November 16, 2012
By Silvana Longo
Silvana Longo: What are the latest features in high-end kitchens? Appliances, bigger or more compact?
Pauline Nowak: High-end kitchens have experienced a shift in the past few years. Not only is it the focal point of the home, but, renovating your kitchen gives you the highest return on your money! This means that people want to be confident with their selection of materials and maximize the impact.
We are finding that consumers are choosing larger appliances…and more of them! Forty-eight inch to 60-inch cooktops are requested, double ovens and larger refrigerators like the Miele Master Cool system.
Microwaves can now be concealed in drawers to improve the overall aesthetics. (Microwaves have always been a sore point from a design perspective because they aren’t visually appealing!).
Consumers are also requesting two dishwashers for their space. Overall, we have seen an increase of integrated appliances, which means choosing a kitchen company with tight tolerances between cabinet doors is even more important to the look.
SL: What does the new luxury kitchen look like?
PN: New luxury kitchens are more prevalent in walnut and oak veneers. Specifically used in rift cuts to give a more consistent grain appearance, which we love working with. We have also seen an increase of interest in distressed and natural wood finishes.
Warm colours and textures dominate the kitchen and other areas. Designers and architects are specifying a lot of grey or limed wood tones too. Even the whites are becoming more antiqued.
Lighting is an important component in luxury kitchens and has become more sophisticated and integrated. Backsplash electrical receptacles will also become a thing of the past, making way for hidden, integrated systems.
SL: What can we expect to see in 2013?
PN: Wine cellars have been making headlines these days…it’s replacing the sauna room which was essential in every home in the 1970s and 1980s.
Horizontal lines will stay strong. Grain matching veneers is critical when considering the aesthetic of a strong wood like walnut and American apple.
I think the warm wood tones are here to stay. Crotch mahogany is my new favourite. It looks like it’s on fire!!
Look for a dramatic reduction in toxic emissions, especially urea formaldehyde, since it has now been categorized as a known carcinogen. We have been responding to this issue for more than a decade and will continue to monitor the consumers’ health needs.
We have been using alternate metal finishes that have capabilities beyond stainless steel. We are creating cabinet doors, hoods and even three dimensional application in bronze, gun metal finish and even pewter. When we apply a patina finish, it gives the appearance of real cast pieces. This is a must-see for 2013!