A kitchen is the heart of the house.
Often, we spend more time in the kitchen than we do in the living room. Making a cup of tea, cooking a family dinner, making drinks at a party – it’s all happening in the kitchen.
So it goes without saying that a kitchen should be designed to enrich your life, making your life easier in practicality, and being a space you’re proud of when guests visit.
There’s a balance to be made, though, between how it looks and how it works. Too often, buyers jump on aesthetic bandwagons without considering the core fundamentals of use – what goes where, how it all works, and how everything comes together. Luckily, when you invest in a luxury kitchen, you can have a space that’s great to cook in, and looks beautiful too.
Let’s get into some of the considerations for designing a kitchen for your luxury home.
If you’re designing your own kitchen, don’t hold back. It’s an excellent opportunity to create a space that’s designed for you, not one that you have to work around.
Think about all the times you’ve cooked in kitchens where you’ve found yourself flustered, hopping back and forth between an awkward countertop and a hob halfway across the room. The ‘mise en place’ of worktops and utilities is just not there.
When designing your kitchen, think about how you work. You don’t want to have to zig-zag across the room to make dinner. Things should be linear and not so far apart that you have to leap between spaces.
In an ideal world, you can get your ingredients out of the fridge and put them on the worktop next to it – perhaps where the chopping board lives. Then maybe your hob is just to the right of that, so once you’re done preparing your ingredients, you can go straight to cooking. Perhaps there’s an island behind you where you can lay out the plates ready to serve. And then maybe the sink is next to the hob, so you can easily wash utensils.
Or maybe your ideal setup is entirely different. But what stays the same is that everything should have its rightful place and not hinder your workflow.
Think about having the herbs and spices be easily accessible when cooking, and not hidden away in a cupboard somewhere. Have the regular utensils and cookware hung on a wall in the cooking space rather than nestled away.
Ultimately, having things be accessible and uncluttered is the first step to a luxury kitchen.
This is another vital aspect of luxury kitchen design. There’s nothing worse than trying to prepare a meal with your own shadow in the way because of bad lighting.
At Aspire, we find it best to have two ‘sets’ of lighting: spotlights downlighting the worktop (perhaps underneath upper cabinetry), and separate room lighting. The latter can be a statement piece – take a look at this private commission in Cobham, for example.
How you light your kitchen space can make or break it, taking it from a dingy, frustrating room to a place you’re proud to host in.
Space arrangement is another important consideration here that’s different from workflow. In this case, we’re talking about what you include and don’t include in the kitchen space – for example, a breakfast or dining table.
Some people prefer to have their kitchen entirely separate from their other living spaces, while others like to have dining and relaxing integrated into the kitchen itself.
Some of our clients take it a step further, and include a catering kitchen for their chefs to work in, leaving the main kitchen for more casual cooking and as a gathering space. If you’ve got space, and a handy chef, that’s definitely the smart way to go.
If you don’t want to have a full guest dining table in your kitchen, consider instead a breakfast island of sorts. That way, friends can sit and chat to you while you cook, or you can take a quick lunch there without having to take food through to another room.
In any case, the common thread is that it has to work for you.
In a luxury kitchen, you can’t skimp on utilities.
Whatever you do, don’t settle for inconveniences. Take Kings Lodge as an example – with double fridges, an industrial extractor, and 3 high-end ovens, this kitchen is a space that’s enjoyed for its practicality and looks.
A luxury kitchen is not a luxury kitchen if it doesn’t have ‘the look’. Let’s face it, spaces that you don’t like the look of tend to not be spaces you want to spend a lot of time in.
It’s easy to design a kitchen based on a passing trend and then despise it when the look goes out of fashion. Try to be careful about creating a space that is both timeless and exciting (on the reverse, it’s also common to play it too safe).
Bespoke, timeless cabinetry is the first step. Take a look, for example, at this private commission, ‘Harebell Hill’.
It’s the perfect mix of classic and modern, blending cream cabinetry with mahogany worktops, black marble worktops, and mirror accents. And a wine fridge, of course! This take on the old stone tile alludes to farmhouse kitchens while remaining practical, easily cleaned, and with a modern touch.
Another thing to consider is adding art to your kitchen. There’s a tendency to leave the walls of kitchens bare and save art for the other spaces – but we’re not sure why! Art, flowers, interesting design – these can all bring a kitchen together and make your space an unforgettable one. Look at this Queen Anne House commission for an example of a statement kitchen.
Use your imagination when designing the aesthetic of your kitchen. Think about things that are both practical and stylish, like mirror-effect splashbacks and treated wooden worktops.
Here at Aspire, we’ve been designing homes and kitchens that people love for over 13 years. We don’t cut corners, and we obsess over the details so that your space is everything you dreamed of.
To get a feel for what’s possible, take a look at some of our bespoke property commissions. And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a vision for a dream home you’d like to bring to life – luxury kitchen and all.