8 Design Trends in Luxury Kitchen Remodeling

Whether your kitchen style is traditional or more modern, a few common trends carry throughout the new luxury kitchen. The kitchen continues to be everyone’s favorite room to makeover! It’s a central hang-out spot in the home, frequently used, and a good kitchen greatly increases property value. Here are the latest in luxury kitchen design trends:

Whether your kitchen style is traditional or more modern, a few common trends carry throughout the new luxury kitchen. The kitchen continues to be everyone’s favorite room to makeover! It’s a central hang-out spot in the home, frequently used, and a good kitchen greatly increases property value. Here are the latest in luxury kitchen design trend

8. Multiples (of Everything!)

Dual ovens, dual sinks, and dual pendant lights over dual kitchen islands. Having two ovens is helpful when you’re cooking multiple dishes for one meal. Ditto for dual sinks — having a main, deep, double-bowl sink, complete with a pot filler to pair with a small prep sink on one of your kitchen islands makes meal prep more efficient!

Dual ovens, dual sinks, and dual pendant lights over dual kitchen islands. Having two ovens is helpful when you’re cooking multiple dishes for one meal. Ditto for dual sinks -- having a main, deep, double-bowl sink, complete with a pot filler to pair with a small prep sink on one of your kitchen islands makes meal prep more efficient!

Dual ovens, dual sinks, and dual pendant lights over dual kitchen islands. Having two ovens is helpful when you’re cooking multiple dishes for one meal. Ditto for dual sinks -- having a main, deep, double-bowl sink, complete with a pot filler to pair with a small prep sink on one of your kitchen islands makes meal prep more efficient!

7. Slim Seating

We are seeing a lot of second kitchen islands replacing the traditional kitchen dining nook: homeowners are opting for the extra counter space with barstool seating over table and chairs. Among the kitchens that maintain a traditional breakfast nook, we are seeing a lot of bench seating. Both of these space-saving slim seating options make the kitchen both more of a relaxing hangout and more like a restaurant.

We are seeing a lot of second kitchen islands replacing the traditional kitchen dining nook: homeowners are opting for the extra counter space with barstool seating over table and chairs. Among the kitchens that maintain a traditional breakfast nook, we are seeing a lot of bench seating. Both of these space-saving slim seating options make the kitchen both more of a relaxing hangout and more like a restaurant.

We are seeing a lot of second kitchen islands replacing the traditional kitchen dining nook: homeowners are opting for the extra counter space with barstool seating over table and chairs. Among the kitchens that maintain a traditional breakfast nook, we are seeing a lot of bench seating. Both of these space-saving slim seating options make the kitchen both more of a relaxing hangout and more like a restaurant.

6. Seamless Surfaces

From touch-tap, no-pull cabinetry, and induction stovetops, to hidden outlet strips installed beneath grout-less, marble-slab countertops, sleek, clean surfaces are trending. Seamless design helps keep the kitchen tidy.

From touch-tap, no-pull cabinetry, and induction stovetops, to hidden outlet strips installed beneath grout-less, marble-slab countertops, sleek, clean surfaces are trending. Seamless design helps keep the kitchen tidy.

From touch-tap, no-pull cabinetry, and induction stovetops, to hidden outlet strips installed beneath grout-less, marble-slab countertops, sleek, clean surfaces are trending. Seamless design helps keep the kitchen tidy.

5. Display Storage

Wine storage is a popular addition and comes in many forms. An elegant glass-front wine fridge is a great way to show off your collection! Also popular: A mix of traditional cabinetry, appliance ‘garages,’ and some glass-front cabinets to display decorative dishware or a cookbook collection!

Wine storage is a popular addition and comes in many forms. An elegant glass-front wine fridge is a great way to show off your collection! Also popular: A mix of traditional cabinetry, appliance ‘garages,’ and some glass-front cabinets to display decorative dishware or a cookbook collection!

Source: Sub Zero Wolf

4. Out of Sight, Out Of Mind

In addition to the hidden outlets, new luxury kitchens are optimizing the use of the walk in pantry, housing smaller appliances like microwaves and coffee machines or trash cans.

Source: Zillow
Source: Pinterest

3. Varied Lighting Sources

A lot of different types of tasks have to take place in the kitchen, which means one single light source isn’t going to do the space justice: a mixture of under counter lighting, skylights, island pendants, and overhead recessed lighting help to optimize meal prep, dining, and manage to conserve energy!

2. Niche Heating Appliances

Steam heat ovens, warming drawers, pizza ovens, insta-hot sink nozzles: custom kitchens are catering to very specific dietary needs and finding ways to conserve energy.

1. Tech in the Kitchen

From built in TVs and speakers so you can watch HGTV all day long while you cook (just kidding!) to smart appliances like smart ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of the modern, luxury kitchen.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

10 Unconventional Ways to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

  1. Have Your Home Inspected for the Hidden Projects

This first tip isn’t glamorous, but it is super important: You’re going to want to work with a pro to have your home inspected. Not all improvements you make to your real estate are going to be fun and cosmetic, some are just plain necessary: Consider for example that parts of your home may be water damaged and you don’t even know it unless it’s been inspected by a certified home inspection professional. Or maybe your home is missing some necessary insulation. Perhaps your plumbing needs replacement? But enough about that, onto the fun part:

  1. Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

This can mean a lot of things: New roof, new doors and windows, new mailbox, new house numbers, new paint, new driveway tile and garage doors, fresh front lawn, etc. We wrote in great detail about the various ways to increase your home’s curb appeal in a recent post you can read here.

  1. Paint Everything!

This is such a simple update whose importance cannot be overstated. When it doubt, put a coat of paint on it! Add curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior, and brighten up your interior with lighter, neutral shades that will help your home sell.

  1. Cut Costs & Help the Environment with Energy-Efficient Features

Find ways, from a design perspective, to lower energy costs– the home’s next buyers will thank you! There are a number of ways to achieve this such as: improving the home’s landscape architecture by planting some shade trees, installing solar roof panels, or new doors and windows that help maintain the home’s temperature. All of these options can significantly cut cooling costs and are so helpful for the environment as well. Win-win!

  1. Bathroom Updates

Even minimal updates to your bathrooms yield BIG returns for home sellers. Update toilets and tile, get rid of outdated wallpaper, faucets, and other hardware like drawer pulls, and replace with sleek, durable, modern upgrades. You may even want to consider ripping out bathtubs and instead building  large, luxurious walk-in showers. Another quick upgrade is taking out your overhead lighting and installing attractive wall-mounted sconces on either side of the mirrors.

  1. Kitchen Updates

Ditto for kitchens! Whether or not you makeover your entire kitchen, upgrades to the space mean big returns on investment. The kitchen is the hearth of the home, so maximizing your home’s potential starts here. Upgrade appliances and cabinetry (sometimes all cabinets need is a few heavy-duty coats of paint and new hardware to look brand new!), flooring tile and backsplashes, and give lighting an upgrade.

  1. Get Rid of Carpet, Tile Instead!

Carpets are pesky to maintain and more often than not, dated. Op’t instead for tiling throughout your home. We frequently write about the benefits of tile flooring and how customizable all the options building materials for flooring are. A surefire way to increase your home’s value is with updates to its flooring materials. Learn more at this recent post about choosing flooring materials here.

  1. Create Visual Space

Adding on square footage to your home can be a great idea, but it can be prohibitive for a number of reasons, including costs or building restrictions, but there are other alternatives than can increase your home’s value. Create visual space by restructuring the existing home a bit: Consider knocking out a wall and opening up a space into a great room. Another way to create visual space that’s a bit simpler is to brighten up your space with light, neutral shades of paint and fabrics, and by making better lighting choices. Which deserves it’s own point…

  1. Brighten It Up!

A great, underrated place to begin making over any room in your home is with the lighting: installing dimmer switches and sun tubes throughout your home create a customizable, aesthetic experience that can greatly increase a home’s value. Installing sky lights is another great way to open up a space, let the outdoors in, and increase value.

  1. Ceiling Update

This one is totally easy: If you have old, dated, popcorn ceilings, its time to call in a pro to come scrape those clean and drywall over them!  

5 Design Tips to Makeover Your Fireplace

1. Accents Around a Fireplace

Some of the tips we’ll give you will be more time consuming and involve construction or more intense design efforts to implement. This first one, though, is easy: accessorize the space around your fireplace –maybe even with items you already have: create symmetry with planters or sculptural objects on the mantle or on either side of your fireplace. 

If you’re a fan of a cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic, consider one large-scale work of statement art for above your fireplace. Think about log storage as well: if you want to take your fireplace to the next level, consider built-in log storage.

2. New Fireplace Surrounds

Plaster, cement, tile, stone, and brick– we love the variety and creativity that redesigning the space around a fireplace allows us. As far as construction/home improvement projects go, making over your fireplace surround is one of the easiest things to do to completely transform a space and make a loud design statement.

Putting a little extra attention into revamping your outdoor fireplace is a great way to create an outdoor dining or living room that’s as luxe as an interior space!

3. New Paint

Painting is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade in any space, and it’s a great way to revamp a fireplace, making a statement with color! People often shy away from painting a whole room a bold color because that’s a lot of change– painting a fireplace or the area just around it is a great way to begin experimenting with color and implementing a big design choice.

4. Make a Style Statement 

Consider an ultra modern OR vintage fireplace to contrast with the surrounding space for a dramatic, highly stylized design statement. EcoSmart Fires, for example, are one of our new favorite fire-features that completely transforms a space. This is a gas fireplace for which you don’t needing a gas line.

They’re great for condos and small spaces, a modern shape as a room’s centerpiece can also work in more traditional spaces as well as deliberate design statement. If you do have a traditional fireplace, but want to give it a modern twist, consider utilizing something other than traditional logs, like chic concrete fire balls.

5. Mix Materials

Mixing materials is a popular design trend right now, that we don’t anticipate going anywhere anytime soon! Contrary to the popular matchy design stylings of the 80s and 90s, mixing materials in the kitchen, baths, and around fireplaces elevate the rooms with an extra designer touch. Use this as an opportunity to play with patterns in the same colors to give your space a monochromatic look or starkly contrast materials AND colors for high drama!

How Much Should I Be Paying My Contractor?

Are you being overcharged? Or shopping around for the ‘best deal’ but don’t really know what to look for? We certainly don’t advocate handing over your costly design/build project to the lowest builder-bider, but we do want you to do your research before hiring your contractor. Read on: We’ve broken down how contractors are charging for their services, what to expect, and when to run and hire someone else:

How Much Contractors Charge

Some contractors take as little as $1,000, the maximum by their state law, and up to 10% of the estimated contract to be retained. Once the contract is written, you and the contractor will work out a payment schedule that will keep the job moving forward and meet your financial capabilities.

Financing

Having a contractor help finance your project is a great solution because not only can you get what you want but the contractor is financially incentivized to complete your job in a satisfactory manner, and your partnership is further solidified.

The financing process is often much easier than a traditional bank loan process, and it’s definitely much faster. You could also end up with more favorable terms.

Estimates

A good contractor should be able to give you some very broad ranges of what past projects with similar scopes cost, but will not be able to give you an accurate estimate until you provide a specific set of plans from a designer or architect detailing exactly what will be done and what types of materials will be used. If someone gives you a firm quote without seeing plans, be careful. You could have a lot of change orders in your future.

Flooring Guide: Wood Vs. Porcelain Tile Vs. Stone

One of the topics we get questions about all the time is Flooring: What’s the difference between actual wood flooring and engineered veneer? Stone vs Porcelain? What type of flooring is best for pets and children? How much maintenance is necessary? And so on.. Today, we are tackling those questions to provide some clarity on the broad topic of flooring. Read on for the Pro’s and Con’s of popular flooring materials and our answers to your frequently asked questions about flooring:

FAQ’s: Wood Flooring Vs. Porcelain Tile

Q. Why is Wood Flooring so Popular?

Wood floor is classic, enduring, strong. It lasts a long time and you can sand it down a few times to look like new. It gives a home a warm, lived in feel. And you can really get creative with the installation design: herringbone, inlays and parquet, and other fancy applications, or  you can op’t for a more traditional installation for a rustic and down to earth feel. We’re in a light wood trend right now, which has a much brighter, casual modern feel than the heavy darker rich wood floorings of the past.

Q. What if Wood Flooring is Outside My Budget? Is there an Inexpensive Alternative?

If you like the look of wood but feel it may be outside your budget, look towards wood-like porcelain tile. It’s less expensive, but looks great and keeps the home cool in the summer. It’s also a great selection because you can install radiant heat below.

Another option is engineered hardwood veneer. It’s also less expensive and looks great.  It has a thinner top layer than solid hardwood. The downside to consider is that it might be harder than hardwood floor because of the glue needed to keep the plys together. So get ready to invest in a lot of plush area rugs!

Vinyl is also an affordable look, that is easily maintained and can resemble wood.  Because it’s so hygienic, you’ll see it used in a lot of hospitals, restaurants, and hospitality public spaces.

(Porcelain Tile – Herringbone Installation)

Q. How Different Will Wood-Like Porcelain Tile Look from Actual Wood?

It can vary, but here is a pro design tip to get around that issue: Match the grout to the tile color so it blends and isn’t obvious that it’s not wood.  This is great because it can continue throughout the house in a seamless continuous way from home into wet surface areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

(Porcelain Tile – Herringbone Installation)

Q. What Rooms Should I Install Wood Flooring? Any I should Avoid?

Wood is beautiful in just about every interior space, but in bathrooms and laundry rooms or other spaces that involve moisture like indoor/outdoor spaces, for example, you might actually want to op’t for wood-like porcelain which is both heat and stain resistant so you don’t have to worry about flooding or any water damage. Because it’s comprised of clays and minerals fired at extremely high temperatures, it’s an incredibly durable material, making it one of THE best choices for flooring, as opposed to ceramic, which is not going to hold up as well.

FAQ’s Stone Vs. Porcelain Tile Flooring

Q. What are the Benefits of Stone Tile?

Stone is classic, resistent, and natural. Though it comes at a higher price, it lasts forever. With stone you have a lot of creative freedom to design borders, install herringbone, diagonal, large scale, you can even craft smaller architectural details, which we love!

Q. If Real Stone is Outside My Price point, What is an Alternative?

Ceramic and porcelain tile are both cost-efficient alternatives to actual stone tile. The ceramic manufacturing process has come a long way so that it looks closer to real stone, rather than a pixilated picture. Porcelain is extremely strong and is a great alternative to stone. It comes is large slabs like stone, for a modern application.

Q. What are the Benefits of Concrete Flooring?

Concrete tile is so fun and makes a real WOW moment in color and design! It’s among the most durable materials and can be entirely customized to fit your specifications. It’s heat and scratch resistant, capturing and releasing the heat in your home for optimal comfort.

Q. What Type of Flooring Should I Avoid Altogether?

We rarely recommend carpeting because it’s a total dust and dirt collector. Carpet can be toxic in its application and material, not to mention it’s more expensive and difficult to maintain. Area Rugs are great underfoot with a thick beefy rug pad, and are easily maintained since they can be moved. Not to mention they’re a great cost-efficient way to change up a room’s decor when you get tired of them.