Creating The Perfect Place to Prep & Entertain
Of all the rooms in a home to outfit well, the kitchen is perhaps the most important. It is the busiest room, a high-traffic space for the residents, and the primary place guests congregate. Truly, the heart of the home in any locale whether it be Big Sky, Santa Fe, or Whistler. The kitchen is the room that nourishes us in more ways than one so it makes sense to spare no expense in this essential space.
A luxury kitchen emerges from a fusion of good design, effective space planning, and quality materials. As an entertaining space, where guests gather for appetizers, cocktails, and conversation, it is essential that function and form blend intelligently. “So much of what we do in design is driven by human design – by nurturing characteristics,” says award-winning interior designer and architect Jacque Bethke, principal of Jacque Bethke Design, in Scottsdale. “Design has the ability to express people better than they can express themselves.”
In laying out your luxury kitchen, the necessary tools for food preparation should be easily accessible and effortlessly and attractively stowed. Convenience does not have to defeat a good-looking space, nor vice versa. Further, the layout and features should serve the specific homeowner, such that nothing is wasted or left to be desired. If there is a home office, a kitchen desk is probably not necessary. For taller folks, taller counters prevent the need to lean over, saving back pain. The key here is custom, custom, custom.
Custom Kitchen Cabinetry
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all cabinets. There is no need for unreachable cupboards over the refrigerator anymore. Luxury cabinets are not only available in a stunning range of gorgeous solid woods and laminates, but their interiors are more innovative than ever. Drawers and doors open with the wave of a hand. Shelves pull all the way out, eliminating the need to reach into a dark space and unload everything in the front. Ergonomics abound. Appliance garages can be custom-made to the homeowner’s height and reach, seamlessly integrated with the rest of the cabinetry. Trash, recycling, and compost bins can be accessible through countertop ports while remaining hidden in a cabinet below. “When it comes to luxury cabinet design, you can never communicate enough with your customer,” states Mark Poortinga, co-owner of Distinctive Custom Cabinetry, in Phoenix, Arizona. “Our number one goal is to create an awesome product and make people happy.”
Custom Kitchen Appliances
Professional-grade appliances like Sub-Zero, Wolf and Gaggenau are also worth the splurge. Not only are they eye-catching, but their elevated performance levels make them a pleasure to use. Multiple ovens tucked into a butler’s pantry are immensely useful for those who enjoy feeding a big party. Specially designed refrigerators for separately chilling food, beverage and wine keep things organized. Dishwashers are quieter than ever, and installing two of them makes post-party clean-up a snap. A professional range provides even heat across more burners. Add a Salamander warmer for keeping plated food hot before serving.
Unique & Purposeful Kitchen Islands
For ease of use and an appealing display for parties, ample space to prepare and serve food makes all the difference. Imagine standing at an expansive kitchen island looking at the snowfall in Park City or waves crashing along the shore in Naples. Outsized or multi-level islands allow for plenty of platters and also seating for guests. Stone countertops, especially those with bookended one-of-a-kind patterns, make a beautiful backdrop whether in use or awaiting the bustle of the next meal. Deep sinks with touch faucets make washing a cinch. And pop-up electrical outlets, on the island top or side, allow for a quick run with the blender and then pop back out of sight.
Perhaps the most substantial visual aspect in the kitchen is the hood. Hoods are also a fantastic design cue with which to play. They can be completely customized, made to highlight a thematic design element, or almost entirely integrated into the wall behind them. In addition to the usual down-lights, many hoods now also provide shelves or racks for storage. They can be constructed from brick, stone, wood, or metal, and there are even retractable hoods for island ranges.
A luxurious kitchen that is pleasing to the eye, easy to use, and a stress-free space to keep clean and organized is, with some forethought and professional guidance, an attainable dream and well worth the effort. After all, the most used spot in the home should be inviting and enjoyable, a place to make memories.
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