When it comes to creating sophisticated luxury spaces in your home, there’s no room that presents a more unique challenge than the kitchen. With as much function as it necessitates, it can be difficult to nail down an elevated design, but given that limitations tend to breed creativity, there’s a lot to do to achieve your desired outcome.
Luxury kitchens are not specifically defined as one style or another. However, they generally refer to spaces that utilize high-quality and upscale appliances and materials. It is often more common to see them incorporate modern or contemporary design elements as opposed to rustic or traditional, though it is certainly possible. This can refer to anything from marble countertops to the latest oven or smart refrigerator. However, the possibilities are endless.
What makes a luxury kitchen?
The following elements are typically always present in upscale kitchen design.
Given that appliances are mostly what makes a kitchen functional — and the most commonly utilized aspects of the room — having new and upscale appliances is essential. This means that you will need to not only coordinate the appliances (if one is stainless steel, they should all either match or coordinate) but also invest in the latest technology. Smart refrigerators, wide designer ranges, and little details such as a beverage mini-fridge or uniquely placed high-end microwave are all useful.
Though there aren’t too many designs that are consistent throughout all luxury kitchens, frameless cabinets are present in many of them. This means that the cabinetry is made out of an upscale material (perhaps stone or something inorganic as opposed to wood) and appears as though it is simply part of the wall instead of installed in the wall. It’s also common to see appliances worked into the cabinetry design to either hide them or make them stand out less.
The luxury of any room is dependent on its lighting. (This applies to any space, especially one that you’re trying to make cozy, inviting, or anything else.) Lighting is everything. In this case, you’ll need the highest quality lighting available, and your placement will need to be precise. This might call for recess lighting, upscale fixtures, and extra illumination in special areas, such as beneath the cabinets.
Durable work surfaces
Another aspect of the luxury kitchen is the materials used. This means that everything from the tile to the countertops needs to not only be high quality and visually appealing, but extremely durable.
Ideas to start your luxury kitchen design
Though there are so many different styles you can channel into a luxury kitchen, there are a few specific elements that will ensure the space has an elevated, sophisticated appearance. When it comes to luxury design, it’s about streamlining and detail. The space needs to be as functional as it is aesthetically attractive, and every detail needs to be precise, properly installed, and well-thought-out. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.
That’s a pretty basic way to say that many luxury kitchen designs involve some kind of polished material such as stone. It’s not uncommon to see it used not only on countertops but maybe in the cabinetry or even on the walls. Instead of backsplash, you can use another sheet of the same material you used in another section of the space. Uniformity is key, which we’ll elaborate on in a moment.
A fundamental aspect of a luxury kitchen is top-tier appliances. You will need to not only upgrade but perhaps completely replace everything from your stove to your range and refrigerator, but you should also be mindful about the technology of each. Smart appliances are great, but luxury kitchens often feature the same ones that would be found in a chef’s kitchen or used for gourmet cooking. This adds a special, personalized, and yet accessible touch to the space.
Plant life & flora
Perhaps one of the easiest and least expensive elements to incorporate into your kitchen, plants, and greenery are often the perfect accessories in any high-end space. This is because the design tends to be minimal and clean, and so the liveliness and color of plants and flowers not only make it more welcoming and homey but also brighter and more lived-in. The easiest way to incorporate greens is to grab some planters and a few of your favorite indoor plants, but you can also get creative by building spaces for vines or hanging plants — perhaps even in creative places such as above your island or cabinetry.
Another common feature in luxury kitchens is the use of auxiliary furniture or pieces that are movable. These are crucial because most of the kitchen will be stationary, so look for some freestanding, high-end stools, chairs, or other accessories to make the space more livable and cohesive.
As we’ve said before, lighting is everything when it comes to interior design. The right lighting can make or break a luxury space, so it’s crucial that you get this right. You should invest in a multitude of lights for the kitchen, ensuring that all of the space you need to see and work in is adequately lit. This could be a combination of recess lighting, dimmers, and a standout chandelier or larger fixture in the center. You can also get creative here: Interesting light fixtures, especially when they complement the rest of the room, are essential.
Bottle & wine racks
Part of creating a high-end space is ensuring that there’s a sense of relaxation as well as function. You can accomplish this by incorporating a large bottle or wine rack, a beverage refrigerator, or anything else that gives the space a luxurious touch.
Neutral color schemes
Luxury kitchens and spaces in general typically stick to a more neutral color scheme. This is because neutral tones tend to look a bit classier and upscale, age better, and are more versatile if you want to swap out your accessories or hardware sometime in the future. Bright whites, black stones, and other tans and nudes are very popular choices, much more so than browns or greens.
Use of marble and other stones
Many luxury kitchens utilize high-end materials like granite, marble, and other stones for countertops and other areas. This can include the backsplash, cabinets, or even the floor or ceiling. Woods and plastics simply aren’t going to give the space as elevated of a look. However, don’t overlook the fact that you can still use those materials in combination with nicer ones.
No matter what you choose, remember to be consistent. High-end spaces are always uniform in their design, and that starts with having consistent materials on hand.
Gold & copper hardware
Last, as details are so important in luxury design, don’t forget about the tone and texture of your hardware. Gold and coppers are popular for handles and faucets and can instantly make the space look more expensive and high-end.
Open floor plans & freestanding kitchens
Some luxury kitchens utilize an open floor plan. This means that when you walk into a home, there are no walls dividing the separate spaces. The living room, dining room, and kitchen — or some combination of the three — are exposed, in the style of a loft. Whereas it used to be popular to have separate rooms for different activities such as eating and dining, that’s no longer the case. What’s more in style now is a space that’s more conducive to entertaining and connecting the family.
Though an open floor plan can offer you a very sophisticated, loft-style appearance, it isn’t the only way to achieve a true luxury kitchen. In fact, many luxury kitchens are reserved as their own separate space, perhaps even as a freestanding kitchen.
A freestanding kitchen is one where the space was previously utilized as another room — a dining room, perhaps — and only the gas and water lines are connected. From there, you are free to be creative with the use of cabinetry, layout, and placement. Whereas many people assume that the kitchen will be filled with immovable objects such as an island or sink, a freestanding kitchen is almost like a kitchen that is built into another room and styled in a way that defies tradition.
Why would you want to try a freestanding kitchen?
Perhaps your kitchen is currently located in the very back of your home, which isn’t quite inviting. You also have a lot of extra space in the dining room or loft which is going unused. Given that you can move the gas and water lines, you can build a stand-in kitchen in a much more utilized space.
Instead of clunky old cabinets, you can install slim, sleek glass ones, or even open shelving units. Instead of being relegated to the back of the first floor, your kitchen can be built around huge open windows or ceiling installation. A freestanding kitchen allows you to utilize the most creativity possible.
Easier to maintain
A freestanding kitchen will also typically involve pieces such as an island or counter that can be moved or shifted. This is a great option if you want to consolidate space, transform it for an evening or event, or just be able to move certain pieces in order to clean beneath or beside them.
Our favorite luxury kitchen products
With so many different products to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what will work best for your space. Considering that those designing a luxury kitchen aren’t unduly constrained by a budget, it can be tempting to piece together all of the most expensive, highest quality items available. However, this can quickly become an uncoordinated end result, and two of the staple features of a luxury kitchen are uniformity and cohesiveness, both of which require planning. Therefore, it’s best to perhaps start a vision or mood board or to take stock of the products you are sure you want to be incorporated, then build from there.