Whether you’re vying to become the next Julia Child, or want to update your home’s equity value, a high-end kitchen remodel is both complex and rewarding. It requires good planning, an eye for detail, and patience for cupboards turned inside out. Here, we’ll run through the essentials for designing a high-end kitchen that’s sure to make your guests’ jaws drop.
What Does a High End Kitchen Remodel Entail?
Kitchen remodels require you to make choices about your kitchen habits. Which appliances do you want to update? Would you prefer they be the focal point of your renovation or rather have them hidden?
In order to balance the various dynamics that come into play, we recommend that you establish clear and prioritized goals. If new appliances are your number one reason for remodeling, make sure to address those costs first as appliances alone can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. A little foresight will go a long way in streamlining the remodeling process.
Luxurious Kitchens Mean Noble Countertops
Choosing new surfaces for your kitchen is one of the most important processes in a kitchen remodel. With so many surfaces and combinations to choose from—not to mention the differences in price point—fundamentals count. Here, we’ve broken down some of the most desirable options for countertops, cabinetry, and flooring.
- Marble countertops: Marble is a natural stone derived from limestone. It has a distinguished, pure and elegant appearance. This stone is synonymous with prestige and has a timeless look that appeals to everyone. Given that marble is a porous material, it’s important to apply a sealant to its surface to ensure its look remains intact.
- Granite countertops: Granite is a desirable, heavy material that requires periodic sealing for upkeep. As a naturally occurring material, it is also unique: no two granite countertops are the same.Different colours are available for almost any taste. Granite is also highly resistant to heat, a major plus!
- Vetrazzo countertops: Vetrazzo is an innovative product that originates from California. It’s essentially made of recycled shards of glass, making it a rather eco-friendly option that brings a nice pop of colour to ones kitchen. Vetrazzo is highly durable and has similar properties to those of granite; it resists to heat and scratches. In terms of maintenance, simply wiping down the counter with a humid cloth is enough. No scellant is required.
- Metal countertops: A less traditional countertop material is metal: stainless steel, copper, pewter, and zinc are a few popular options. These kinds of countertops are professional cooks’ first choice. That’s why we tend to find metal countertops in kitchen or hotel restaurants. This material can also be mixed and matched with another to provide a more refined look. Metal countertops have several advantages: they’re nonporous and antibacterial, making them easy to clean. They’re sleek, modern, and a relatively unique choice. Note that copper will react to acids and change color over time without rigorous upkeep.
Cabinetry That Makes an Impression
Kitchen cabinets fulfill several functions. Not only do they provide much needed storage space, but they occupy a majority of visual space in your kitchen. Here are some popular options.
- Cabinets that reach the ceiling: If you want a visually striking cabinetry layout, consider installing cabinets that reach the ceiling. This is a great option for kitchens with ceilings 8-10 feet in height.
- Glass door or open cabinetry: Is your kitchen small, or does it have scanty natural lighting? Consider opting for glass pane doors, or foregoing doors completely. This will imbue your kitchen with a light, more airy feeling that also showcases your dining ware.
- Wood cabinets and specialized trim: Wood cabinetry is a classic, versatile, and beautiful option that gives homeowners ample room to play. Choosing hardware and trim for your cabinets can allow you to personalize your new kitchen. On a practical level, wood cabinets are durable and easy to fix. Just be sure that you’re aware of the nuances. Humidity can warp wood, meaning you may opt for a high quality veneer that ups your price point. Materials like oak, teak, and olive wood are of high quality, rather long lasting and provide an elegant look to a kitchen. Keep in mind that detailed designs and wood choice will also affect overall costs.
- Hidden appliances: If stainless steel appliances seems too impersonal, consider hiding your appliances beneath a surface that matches your cabinetry. This choice gives your kitchen a more uniform, streamlined look. Another option is to disperse the refrigerator: instead of one large, bulky refrigerator that draws the eye, you can install a freezer and 1-2 fridge units separately around the kitchen. This provides flexibility in food prep and a more discreet, elegant aesthetic.
To ensure you set a realistic budget for a project of this scope, take a look at our kitchen renovation costs article. You’ll find materials used along with their price ranges.
The Importance of a Custom Pantry
A better organized kitchen is one of the main reasons many choose to remodel. In order to maximize your space and make your day-to-day life easier, streamlining your kitchen’s storage is the way to go. It’s the best way to customize your pantry according to your needs and desires, all whilst adding value to your space. Here are some interesting options to consider for your high end kitchen:
- Install drawer and cabinet organizers: A plethora of organizational systems exist for making your kitchen more user friendly. Examples include: peg drawer organizers that ensure your dishes stay in place, a pull-out pots and pan rack, a trash bin drawer, or a pull-out pantry as opposed to the more traditional walk-in one.
- Transform corners into pantry shelving: Installing shelving and organizational units in kitchen corners is a great way to maximize space. For deeper reaching cabinets, a lazy susan will help make all items accessible.
- Play to your most commonly used and favorite items: The best part of a custom pantry is building it around your needs and predilections. If you love to cook dishes that require 16 different spices, dedicate a section of your kitchen to spice organization. If you’re a wine aficionado, a wine fridge, a special cabinet for storing glasses, and a display case for your favorite vintages may be in order. Or if making school lunches is a routine part of your morning, opt for Tupperware and refrigerator storage that makes it easier to prep sandwiches and drink coffee at the same time. Use your imagination and do research to find what works best for you.
- Be discrete with your smaller appliances: As mentioned above, you can get your cabinets custom built to hide smaller appliances and make your kitchen look well organized without them showing on your counter.
Work with a designer to see what kind of options are available to you. They’ll be able to guide you in the right direction. Keep in mind that ergonomics are to be considered when planning a kitchen remodel. See how a kitchen designer can help you figure out the right work triangle for your space.
Lighting: An Essential for High End Kitchens
Putting together a plan for all that is lighting for your kitchen is essential. If strategically set up, your light sources will create a luxurious feel. The most beautiful kitchen, lit up by only one fixture in the middle of the room won’t look as stunning at nightfall. Decent looking light fixtures at a bargain price, or warm toned lighting (i.e. yellow lights) or some that are too cold (i.e. blue light) can also ruin all the effort put into your new kitchen. Opt for architectural lighting; it uses direct and indirect lighting that allows you to put certain features of your new kitchen at the forefront all while being practical. Be sure to get bulbs that aren’t too yellow, nor too white (blue) to ensure a modern look. A lighting temperature of about 3,000K (Kelvin degrees) is usually the go to for the right look.
High end kitchen light sources should include:
- General lighting from a ceiling fixture, on rails or recessed pot lights.
- A light source used specifically for your kitchen island: a simple pendant light fixture (with fluorescent light bulbs) or, either an even number of fixtures for a long counter or an uneven number for shorter ones.
- Under the cabinet lighting: ideally, lighting would be pot lights installed underneath cabinets, but LED ribbon lighting can also do the trick.
- Lighting shelves or glass-paned cabinets: typically, light pucks are used.
- The kitchen sink can also be lit up by pendant lighting – single or double -, by a fixture on the ceiling, or by rails on the ceiling.
Lighting can also be added above your kick plate, under the lunch counter. If your kitchen also includes a cellar, installing proper lighting can create quite the look (using LED lighting is ideal as it won’t heat the wine).
Final Factors for a Wow-Worthy High End Kitchen
Once you’ve established the basics like counter surfaces, organization, and cabinetry, you can introduce other customized elements. Adding architectural lighting above and below kitchen cabinets, along with pendant lighting over the kitchen island can add a dramatic effect. Smart appliances like microwaves that sync with Alexa, or a refrigerator that track its contents will ease your workload. If you’d like to find other high tech elements to add to your kitchen, take a look at our Kitchens of Tomorrow article.
In terms of design, today’s luxurious kitchen is typically minimalist. Each element in the room is soundly chosen, has a purpose, and fits perfectly with the space’s layout. No unnecessary elements are included in the kitchen’s decor.
Whatever you choose, using quality materials and hiring the right contractors are a crucial part of the remodeling process. Kitchen contractors are your best bet, especially if they’re one of our 360° Verified Contractors. They’ll ensure your project will run smoothly and deliver excellent results. Call us or fill out our form to get started!
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Kitchen Renovation Guide
Learn all there is to know before beginning your kitchen renovation project!