When thinking about how to add luxury to a kitchen, it is worth considering beautiful colors and furnishings as well as materials, especially if you are looking for luxury kitchen ideas on a budget.
Whether you're looking for cost-effective kitchen ideas or want to break the budget, there are plenty of luxury kitchen ideas and looks to suit. Combining modern lifestyle demands with luxury looks and beautiful kitchen ideas takes thought and effort. But it's worth taking the time to design a kitchen so that the result is a space that you can enjoy 365 days a year – and adding luxury elements is key to achieving this end.
How do I add luxury to my kitchen?
When adding luxury to a kitchen, look to the best kitchen layout ideas, modern kitchen materials, on-trend kitchen color ideas, and arresting materials to create a beautiful kitchen that you will love for years.
These best ways to add luxury to a kitchen include classic and contemporary schemes to suit every home's style – and we have included a ton of added-value interior design advice for your next kitchen remodel, too.
1. Invest in countertop materials that make a difference
While every aspect of the kitchen design is important, the choice of kitchen countertop is particularly so in a luxury kitchen, as it has such a visual impact. Consider the characteristics of each material to make the best choice for your lifestyle.
There are no longer any rules when it comes to designing a luxury kitchen: go with what connects with you personally – having said that, balance in your design is important. Some of the heavily veined marble-effect materials are awesome, but also strong, so avoid too many competing looks.
Granite is another popular countertop that will exude luxury and quality, making it one of the best countertops for a kitchen. As a natural material, each slab of granite will be unique, ideal if you want an individual look with a timeless sense of beauty. It is also durable and relatively low maintenance once sealed.
2. Choose the right kitchen cabinetry
Choosing the right kitchen cabinet ideas should be at the heart of your kitchen design plans. 'Start by considering the style and feel you want for your kitchen,' says interior designer Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan. 'Think about how it might relate not just to the living and dining areas, especially if it is part of an open-concept space, but how it also fits with your overall plan for the house.'
'Gather images of luxury kitchens that inspire you and start to hone your ideas, thinking about how they might suit your space, the joinery elsewhere in your home, and the period of your property.'
If you want to enhance a sense of luxury in your kitchen, it is vital to create individuality. 'When we first opened in 2011, kitchens all seemed to be neutral in color, whether they were classic or contemporary.
'Now, we are seeing more demand for luxury kitchens with color, pattern, and personality, which is probably why the Shaker kitchen style is so popular. It can be customized easily; the interiors of a glass-fronted cabinet can be painted in one color, the door frames in another, or the handles changed as you wish. I also recommend adding an antique china cupboard or sideboard to the room, so the fitted cabinetry doesn't look too "samey"'.
Alongside the style of the cabinetry you're installing, try to consider its proportions and aim to create some sense of symmetry by placing key features, such as a range cooker or fireplace, as a central statement piece. It goes without saying that the specifics are always going to be determined by the size and height of your room.
3. Add in a breakfast station
The morning rush will be pleasurable with a well-organized breakfast bar area.
‘In the flurry of activity in the mornings before work and school, it makes complete sense to have your favorite breakfast items organized in one place to get the day off to an ordered, easy start,’ says Tom Howley, design director of Tom Howley. He suggests including a tap that dispenses boiling water for making tea and filling a cafetière – with a small sink or drip tray – or considering a built-in coffee machine. A deep counter with wall sockets for the toaster, juicer, and milk frother, and shelves for teas, coffees, boxes of cereal, jars of jam, and crockery, are also useful.
If you don’t have room for a full-size breakfast cupboard, consider a smaller alternative, such as an area on a corner of the worktop tucked behind a pull-down shutter or lift-up door, or a pull-out shelf. ‘A slide-in-and-out corner cabinet can be an “appliance garage”, making somewhere to put the toaster and coffee grinder that generally clutter up the worktop,’ says Howard Miller, director of H. Miller Bros. ‘It is easy to pull out the shelf during a busy breakfast time then push it back into the cabinet and close the door when the toast and coffee are made.’
Here, this breakfast cupboard from The Metallics Kitchen Collection by Ledbury Studio features hand-textured pewter fronts with dark-stained ash. Concave handles bring another point of difference to the doors, which are fashioned from stainless steel that has been blasted to dull the shine and darken the appearance. ‘I love combining fine craftsmanship with beautiful and unusual materials and textures,’ says designer Charlie Smallbone. ‘It’s the part of designing a bespoke kitchen that excites me the most.
4. Decorate with arresting materials to add interest
If you want to add luxury to a kitchen, then look to arresting materials to bring mesmerizing interest to your space. Materials matter when it comes to planning a luxurious kitchen, and this will undoubtedly be the biggest expense, so it pays to plan well.
Here, interior designer Rachel Chudley created this atmospheric scheme using impactful materials in a small area. ‘Plum and brassy yellow combinations are echoed throughout the flat, while a herringbone slate floor adds texture,’ she says. ‘We mirrored the wall facing the window to enlarge the space.
Alternatively, marbles, metals, timbers and concretes will have a similar effect and should be planned with the same care and consideration as the rest of your home.
5. Set up a display shelf
Use kitchen shelving to introduce delightful decorative moments. Be they decorated with ceramics, vintage glassware, plants, or recipe books, shelves can be used to add individual style and luxury to a kitchen, as Mike Fetherston, design director of Hetherington Newman, explains. ‘As kitchens are increasingly central to the home and where families come together for meals and to socialize, areas for display are important to personalize the space and add interest, giving a more relaxed and welcoming feel.’ Choose from floating shelves (without visible supports) to those with stylish brackets, from plate racks to cubby holes built into furniture.
Simple LED strips or miniature spotlights can be used to illuminate shelf displays, enhancing their impact and adding subtle evening glamour, especially useful when you want to create a softer mood for dining. Some wall materials can be backlit, as Richard Moore, design director of Martin Moore, explains of his use of a striking faux-marble onyx as a backsplash and backdrop to glazed cupboards. ‘The veined onyx is lit by an LED panel, creating a suffused light effect, which can be increased and decreased to suit the time of day,’ he says. ‘With its warm, soft glow, it showcases glassware and objects stored on the shelves beautifully.’
6. Lay down flooring that creates an impact
While kitchen flooring, with its heavy use, needs to be durable and preferably easy to maintain, it can also be a feature that enhances the style and success of your room. That choice of material depends on your budget and attitude towards character, beauty and practicality.
By far the most popular material for kitchen floors these days, porcelain tiles are robust, non-porous and highly stain and scratch resistant. They work well with underfloor heating, plus they tend to come in a huge variety of designs, colors and formats.
Timber-effect plank-shaped porcelain tiles are also popular, not least because they introduce a sense of character and movement. Previously, their totally-flat printed surface used to give away the fact that the plans were not made of real wood, but these days, a woodgrain is pressed into the surface of the tile for extra realism.
7. Modernize with the latest fridge-freezer
From speed chilling and climate control to stylish finishes and sleek installs, the right kitchen appliance will look and stay cool.
Integrated or freestanding should be your first decision. ‘Integrated fridge-freezers achieve a seamless look and mean there’s no gaping gap between appliances and cabinets,’ says Jo Jackson, market product manager, Fisher & Paykel. A free-standing fridge-freezer will make a strong statement and can go with you should you move. ‘Building cabinetry around a freestanding model helps it blend in while maximizing storage,’ adds Robert Stein, product manager, Rangemaster.
Practical features worth seeking out include frost-free, auto-defrost, and anti-bacterial finishes, which help reduce cleaning and maintenance. Climate and humidity-controlled drawers help keep food fresher for longer, saving on food waste.
It is also worth thinking about smart tech for your fridge-freezer, too. Smart features refer to Wi-Fi ‘connected’ tech, which, at its most basic, allows you to control your fridge via a phone or device. ‘Advantages include adjusting the temperature to accommodate a shopping spree before you get home, or setting Holiday Mode from the airport,’ says David Palmer, product specialist, LG Electronics. Some models also notify you when food is out of date and offer recipes based on ingredients stocked. Those with internal cameras can let you check supplies while out shopping.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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