What's Cookin' in the Gourmet Kitchen?

TNT Partners -- We had such a big response to our first article . . . and you want to know about the national market, oh you savvy luxe real estate clients! You statistically have more than one home, you pay cash, and you travel extensively around the world. You see where you want to go, and you get there in style. Luxe properties are still being sold all over the nation. There is more inventory to choose from and properties not on the market for years are only now becoming available for sale. 

portrait2.jpgShrinking volets? We're seeing more conservative feelings surrounding luxe buyers right now -- even though incomes were way up last year for Wall Street. But we still see a good market to buy in and understand where there is value, even at the luxe end of the market. Our mantras: There are buyers. Sellers are motivated. Scoop up a good deal. Don't be afraid to look and buy!

But what about kitchens? As promised last week, we took a look at what's cooking in the luxe kitchen. There are some exciting new trends in higher-end residences that we're seeing.

The kitchen is one of the coolest rooms in the house . . . it's the hub of all activity. We're seeing new kitchens tricked out with outrageous cabinetry. Custom woods. Sexy moldings. Appliances seem to disappear with the talents of master woodworkers. They contribute to making a space that is the warm heart and soul of the home.

Brrrrrrilliant! One refrigerator system we  saw was encased in an absolute work of art. Solid wood with custom hardware. Price? We were told the custom work was  $40,000, of course. And that price would not include appliances. These kinds of wise investments give homes their luxe details. Look for the real thing: exotic woods, fine craftsmanship, strong detailing, good scale and proportions, utility and function, beauty and great aesthetics. Bling it on!

Kitchen_remodeling_bg1.jpgOh, those extras . . . The luxe gourmet kitchen has only state-of-the art cooling units, along with special integrated refrigerator drawers which are located under the counter near a separate salad sink in the cooking island. Surprise! The sink is also made of a wonderful pewter or copper in the most special homes. As realtors for luxe properties, these thoughtful materials grab us and help us motivate buyers. Invest in these details, and they will pay dividends.

Some like it hot! Stoves? Wow . . . what great new gadgets we have for the luxe gourmet kitchen. They allow family homes to compete with the best industrial kitchens out there. The favorite cooktop has always been gas. Now we know there are those who disagree, but gas is king in high-end houses. But not to disappoint. You can customize an electric cooktop along with a multifunctional gas cooktop . . . perfect for stir-frying and giving your family a fabulous grill area.

Details plus. Tell me more! Backsplashes for cooking areas showcase wonderful tiles or a combination of metallic materials. We see homeowners expressing their artistic sides with beautiful treatments. (But avoid anything that looks fake.) And we love concrete! That industrial look is sharp, and concrete can be shined up and have color added to it for a special end result.

What's cooking? Stoves and cooktop centers, of course. A lot of luxe dwellings have the cook top above two ovens. Most likely if a home has a great builder or designer who knows top-of-the-line clients, you'll find dual-convection ovens for fabulous even heating. You must have at least two ovens. Cooking hoods are so efficient . . . and we see them either hidden away or the total opposite -- massive and sculptural forms jumping out at you, made with shining stainless or copper finishes.

Need your fix? Don't forget the java junkies in the luxe home and install a wall cappucino-coffee unit . . . a fabulous new appliance extra we're seeing now in most gourmet kitchens.

No loud swisha-swishas! Dishwashers are evolving, so get with the program. There is one from overseas that is so quiet, we have to open it to see if it's working! Your home must also have two of these to keep up with busy families and heavy entertaining. You're only going to install models that are energy efficient and use low amounts of water, of course.

WineRoom2.jpgVino is fino. Wine closet? If your kitchen's luxe, you've got to accommodate fine wines. If you don't have a wine room in your house, you can install a small under-the-counter wine display and cooling unit. But we've seen larger wine units as big as refrigerators. Message here: the high-end home needs to showcase good winekeeping! It's the luxe currency for hospitality.

Bye-bye, clutter. Today's outstanding kitchens feature oodles of storage options. We drool over pantry closets with frosted glass doors. Love those special rooms off the main kitchen for pots and pans with racking systems. They're all terrific additions to the fab kitchen, and a must to keep countertop appliances and clutter out of sight when you're showing a high-end property to prospective buyers!

What floors us? We're seeing limestone, ceramic tile, stone, concrete, and wood flooring in the toniest kitchens. We're told that wood floors are easier on your feet and legs, so keep that in mind -- and we'll let home buyers know that this is a thoughtful consideration on your part. Our clients also love the stone floor look that contrasts with the warmth of wood cabinetry!

Next week: All luxe buyers want Good Flow in the high-end home of their dreams. The gourmet kitchen usually opens up to a Great Family Room, and we'll focus on the family or great room in next week's post.

Can you smell the fire burning away in your great room fireplace already? Fall is on its way here in the Northeast!

All our best till then,

TNT Partners: Julia, Wendy, and Steven

Photo Credit: Kitchen Remodel Ideas, 2301 Scotney Court

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