By Marsha Fottler –
When today’s homeowners build new or commit to a grand renovation of a dated kitchen, they are increasingly seeking high-end luxury features to create a personal statement that merges form and function but definitely emphasizes dramatic stylistic statements. This is especially true in the open-concept kitchen that flows into other rooms of the home. This kind of kitchen looks more “furnished” than in the past and takes into consideration pricey artistic elements. If you could pick just one up-scale element for your kitchen, which one would it be?
Backsplash Wall: It literally is the whole wall from counter to ceiling. Use it behind the stove or the sink. It’s a statement and can bring in the color and pattern you want in the kitchen. The most obvious way to create a backsplash wall is with tiles, but there are other ways – slab marble, granite or quartz, wallpaper, mirror, stainless steel or a hand-painted original mural.
Calacatta Marble: Mined in Italy, calacatta marble is sometimes confused with carrara, but here’s the difference. Cararra has a gray-white background and the vein pattern is fine and feathery. Calacatta has a bright crisp white background with bold heavy veining that has a grand dramatic sweep to it. You can almost see it move. Because this marble has such a broad pattern, use it on something big such as a waterfall center island or a backsplash feature wall. It’s expensive, but if you’re using calacatta as a personal design statement in the kitchen you cannot miss. This stuff is gorgeous.
Chandeliers: Pendant lights suspended over the breakfast bar are trending out of fashion, mostly because in an open-concept design, they interfere with the sight lines. What’s popular right now are both traditional and modern chandeliers in the kitchen. In a large kitchen you at least want two.
Statement range and refrigerator: Stainless is still the preference for the luxury minded. The refrigerator should be French-door type and have a prestigious brand name such as Sub-Zero. The six-burner gas range is a must-have in a designer kitchen and needs a label that proclaims La Cornue, Wolf, Bosch or Viking.
Apron Sink: It started with the white porcelain “farmhouse” apron sink. Everyone wanted one. Now there are variations in stainless steel, black, copper, you name it. But, the apron style is still the one to have. Homeowners want one that’s extra deep and huge.
Luxe Breakfast Bar Chairs: No ordinary bar stools will do. They must match the rest of the furniture in the open-concept floor plan. Homeowners are choosing custom upholstery, high quality leather and trendy natural woven materials for counter chairs that are comfortable and make a significant design statement.
Counter Appliances: Now they come in hot colors and stylish designs so you want your standing mixer, knife box, spice grinder, espresso maker, vegetable juicer, and toaster out on the counter where everyone can admire them.
Wood Floor: Stone floors were the glam way to go up until recently. Now, luxury-minded homeowners want exotic hardwood to run throughout the home including the kitchen. Think Brazilian cherry, hand-scraped mahogany, ipe, Australian cypress, antique chestnut, charcoal hickory and various kinds of reclaimed wood from prestige old mansions and locales with a pedigree.
Multi-tasking Faucet: It’s the newest gadget for the luxe-centric homeowner. The best glam faucets are hands-free, come with a spraying attachment and look something from the control panel of the Starship Enterprise.
Details That Matter: Soft-close drawers, deep organized pot drawers, a combination of open and closed storage, organized silverware drawers, deluxe drawer pull and cabinet knobs that match the metal of the light fixtures, faucet and any other metal trim.