Luxury Kitchens

Sleek style and high-end appliances are the hallmarks of this kitchen design.

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik
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A luxury kitchen design pairs contemporary, modern style with the gadgets and gizmos that only someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen could truly appreciate.

Sophisticated Kitchen Designs

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Silk, marble and crystal adorn this petite kitchen design, which has been incorporated into an 1800s federal-style home. Frosty white raised-panel cabinetry with crystal knobs sits above and below a Turkish-marble subway-tile backsplash. Dark-stained Jacobean flooring and taupe silk wall covering draw out the colored veins and shading in the marble. Limited space requires maximum efficiency in the usability of this hard-working stylish space, and an adjoining laundry room offers additional storage.

Photo By: Jim Fiora

This comfortable kitchen greets guests and family at the front of a Cape Cod home. A relaxed family environment was created as a fluid complement to the Atlantic Ocean, which is viewed through windows running along the back of the home. Touches of blue-green ocean in the colored glass pulls, coupled with island knotty alder with Cape Cod stain, incorporates soothing accents against the whitewashed landscape of the room. Pine flooring and reclaimed beech used for the island countertop add a warm balance to the white in a kitchen that makes the most of the home's ocean view.

A confined Pullman-style kitchen with a low ceiling was brought to life with a two-foot bump-out and restoration of the original higher ceiling. An overall openness to the room, paired with hard-working and stylish storage solutions, brings functionality and performance to new heights. A drawer below double ovens, two pullout pantry units above and hinged stepladder storage to the right maximize the oven cabinet space. The cabinetry and refrigerator maintain a look of warm continuity through the use of butternut wood. The use of copper, hickory, antique bronze, beadboard and granite, as well as a tile backsplash that alludes to the weave in a basket, creates a medley of texture, sheen and color.

The cumulative style of this kitchen, created for newlyweds combining two households, is long on Old World charm. The pair enjoy collecting antiques from their world travels, and they wanted these finds to be blended into a design. The 100-year-old blue and white tile from Germany is framed by sections of black marble to form a backsplash for the cooktop and camouflage the black exhaust vent. A large arched stained-glass window from an 1800s-era church in England was split at a seam, making two panels for use in the doors that sit on either side of the cooker. Detailed moldings, wide windowsills, chandeliers, open dish storage and a large dramatic mantel show off other collected items.

Photo By: Jim Fiora

By moving the eating area to the adjacent sunroom, the designer gave this large kitchen a wine bar and two beautiful cabinets that house wine refrigeration and a pewter collection. A previously unused corner became a family desk, while another wall is now home to a coffee bar, a microwave drawer, an ice maker and a large walnut hutch containing the refrigerator. A large arched window admits light while providing a graceful line to soften the crossed-paned panels of the cabinets on the sides. The large Calcutta marble-topped island offers generous space for entertaining and casual dining. Limestone flooring in shades of charcoal, tan and gold bring an earthy and pleasingly imperfect color quality that offers a comfortable contrast to the hues of white.

The homeowners spend a great deal of time in Japan and wanted to incorporate traditional aspects of Japanese architecture into their 21st-century North American home. The opposing qualities of hard and soft, reflective and matte, and old and new have been used. The focal point —l a rare century-old umagaki ceremonial drape — directed the selection of the Blue Bahia granite countertop and blue glass-tile backsplash. Imported Japanese hardware, textured wallpaper, a wood-lined backsplash, shoji-soft lighting, distressed acacia wood flooring and new beams appearing to bear signs of centuries of charcoal fire cooking all contribute to the design. The appliances are concealed behind custom panels to create the illusion of a kitchen suited to the home of an ancient samurai.

A classically elegant floor-to-ceiling hearth surrounding the cooking area provides a focal point between two expansive islands in this large kitchen. The soffit follows the outlined shapes of the islands. White linen cabinets with a chocolate glaze, along with cherry islands in a light mahogany stain and walnut glaze, give the space a comfortable feel. A commercial-grade cooktop is placed close to the spacious workstations, a sink and a microwave incorporated into the islands. The granite island top balances the room's grand scale, conveyed by the chandelier, the hearth and the ceiling height. The primary sink is positioned to allow a view of the courtyard.

Photo By: Peter Rymwid

The owners of this spacious condominium wanted to add a French-style kitchen that would serve as the heart of their entertaining space. The sink window was repositioned to allow a better view of the courtyard beyond, and two islands were added to provide a conducive flow to the work areas, with one containing a prep sink, a microwave and a warming drawer. A grand arched stone alcove with inset niches acts as a spacious cooking hearth, which is balanced by an elegant integrated refrigerator with elaborate carvings. Granite counter and teakwood island surfaces complement cherry hardwood floors, and crystal chandeliers serve as the crowning touch.

Photo By: Peter Leach

Luxury kitchen designs rely on sleek surfaces, like stainless steel and black marble countertops, to complement a minimalist design. For example, cherry wood cabinets are often paired with dark flooring options, white countertops, and stainless steel appliances and accents, like drawer handles. Combine that overall sophisticated design with some fun kitchen items, and you'll have yourself a luxury kitchen.

One interesting idea for a luxury kitchen is a built-in coffee bar. This addition would be especially fun for the coffee aficionado who can rattle off stats about different roasting styles and brewing methods. Create a coffee bar using high-end appliances, like a state-of-the-art coffee pot and espresso machine, complete with other necessities, such as a pour-over tool and French press. Keep various types of coffee, espresso, sweeteners and mugs on hand to give the space a real coffee-bar feel.

Another fun idea for a luxury kitchen is a brick oven, a perfect addition for the baker who enjoys making bread, pizza, rolls and other fresh goods. Wood-fired ovens can fit in many large kitchen areas and can be an especially interesting luxury item for the homeowner who loves to entertain.

No matter the luxury kitchen design you choose, the key is to splurge on an item you wouldn't otherwise deem "necessary." These additions can take a traditional kitchen from simple to luxury in no time.

Your Kitchen Style: Luxury

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