July 24, 2016

5 Great Features for a Gourmet Kitchen

As they always say — at the heart of every loving home, there’s a kitchen. As an interior designer, I’ve had the opportunity to create many beautiful gourmet kitchens for a variety of clients, and while they’re always personalized and different, they usually have a few important features in common.

1. Convenient Work Stations – From a professional-grade gas range, to the main sink, gourmet kitchens call for ample, convenient work space. After all, when working on a beautiful new kitchen, you need to ensure it functions seamlessly.
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2. Hidden Conveniences – Warming drawers and microwave drawers are common additions to many gourmet kitchens. Not only do they provide the opportunities for keeping food nice and warm for your guests, but they also offer a sleek, seamless design. Ovens today are extremely sophisticated, and offer multiple cooking features. One must understand them and make sure that the appliance selected is the right one for their family and lifestyle.

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3. Respectable Refrigerators – Many gourmet cooks select a refrigerator based on its sophistication and ability to maintain proper temperature for maximum longevity for fresh produce. Refrigeration is more sophisticated than ever before; whether you are looking at an American product or a European product. If you’re lucky enough to have a large area to work with, consider choosing separate refrigerator and freezer units. During design development we take into consideration how much refrigeration one needs, as well as its proximity to the task at hand.

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4. Appropriate Task Lighting – A gourmet kitchen requires adequate lighting. Whether it be under cabinet lights, recessed lights, surface mounted lights, or pendant lights the temperature of light must be considered so that the light all ‘feels the same’. The lighting’s tonality must coalesce harmoniously.

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5. Reliable Countertops – One of the Top 10 questions that I am always asked is which countertop material is the most durable. Granite is very long lasting, however some granite patterns may appear dated as time goes by. Black absolute is a wonderful, hard granite that is pretty much indestructible. You can select a polished finished which is formal and modern, while a leathered finish (as pictured) is classic and never goes out of style. Quartzite is a natural material (not to be confused with quartz which is a resin composite.) There are Hard, Medium and Soft quartzites. Be sure that when selecting a quartzite, you ask about it. Quartzsite is absolutely beautiful and may have veining that is similar to marble. I find that in today’s market this is a preferred selection. However. I always love Carrara marble which has been used for thousands of years. You really cannot get more classic than this. Quarried in Carrara, Italy this marble is not to be substituted by any of the Asian Carrara (..a blog on this to come soon). If you do not mind some stains or etching, Carrara and other stones from the Carrara Quarry are simply beautiful.Lastly, soapstone is a reliable material for countertops if you understand its properties and how to care for it. It has been used in laboratories for many years as it holds up to acids. So it can certainly withstand lemons and wine! I would not suggest sealing or enhancing it. I merely suggest my clients use mineral oil to remove scratches and maintain their tops.  Since you see so many Quartz countertops these days I want to share with all of you that quartz – which is a composite – can only withstand heat up to 400 degrees. So a hot pot or a broiler can could mark this material. I try to avoid using it in kitchens and focus on its use in laundry rooms and mud rooms.

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To learn how we can help you create a luxurious kitchen, call Sarah Blank Design Studio at our locations in Greenwich, CT 203-655-6900, or Palm Beach 561-301-7474 for a consultation today.