Ever walk into a home with a brand new kitchen — one with all of bells and whistles? High-end granite countertops, pendant lighting, appliances that run by embedded computers, and a copper stove hood? If your budget allows, the sky is the limit on high-end kitchen design! However, even if you do not have an unlimited budget, there are elements in a cutting edge kitchen that you can add to your home.
Trends come and go in home design including in high-end kitchens. Below are some of the current trends:
- The new trendy color to include in a high-end kitchen is gray, replacing the former color white.
- Easy-to-open and close cabinet doors with a click and a touch.
- Multi-tiered cabinets are large inside. Each cabinet has multiple drawers layered on top of each other expanding storage capacity.
- Faucets and lights that are sensor-activated, meaning that you simply need to move your hand under the faucet for water or walk into a room to have the lights turn on.
- Quartz instead of granite for counter tops.
- Apron-front, also known as the farmhouse sink, seems to be a big add-on in high-end kitchens.
- High-end kitchens also have cabinets and seating spaces that look more like furniture.
- Add a wine storage unit.
- And, forget cabinet fronts – keep you shelves open!
High-end kitchens have common elements. Not all high-end kitchens will include all of these features, however a quality kitchen will include a few of these items:
Different Kitchen Countertops: To bring your kitchen up to the next level, you will need to leave common granite options behind. Today, you will see multiple countertop spaces in different materials (e.g., walnut and quartzite), giving you various cooking and seating options.
Countertops in Different Shapes: Traditional rectangular countertops are still installed. On-trend kitchens might have a curved counter top. Two-tiered countertops provide for both cooking space and space to have your family and guests enjoy the process.
Multi-Purpose Kitchen Islands: The space under a kitchen island can be seen as unusable space, but designers are becoming very creative in how to make that space workable and stylish. Not only can you add cabinets and drawers, but also bookshelves, and display shelves.
Custom Designs: To have a very high-end, extraordinary kitchen hire a designer to create one-of-the-kind items. Unique kitchen islands made from rich wood, under cabinet lighting, new back splash designs, and custom oven and stove hoods will give you a super special place to enjoy and entertain.
As mentioned above, trends in high-end kitchen design come and go. However, there are common styles that you can draw from to create your high-end kitchen space:
- Monochromatic: Meaning using one color and/or hues of the same color throughout the space. Any color is possible – black, white, blue, etc.
- Themed-based: Here you would create your kitchen based on a particular theme. Cabin, cottage, urban living, seascape, industrial, minimalist, mid-century modern are some of the more common types of themed-based kitchens.
- Focal point(s): Make one or two elements in your kitchen a focal point(s). For example, a high-end copper stove hood, countertops, an island; even the backsplash and architectural windows will draw people into the space.
- Interesting design elements: These elements could be anything that you like and enjoy looking at. Squares, dots, high touch electronics, collections of items such as chickens, cows, elephants, etc. Anything that says that the kitchen is your own.
Mixing colors and textures is another way to bring out your own personal sense of style!
A high-end kitchen does not mean that it needs to be grand, large, and over-the-top. Small kitchens with beautifully crafted cabinets, high quality flooring, and smart appliances also work very well.
Smaller kitchen spaces may mean that you will need to get a bit creative – more so than if you had a larger kitchen. For example, you will need to maximum your counter space and may need to think out-of-the-box in terms of getting the most out of storage. For example, many people will hang pots from a pot rack and install multi-tiered cabinets to maximize storage space. Also, don’t forget that you may have kitchen cabinets that may not reach all the way to the top of the ceiling. That space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling is space that you can use for storage.
Kitchen Lay Out
One thing that most high-end kitchens have is a smart lay out. This means that traffic flows easily into and out of the space, that storage is plentiful and easily accessible, and that cooking can occur without others getting in the way – many times being able to watch the cooking process happen!
A useful exercise is to sketch out the kitchen you want to create on paper or on a computer. Measure your appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, wine cooler, island, windows, doors, etc.). Think about the flow of traffic. Are there bottlenecks? Does the design make the walking path through and around the kitchen longer? Like in an L-shaped kitchen. On the plus side, an L-shaped kitchen does keep people out of the cooking area. Also consider corners as a corner might be “dead zone” space that is unusable.
If after you have thought about the high end design of your kitchen, visited show rooms, and viewing hundreds of images online, you may decide to hire a professional kitchen designer. Selecting the right designer to work with you can be a challenge, but here are some useful tips before you hire one:
- Check the designer’s references! Talk to the references to see if they were happy with the designer’s work and ask them if they would hire that particular designer again.
- Visit some of the designer’s recent designs that have been completed. Talk to the homeowner to see if they would have done anything differently in terms of design, appliance selection, paint, countertop, products, etc.
- Have a few designers you are considering visit your home and talk with you about your vision for a high-end kitchen.
- Ask designers that you might want to work with to submit a proposal with cost estimates.
- Make sure to ask if the designer also serves as a project manager to hire contractors or if they recommend a contractor to work with. If the latter, then repeat this process for selecting a designer when selecting a contractor.
Your goal is to create a high-end kitchen design that you really enjoy and can live with, and with as little disruption and headache as possible. Follow the advice above and you should have a smoother process and a greater high-end kitchen in the end!