TOP 8 KITCHEN UPGRADES FOR YOUR LUXURY HOME
It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. It’s a place where we gather with our families and friends, and create memories. Even if you aren’t an award winning chef, having a kitchen that is functional, comfortable, and appealing is sure to make your home something truly special.
Now, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, a great kitchen is essential, especially in luxury markets. It can often be the deciding factor between homes that sell quickly and for top dollar, and ones that sit on the market for longer. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a 70% return on your renovation investment.
YOUR KITCHEN, A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN
Below is a list of the Top 10 upgrades to consider, to take your kitchen to the next level. Many of them are luxury features, and depending on your market, certain brands or styles matter more to potential home buyers. Your best bet would be to speak with your real estate advisor, who should be knowledgeable about what matters most in your particular market.
1 | CHEF'S RANGE / INTEGRATED HIGH-END COOKTOP
One of the first places our eyes are drawn to in a luxury kitchen is a high-end range. A few of the most popular brands in the luxury market are WOLF, Viking, Thermador, and Miele, along with a few other smaller luxury brands such as Gaggenau, La Cornue, and Bertazzoni. While many homeowners default to stainless steel appliances, considering different colors and styles can give your home a unique pop! You can take it a step further and choose between two different ventilation options - a Range Hood or an integrated ventilation system. While not mandatory, sticking with one brand for most of your appliances is recommended - it gives your kitchen a more uniform and refined look.
2 | PROFESSIONAL-GRADE REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER
Along with a high-end range, another feature of a kitchen that grabs our attention is a high-end refrigerator/freezer. Refrigerator/freezer systems come in all different sizes, styles, colors and are even offered in integrated, panel-ready options (match the surrounding cabinets, giving a seamless look to your kitchen. Some of the most popular brands in the luxury market include Sub-Zero (same company as WOLF), Viking, Thermador, Miele and Gaggenau. While one refrigerator and one freezer is the most frequently seen combination, some homeowners opt to have multiple refrigerators and freezers in their kitchens. Whichever option you choose, a high-end refrigerator is a must have in any luxury home.
3 | DRINK / WINE REFRIGERATOR
In addition to a primary refrigerator/freezer, many luxury homeowners opt to have an additional refrigerator for drinks, wine, and champagne exclusively. This not only provides an added convenience, but allows for more flexibly and control over choosing different temperatures for different beverages. The brands above all provide both full-height and under counter refrigeration options, but a couple of additional brands include U-Line & Perlick. These refrigerators come in a variety of styles, including glass-front allowing you to see the contents of your refrigerator (we recommend as it is a great way to show-off your wines, champagnes, and different beverage options - but it is important to keep everything inside organized!), stainless steel, and integrated, panel-ready.
4 | KITCHEN ISLAND
As the heart of the home, our kitchen's are where we gather. This is why having a designated gathering space, such as an island makes us feel even more at home. The sky is the limit, when it comes to choosing styles, sizes, shapes, and materials for your kitchen island. It also provides more cabinet space, and space to place appliances. Because it's a designated gathering area, the more comfortable you can make it the better! We highly recommend bar seating, under-counter outlets, and under-counter lighting to give it both increased functionality and style. Some popular options for islands include what is referred to as "waterfall" countertops, where instead of the countertop ending abruptly, it spill over into a vertical slab that goes down to the floor on one or both sides.
5 | PREMIUM MATERIALS
In higher-end kitchens, homeowners and home buyers are known for preferring higher-end materials being used throughout. Materials such as marble, onyx, hard to find stone and even petrified woods are being used more liberally now than in the past. If you do decide to opt for granite or another type of stone, we recommend speaking with an interior designer/architect who can direct you towards more style-forward options that both fit your aesthetic preferences and your lifestyle. Tile and most granite countertop materials have fallen out of fashion, as new builders are looking for fresh and exciting materials to attract buyers. As for cabinets, while synthetic wood options and mass produced options may be appealing because of their lower cost, savvy home buyers in the luxury market can tell the difference between cheap cabinets and higher end cabinets made with premium materials.
6 | SMART HOME / IOT / CONNECTED FEATURES
Technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives. Everything from the cars we drive, to the devices we carry in our pockets, are learning our habits, preferences, and allow us to do more and enjoy the luxury of convenience now more than ever before. Our homes, and specifically our kitchens need not be different. Features such as smart lighting systems, sound systems, home automation systems, and connected devices are making their way into our kitchens at an ever growing pace. Smart lighting systems are allowing us to control the ambiance and set the mood for different occasions. Connected sound systems are allowing us to navigate our homes, all whilst staying connected to whatever it is that we're listening to. Home automation systems such as Apple's Home Kit, Crestron and Savant are granting us the flexibility to customize the functionality of our homes in a manner that matches our lifestyle preferences. And last but not least, connected devices are giving us the added convenience of being able to save time, and energy - allowing us to pre-heat an oven when we are 5 minutes away from home, or automatically adjust the temperature of our homes when the home itself detects that we will be coming home shortly.
7 | COFFEE / TEA BAR
Coffee and Tea are an essential component in most of our lives. We are leading busier and faster paced lifestyles, and with all of the day-to-day activities that most of us are involved in, we need a little pep in our step to get us through the day. In luxury kitchens we are seeing a trend, where some homeowners are opting to skip the Starbucks round in the morning, and instead opt for an at-home, full-service coffee/tea experience. Professional grade coffee/espresso/latte/tea/cappuccino/you-name-it machines are being adopted by luxury homeowners from such brands as Jura, Nespresso, & Breville. These owners have designated areas in their kitchens, and sometimes in their master bathrooms/closets/bedrooms where they place these machines, as well as other drink station accessories, such as the under counter drink refrigerators mentioned above, and custom drawers to store their teas/coffee-pods. An alternative to the countertop setup, is the streamlined built in coffee machines from such brands as Miele, and Bosch. These systems are integrated, flush with walls or cabinets, to save on counter space as well as offer a fully integrated look.
8 | BUTLER'S PANTRY
A butler's pantry (also referred to as a scullery) is a dedicated space, usually located just off the kitchen or dining room, used for storage of tableware, wine glasses, candles, linens, and other items for the dining room, and also acts as space used for serving meals. Some luxurious upgrades that are often found in butler's pantries include a dishwasher, mini bar, a wine cabinet, under counter refrigerators, a warming drawer, and a sink. A butler's pantry can serve as a great addition to any home, as it is a highly functional feature, especially if you or your family enjoys entertaining guests.
PREPPING YOUR HOME TO SELL OR CONSIDERING A NEW KITCHEN UPGRADE?
We'd love to put you in touch with one of our preferred contractors/kitchen designers who can help you with your project. To speak with us about how we can work with you to prep your home to sell for top dollar in today’s market, connect with us HERE.