Quality versus Quantity in Custom Home Kitchen Design
Ninety-eight percent of people believe good design enhances their daily lives, and they’re willing to pay more for products that truly reflect their own personal style and aesthetic, according to a new study from Dwell. Drawing the line between “splurging” on those premium items that bring a design vision to life and finding ways to “save” money on the backend can sometimes be a bit challenging, though.
The same study notes that 73 percent of people prefer to have fewer, higher quality items in their lives. But, when it comes to quality-versus-quantity in kitchen design, you really can have it all if you know where and how to look — particularly when it comes to the latest design and technological advancements that enhance our everyday lives.
“When designing a high-end space, it’s important to remember that you’re shaping more than just a living environment; you’re laying the foundation for a future community of friends and family,” said Michela O’Connor Abrams, president and CEO of Dwell, the award-winning design media company. “Design elements that marry beautiful aesthetics, intuitive technology and functionality — and are reflective of your authentic taste and personal style — should always rise to the top when deciding which products to introduce into your home.”
Dwell on Design 2015, America’s largest design show, just wrapped up in Los Angeles. A highlight of the 10th annual show was the launch of the new LG Studio line of appliances inspired by renowned designer, Nate Berkus. The new appliances blend best-in-class technological innovation with an uncompromising approach to design, delivering integrated and timeless styling that embodies high design tailor-made for any kitchen aesthetic.
“Every family has a different sense of personal style, and the beauty of design is seeing that personality uniquely reflected in each home,” says Berkus, LG Studio’s artistic advisor. “When we were designing the new line of appliances, I wanted to help people create a kitchen that was hardworking, but also handsome — a space they would love now and in the future. The best interiors are ones that tell a story and are assembled over time.”
In conceptualizing and creating a high-end kitchen, Berkus offers a few suggestions to consumers on which aspects of kitchen design require a large investment and where they can afford to hold back.
First off, if you have the budget, Berkus recommends dishing on a well-made marble counter top.
“It’s such a classic piece but also very durable, meaning it will still look great for years to come, which is what a forever kitchen is all about,” he says.
Lighting, on the other hand, is an opportunity to save.
“The trick is to take the time to shop for vintage sconces and light fixtures. They will add loads of character to your home but don’t have to cost a lot,” says Berkus.
Another way to add character to your kitchen is flooring. Think vintage wood flooring, said Berkus. It’s a splurge, but so worth it. You can then save on new cabinetry by painting the existing ones in a black lacquer or gray.
“I’ve done this in my own home renovations and for clients. The effect is so great, no one will know you didn’t spend a fortune on new cabinets.”
When it comes to appliances, look for premium stainless models at the best you can afford, Berkus noted. Hardworking appliances that can go the distance are worth every cent.
“The new LG Studio line that I advised on features pro-style design elements that instantly make a kitchen feel high end,” says Berkus.
For dressing up your kitchen, shop your home and use things you already own. Objects from your travels, framed photographs, ceramic bowls or hand-woven baskets are all things that personalize a space and make it feel layered.
“I love the idea of doing something unexpected in the kitchen, like creating a seating area in your kitchen space,” says Berkus. Shop your weekend flea market or online for a vintage sofa and coffee table and set up an area for your family to relax in.
“It’s all about creating moments like these that help you live more beautifully,” adds Berkus.
Where consumers can splurge instead is in technology, like the new LG Studio gas slide-in range. Its patented ProBake Convection and EasyClean Express technologies allow for more even cooking across every rack and, once the baking is done, quick and easy clean-up in just a matter of minutes without using any harsh chemicals.
It’s important to remember the goal is always to design a kitchen that won’t feel dated in one year, or even five years from now. Every element of your kitchen needs to go the distance, whether you splurge — or save — on those desired elements that bring your personal style to life.