Kitchens are the soul of a home. For many families, this is the room where meals are cooked, where entertaining is done, where homework is completed, and where meals are eaten. Many families spend more time in the kitchen than just about any other room of the house.
For the very wealthy, however, the kitchen is a space that can be all about comfort and extravagance. Celebrities, famous cooks, and the affluent create kitchens that are worthy of the finest restaurants in the world. These kitchens often feature:
1) A luxury island.
An island can be a great place to chop veggies and do all the prep work for your best dishes. In the right hands, though, it is a piece of art. One of the most intricate kitchen islands is made from pure crystal of Murano and stone and is part of one of the most expensive kitchens in the world. You can see photos here. Decadent kitchens on a slightly smaller scale may include islands made from finely-crafted stone (such as caesarstone) or steel bedecked islands which can serve as a casual dining area or a food prep area.
2) High-octane lighting.
Why settle for track lighting when you can install chandeliers with Swarovski crystals? When money is no object, the wealthy often decorate their kitchens with light fixtures that are pieces of art as well as lighting solutions.
3) Luxury appliances.
Gourmet kitchens feature appliances built for style and performance, such as refrigerators by Sub-Zero, one of the most recognized names in luxury food storage. You can visit the Sub-Zero site here. These kitchens also have ovens by Wolf, Viking, La Cornue, or Dynasty. Popular dishwasher brands for decadent kitchens include Miele and Fisher Paykel. German manufacturer Gaggenau makes hand-crafted kitchen appliances that are found in many high-end homes. Electrolux is another brand of appliances often found in celebrity and higher-end homes. What makes these manufacturers distinct from the makers of appliances you find in your local hardware store? In many cases, these appliances are powerful and exact enough to produce restaurant-worthy meals. Most have computerized and electronic components, giving you more control over cooking times and cooking temperatures. Style is also important here, with many manufacturers creating appliances that look amazing in any kitchen.
4) Extra features.
Of course, one of the coolest things about the best kitchens in the world is that they include features and appliances not found in the average home. An typical kitchen may include a coffee machine, for example, but a multimillion dollar home is more likely to feature a built-in java machine. The most expensive kitchens also feature things such as adjoining gardens full of fresh herbs and vegetables or even outdoor cooking areas. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, describes her outdoor cooking area for pizza on her blog here. Some kitchens feature blast chillers, which quickly lower the temperature of food so that it can be stored safely. Built-in La Cornue rotisserie ovens allow for a perfectly cooked chicken. Butler pantries are large stylish cabinets or even entire rooms where serving items and other kitchen items can be stored. The most luxurious kitchens even have butler kitchens, or entire secondary kitchens where caterers or cooks can prepare a meal before taking it to the kitchen or other serving area. Pot fillers can be added over the stove to dispense water easily. These cost about $1000 (before installation) but they ensure that you don’t have to walk back and forth from the stove to the sink with a heavy pot of water. Many kitchens also have built-in flat-screen televisions and surround-sound systems so that cooks can watch their favorite cooking show or listen to music while preparing a meal. Some homes even have remote-controlled kitchen appliances, so that families can turn off an oven or control other appliances from anywhere in the house.
5) Wine storage.
Wine climate cabinets and refrigerators by brands such as Sub-Zero provide lots of room for storage – so you can keep more than a hundred bottles of wine in one place. They also provide a very carefully controlled climate for your wine, allowing you to regulate temperature and humidity so that your wine is stored in ideal conditions.
6) Top-class cabinets and cupboards.
Italy’s Boffi and Germany’s SieMatic both make cabinets and cupboards for kitchens for the upscale market. These cabinets are made from a variety of materials – including sustainable woods and metals – and the manufacturers are also willing to create custom pieces for bespoke kitchens.
7) Luxurious flooring.
Kitchen floors take a lot of abuse, and popular choices for upscale floors include hardwood, glass, marble, and designer tile floors.
8) Fixtures and a great sink.
Philip Starck is an architect and designer known for designing luxury fixtures for some of the most expensive gourmet kitchens. Rachiele makes luxury copper sinks that are popular with many affluent buyers and interior designers.
For backsplashes and walls, tiles are a great way to add beauty to any kitchen. For the very affluent, that may mean tiles by Walker Zanger or LuxTouch (a company famous for their diamond-studded tiles).
10) Planning centers.
Basically, this is a small island or desk in part of the home that provides a place for paying bills and taking care of other tasks while you cook and eat. Martha Stewart has an extensive desk area in her own kitchen. You can see that space (and more of Martha’s kitchen) here.
Kitchen remodeling is a huge job, and a luxury kitchen can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to more than a million dollars for a truly bespoke and restaurant-quality decadent space. Even if you can’t completely makeover your kitchen into your dream space, though, you may be able to add a few luxury touches. One great thing about gourmet and top-end kitchen features and appliances is that similar items are eventually made at lower price points. Eventually, a built-in coffee maker will drop in price, just as dishwashers (once only available in luxury homes) are now made for a range of budgets.