If you look up the web definition of a luxury product or luxury goods, they are defined by Wikipedia as:
‘….products and services that are not considered essential and are associated with affluence. The concept of luxury has been present in various forms since the beginning of civilization. …’
So the concept and desire for luxury is not new, but relates to goods that we buy because we want rather than need them. Well, all of us need a kitchen, as even in its most basic form the kitchen provides the means for storing and cooking the food we require for sustenance. But a luxury kitchen holds an additional appeal because luxury is synonymous with looks, comfort and quality; essentially people want a kitchen that they can enjoy using, and which will last!
So what makes a kitchen luxurious and desirable?
Luxury kitchen quality and aesthetics:
A luxury kitchen is one with looks equal to a high standard of quality. The two go hand in hand, as a desirable kitchen look is only achievable through high quality kitchen construction. Quality of build is essential for durable long-lasting kitchens and appliances.
It ensures they continue to look good and function correctly through daily and repeated use for many years to come. All aspects of a kitchen should function fully as intended but in conjunction with this, a distinction should be made between aspects of a kitchen intended as features, and those that are not. For example, fixtures and fittings including screws, joins and hinges should be discreet and unobtrusive, or where possible completely hidden from view. This discretion enhances the look of the kitchen and allows intended features to stand out, as opposed to detracting from and spoiling their look. The handleless kitchen is a good example of a style synonymous with a luxury kitchen look; a stylish, inviting kitchen in which less is definitely more.
Its smooth streamlined appearance creates a clean, sleek kitchen look and the absence of handles, along with clutter-free surfaces make the space less busy. This ensures a more luxurious kitchen appearance but also enables you to see and appreciate the quality of the kitchen finish. Furthermore, people don’t just see but can feel luxury by way of touch. A prime example of this is the Satin lacquer kitchen door surface. This finish is appealing in looks but also silky smooth to the touch, perfectly emanating luxury and finesse.
Luxury kitchen ease of use:
As well as appreciable looks, a luxury kitchen will afford ease of use.
People want to feel comfortable within their kitchens, with everything working smoothly and correctly whilst cited in the best location for optimum user benefit. This luxury begins with the design process. Whether your kitchen is intended primarily for cooking, eating or socialising, the design and layout should enhance the kitchen space according to your personal needs. Understanding the lifestyle, habits and daily routines of the intended user(s) is therefore key to being able to accommodate them.
But alongside this there are many innovative kitchen products, appliances and specialised kitchen gadgets that also enhance ease of use. For example, for homeowners with a small kitchen space, kitchen furniture and products exist which specifically maximise on small kitchen spaces. This includes reduced size, or ‘compact appliances’, as well as built in storage options such as carousel units or le man corner units. These use up otherwise dead kitchen cabinet space.
Another example is luxury kitchen products designed to suit the modern day busy lifestyle, including boiling water taps, filter taps, and self-cook ovens. The latter are operable remotely from a smartphone or laptop, enabling you to begin cooking from a location outside of the home! Similarly for open plan living, quiet and unobtrusive products such as noise reducing extractors, dishwashers and washing machines are available.
Essentially, all luxury kitchen products are carefully designed and crafted to ensure a luxurious look, in combination with optimum function that meets the users needs.
Luxury kitchen prices:
So if Wikipedia defines luxury goods as being associated with affluence, does this mean that luxury kitchens are unaffordable to the wider masses? Well, actually not at all!
LWK Kitchens are a prime example of affordable luxury kitchens. A large part of understanding individual client needs is understanding that one size definitely does not fit all! A luxury kitchen should accommodate individual needs, including aspects of the kitchen where you personally place the most value; and this should be reflected in the cost too.
With this in mind LWK kitchens offer a wide selection of furniture and appliances in a range of price groups, and all products are interchangeable within a kitchen design. For example, if you don’t cook but instead place greater importance on the look of your kitchen then you might opt for higher grade furniture, but not top-of-the-range appliances. A lower spec. of appliances would still have the luxury kitchen look but without advanced functionality that superior appliances have; this would be surplus to requirement for someone who doesn’t use their kitchen primarily for cooking.
Alternatively someone who is passionate about cooking might opt for a higher grade of appliances and worktop, over their choice of furniture finish.
Another possibility for affordable kitchen luxury is to intersperse different finish materials. Different finishes such as laminate, acrylic, lacquer and glass exist, all of which are high quality materials but ranging within price. LWK Kitchens glass kitchens epitomise the very height of luxury and produce beautifully elegant kitchen designs, but they are often introduced in conjunction with other finishes and colours, rather than as a uniform kitchen finish. This often includes feature pieces, such as a kitchen island, and it makes glass kitchen doors more affordable whilst still producing stunning kitchen results. Similarly, you can differentiate between worksurface and splashback materials too. A natural stone worktop such as Granite is a luxury choice whereas a composite worktop offers the look and feel of luxury but without the same cost.
Ultimately luxury kitchens should and can be affordable without paying premium prices. All of us require use of a kitchen but it is how much importance you place on your kitchen and the way in which it is to be used that determines your level of luxury within. Luxury is a choice rather than necessity so is a personal decision, but that said, who wouldn’t want a luxury kitchen if it is affordable, enjoyable, and of course, beautifully elegant?!