The Internet and design magazines are loaded with articles and photos of beautifully designed luxury kitchens. You may have dreams of having one of these high-end kitchens but if you could see the price tag that comes with one of these it would soon become something of a nightmare. There are ways, however, to get that designer look without the designer price.
1. Spend your money on high-end refrigeration. Most of my clients still opt to conceal their refrigerators behind custom cabinetry panels. However, even if you want the professional look of stainless steel, I would encourage you not to skimp on your refrigerator. Consider a fully integrated refrigeration. Full integration means that the refrigerator can be designed to sit flush with the cabinetry (24″ deep) without the need for a stainless steel grate above it, and without an exposed stainless steel frame. While not all high end kitchens utilize a fully integrated refrigerator, the vast majority of them do. Luxury kitchens frequently feature a pair of refrigerators that are paneled and trimmed out to look like an armoire or beautiful piece of furniture. In fact, this can be your kitchen’s best focal point if done well.
2. Add an appliance garage conceal all of your counter top appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, blenders, etc. Most high-end kitchens that are well designed allow the homeowner the luxury of having “uncluttered” counter tops. After all, aesthetics are a big part of what you’re paying for. Sometimes this can be a large walk-in pantry with built-in cabinetry. Alternatively, I have often employed a method of creating a tall larder cabinet in close proximity to the sink and refrigerator. This larder cabinet, complete with pocket doors, can have an internal counter top with outlets affixed to the back of the cabinet for plugging in an assortment of small appliances ranging from the microwave to the stand-mixer. The idea here is that everything is easily accessible and already plugged in. No luxury kitchen should require the homeowner to pull out a heavy appliance from a base cabinet.
3. Consider using a mixture of counter top materials and cabinet colors. In large luxury kitchens today, a single marble or granite material on all counter surfaces can look quite cold. Perhaps it is because these large kitchens simply have so many square feet of counter top material. Regardless, this is a careful line to walk because using too many different materials can quickly look like a trend. To be easy on the eye, consider using your stone of choice around the perimeter counter tops and then opt for a wood top on the island or the other way around. This breaks up the coldness factor of stone while not conflicting with the pattern of your marble, limestone, or granite. If you’re familiar at all with kitchen design photos on the web you know how popular the mixed finish kitchen are. There are many ways to do this but it must be done carefully for it to work. You might mix wood finish with paint or two different colors of paint. Usually the easiest way to do this is to have a contrasting island.
There are many ways to get a high end look, find a good kitchen designer to help you get the luxury you crave without the price.