Luxury kitchen design has come to mean very different things to different people. Of those we have been involved with in designing and/or building, regardless of whether they are classic white upscale city homes or casual country homes, four key design elements stand out: spaciousness, the quality of materials, user-friendly built in appliances and easy access to accessory rooms (home office, butlers pantry, walk-in pantry)
Luxury Kitchen Design – Spaciousness
How we use and enjoy our kitchen spaces has changed significantly from the years when a kitchen was a small, separate, utilitarian room in the back of the house. Nearly all of our kitchens these days are part of a larger great room space. Here are four examples:
This Shaughnessy, Vancouver kitchen is in a very upscale neighborhood. It has a wonderful spaciousness that includes a large casual great room area complete with a fireplace centered directly opposite the custom metal hood fan. The hallway at the top right corner leads to a servery and a second ‘spice’ kitchen. Because the family enjoys a lot of spicy Indian foods and they didn’t want the entire house to smell like curry, they chose to have a second kitchen for spicy cooking.
This country estate kitchen in the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver, British Columbia, is also open to a great room so that hose working in the kitchen can easily be in conversation with others nearby.
This horse shoe shaped, art deco inspired, eclectic kitchen in Calgary, Alberta also open up to a large family great room (not seen in photo).
This modern French country style kitchen in Langley, British Columbia has a wonderfully spacious feel to it. The height of the ceiling, with it’s reclaimed wood beams, the light coming in from the west and the complete openness to the sitting/TV area, make this a great spacious kitchen.
Luxury Kitchen Design – Quality of Materials
The quality of materials in luxury kitchen design is seen in everything as small as the choice of cabinet knobs, choice of drawer box materials, drawer slide and door hinge quality, counter top materials, built in appliance choices, choice of hood fan and electrical fixtures, flooring – in short it includes the quality of every item in the kitchen.
Here are a few examples of higher quality items you typically see in our luxury kitchens:
Dovetailed maple drawer boxes with concealed, adjustable, full extension, soft-closing drawer slides are standard for all of our kitchens.
Hold one of these knobs or cup pulls in your hand and you can feel that they are of a quality fitting for a classic luxury kitchen. This Point Grey kitchen in Vancouver, British Columbia is an elegant city kitchen. A French country kitchen would likely have more rustic knobs and pulls, but the quality would be the same.
A luxury kitchen, like this one with a classic traditional feel to it, may have beaded, flush inset, face-frame cabinets with exposed barrel hinges with a polished nickel finish.
When designing this modern French country kitchen it simply called for a large scale hood fan. This French curved hood fan is over 6′ wide.
In our view, for better durability, a luxury kitchen should have plywood interiors rather than particleboard. For all of our cabinets, we use 3/4″ maple or birch veneer plywood for our cabinet cases, including the back and shelves. Shelves have a hardwood edge rather than a vinyl glued on edge. Interiors have a clear lacquer finish except where there are glass doors, where we will match the interior finish with the exterior.
So many appliances are available now as built in with many having the option of custom fronts to match the cabinets. Here are a few examples:
The large upper drawer in this Point Grey, Vancouver, British Columbia home is a single Fischer Paykel dishwasher drawer. Usually we use double drawers.
On the left you see an integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator with matching cabinet door fronts. See more photos from this kitchen here.
This kitchen island has a Sharp microwave drawer and a warming drawer seen on the left. It also has two sets of Fischer Paykel dishwasher drawers, one set on each side of the island sink. See more photos from this kitchen here.
This French country style luxury kitchen has an integrated Kitchenaid dishwasher with a faux front that appears as a bank of three drawers. Look for it to the right of the apron front sink. See more photos from this kitchen here.
This is a great example of using built in appliance: beginning on the far left is a tall pantry, to the right of the pantry is a Liebherr integrated refrigerator with a matching cabinet door front. To the right of the fridge is a built-in wall oven with warming drawer below. Next to the wall oven is a Miele built-in coffee maker and below the coffee maker are two 24″ wide Sub-Zero refrigerator drawers with matching cabinet drawer fronts.
Making the corner towards the dining room there are more built-in appliances. What looks like a base cabinet with a full height door is actually an under-counter refrigerator, then there is a bank of drawers and a built-in wine fridge with a glass door.
See more photos from this West Vancouver kitchen here.
Luxury Kitchen Design – Easy Access to Accessory Rooms
Over-all user-friendly convenience is a big part of designing a luxury kitchen. Easy access to a home office or a walk-in pantry, for example will make life simpler. Here are a few examples:
This walk-in pantry is right next to the kitchen, on the way passed the home office alcove and on to the laundry room. See more photos from this home here.
In a separate little alcove on the way to the laundry room, this home office is conveniently close to the kitchen. A simple tall storage cabinet and desk provide enough space to keep things organized. See more photos from this home here.
A laundry room close to the kitchen is going to save a lot of time! This one is just around the corner. See more photos from this home here.