superior as well,” adds Christine Ramaekers, CKD/vice president, MainStreet Design Build, in Birmingham, MI.
But that is just a place to start, they stress. “Luxury in a home is the ability to design a space that exceeds a person’s needs,” Ramaekers continues. “A luxurious renovation adds detail that an average home just doesn’t have. Higher-end cabinetry has more select wood species with richer finishes and more details with added accessories – such as cutlery dividers and pull-outs – that make a kitchen useful. It’s also about honing in on a client’s style, then finding one key item to create an interesting focal point such as a fantastic hood or farm sink. Beyond one or two super cool items, everything else needs to be finished really well… great crown moulding details, great finishes on an island, etc. so you can appreciate the focal point.”
Other designers seem to agree. “I think luxury is about seeing something unexpected,” says Priscilla Crother, ASID, PKBP and owner of Lifestyle Kitchens by The Kitchen Lady, in San Juan Capistrano, CA. “It’s about doing something well.