What’s on your kitchen makeover wishlist? COVID-19 gave us all time to dream about our most desired home upgrades, but there’s always room to fine-tune your vision. Today we’ve created a list of our clients’ most-requested kitchen upgrades. Many of these have been particularly popular in 2021, but all of them are sempiternally relevant.
1. Central Location
One of the regular remodeling requests we receive is to relocate the kitchen itself. In historic homes, kitchens were often relegated to a back corner or one end of the home. In modern floor plans, however, kitchens have gained precedence as the hub of home life. As such, homeowners want their kitchen placed in a central and easily accessible area within an open floor plan. Relocating the kitchen has several practical advantages, allowing you to prep dinner while multitasking, whether that looks like entertaining guests or keeping an eye on children playing in an adjacent room.
2. Structural Work for a Butler’s Pantry
While you’re rearranging your floor plan to accommodate a centrally located kitchen, you may want to reimagine other areas of your first-floor layout. For example, one popular request we receive is to designate an area to reinstate a butler’s pantry. Butler’s pantries are highly practical since they add extra storage for less-used items like seasonal dishes and trays, large appliances, additional pantry items, etc. The added counter space also means you have more room to prep and stage upcoming courses. Besides this, butler’s pantries decidedly add an element of opulence and elegance to any residential home.
3. More Natural Light
With or without the extensive structural work detailed above, our clients often ask if we can help them add more natural light to their kitchen. Your kitchen is the one area of the home where you will want the full array of lighting sources, from recessed canned ceiling lights to island pendant lights, under-the-counter lighting, interior cabinet lighting, etc. All of these should be complemented by natural light, whether emanating from windows, skylights, or both. Combining all of these lighting sources will give your kitchen a bright and cheery ambiance as well as help your visibility when prepping food and cleaning dishes.
4. Custom Kitchen Cabinetry with Accessories and Smart Storage Solutions
Storage solutions that fit your particular needs can go a long way toward helping your kitchen stay clean and organized. Popular additions include interior drawer compartmentalization, wine, and adult beverage nooks, and innovative corner cabinet solutions. There are always new designs for custom storage solutions and accessories available on the market, so be sure to consult with our professional designers to see which options best suit your personal needs.
5. Large Island with Seating and Double-Entry Storage
Another kitchen must-have is an island. Islands instantly add to your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Especially in larger floor plans, islands add a nice additional prep and storage space without compromising traffic flow. In fact, by inserting a sink and/or dishwasher into your island, you can facilitate better flow by creating the classic kitchen triangle between the sink, the oven/stove, and the refrigerator.
Another advantage of installing an island is that it’s an easy place to add in-kitchen seating. Grouping barstools around your island gives you a place to enjoy informal meals and snacks, accomplish some remote work (or homework for children), or entertain guests while you finish prepping the main course.
But just because you add seating to one side of the island doesn’t mean that you can’t also add storage. Instead of leaving “dead space” on your island or creating cabinets that are too deep for convenience, consider adding double-entry storage and placing less-used items on the side where your barstool seating is located.
6. Luxury Stone Countertops
Cabinets and countertops are two of the most important elements in any kitchen, and countertops, in particular, have the power to transform your cooking and baking experience into a complete joy. That’s why luxury stone countertops are among the top kitchen renovation requests from our clients. There are multiple options for stone countertops, including marble, onyx, travertine, soapstone, limestone, granite, quartz, and quartzite. Each material has its unique merits, care instructions, and aesthetic appeal.
7. Instant Hot Water or Instant Filtered Water
Installing an instant hot water faucet or an instant filtered water dispenser is a small addition that dramatically increases convenience. Whether you want to make a quick French press in the morning, a pour over in the afternoon, or a cup of tea in the evening, a hot water faucet minimizes your time and effort. Similarly, installing an instant filtered water faucet means you won’t have to remember to fill your water purifying pitcher multiple times a day–your water is clean and fresh from the source.
8. Dual Ovens
Dual ovens are a desirable luxury, particularly for avid cooks and bakers who enjoy preparing a thoughtful meal for their family or guests. Being able to control temperatures independently means you can have a loaf of bread proofing in one oven while a chicken cooks in the other. Double ovens are most commonly stacked vertically for the best use of space.
9. Built-In Breakfast Nook
Another common trend we’re seeing in Boston area homes is the inclusion of built-in sitting and eating areas. Built-in benches adjacent to the kitchen create a cozy spot to enjoy an informal breakfast or lunch or provide a secondary workspace for those working from home. Breakfast nooks are often constructed near windows so that they are bathed in natural light for added ambiance while also providing an outdoor view.
10. Doors Opening onto a Back Patio or Deck
Boston area homeowners are also seeking to bring the outside in by adding doors from the kitchen opening onto a back patio or deck. Most commonly, we receive requests for French doors with large glass panels to bring in more natural light and create a wide point of entry into the home. There are multiple ways to exercise creativity in your Boston kitchen remodel, and we welcome a conversation about your personal objectives for implementing these or other luxury kitchen features.