The Must-Have Elements of a Luxury Kitchen & Bathroom
When it comes to home renovations, many homeowners prefer to start with their kitchens and bathrooms. After everything that has happened in the past few years, people now realize that the spaces where they spend the most time should bring them joy. You might even be looking at some high-end features made with quality craftsmanship to make these rooms in your home feel more comfortable and stylish. There is nothing like walking into a home with a gorgeous luxury kitchen perfectly balanced between function and taste. Or seeing a luxury bath, custom-designed to fit the style of the rest of the house.
To that end, think of this post as your be-all, end-all guide to creating a seriously unique kitchen and bath. Our interior designers at the Linea Studio have compiled a comprehensive list of the latest trends in the luxurious kitchen and bath market, so grab a cup of coffee – wine works too – and let’s get started!
A countertop is hands-down the most defining décor factor of a kitchen or bathroom. Simply changing the countertops in a space can make it look revitalized since it’s the center of attention.
If you are going for a luxurious sophistication or casual comfort look for your kitchen or bathroom, it all starts with choosing the right material for your countertops. And nothing screams luxury like quartz and marble.
Do you cook a lot of meals, have a large family, or just want to make sure your new countertop lasts a lifetime? Then quartz is your friend.
Contrary to what many think, quartz countertops are not made from 100% quartz. Instead, they are engineered by combining natural quartz stone with a resin binder. Since this composite stone is extremely sturdy and non-porous, your countertop will require no maintenance and will be very easy to clean.
From royals to professional chefs, everyone loves marble countertops. In terms of aesthetics and performance, marble continues to be an excellent option. It instantly elevates a kitchen – or a bath – giving the space a clean and contemporary look.
You will be hard-pressed to find a countertop material that looks as stunning as a bright white marble finish, but it is available in other colors as well, including shades of green, taupe, brown, and gray. If you or someone in your family enjoys baking, a marble countertop in the kitchen will be the perfect choice as it maintains a naturally low temperature perfect for kneading dough.
Wood or Butcher Block (For Kitchen)
Hardwoods like oak and maple offer a beautiful warm look to a kitchen remodel and are available in a wide range of colors and finishes. If you are going for a rustic or charming country vibe for your dream kitchen, a wood countertop is worth considering. It can be sanded and resealed and can last years when properly maintained.
Glass Countertops (For Bathroom)
After marble and quartz, recycled glass counters seem to be the most popular choice for bath renovations thanks to increasing environmental awareness.
But it’s more than that: glass countertops are highly durable, functional, and attractive. Glass colors for each countertop are picked in such a way that they mix together in perfection. You can even back-paint your glass counter to add color to a neutral bath and brighten it up. Tiny stones, seashells, pebbles, and other objects can be embedded into the glass to create a unique look. And despite how fancy they might look, glass countertops are actually very easy to clean.
A Quick Note:
You’d notice that we didn’t include granite countertops on this list – for a very good reason. Granite has been the standard option for many homeowners since the 1990s, which has made it more common and less luxurious. It is a porous stone that requires frequent sealing to avoid stains, and can easily crack under stress. Plus, a granite countertop looks cheaper and of a lower quality compared to the options listed above.
Accent Tiles and Backsplash
If you want to add a little (or a lot) personality to your bathroom sink or kitchen wall, backsplash tile is the way to go. With some careful planning and a creative design process, you can infuse character into the wall space with a captivating backsplash that’s as fashionable as it is functional.
For the uninitiated, backsplash tiles are an expanse of material that usually fills the gaps on a bathroom or kitchen wall between the countertop and cabinets, spanning the length of the counter. Modern backsplashes can add a gorgeous accent to any room in your house, courtesy of interesting design patterns, color palettes, and textures.
Here are our favorite materials for backsplashes for a luxury kitchen and bath:
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are incredibly popular because they are waterproof and can be customized in a variety of colors and sizes.
Subway tiles are a classic choice commonly found in both residential and commercial kitchens. The simple, rectangular shape comes in several different styles. The smaller Mosaic tile is another great choice if you’re looking to add an interesting visual element to the kitchen. Then there is vintage-style Penny ceramic tile, which usually features light-hued tiles bordered by dark grout.
If you want a more natural and organic looking option, consider stacked stone backsplash. Made of thin stone slabs, its rustic veneer offers excellent protection to kitchen walls from spills and heat. You can choose from a wide range of stone varieties, like marble and quartzite, for a stylish look.
For a contemporary kitchen, a travertine stone backsplash with earth-tones can add a lot of warmth and contrasting texture. If you have an all-white kitchen, a charcoal gray backsplash made from quartzite can look stunning.
Stainless steel is also a great alternative for a modern, industrial-style look. It’s durable and easy to clean.
Different Styles of Sinks
Your bathroom is your personal haven where utility should meet luxury. A well-designed luxury bathroom remodel will give you the means and space to comfortably complete your daily routine while highlighting your personal style. When you are thinking about a bathroom remodel, picking the right sink is going to be the most important decision.
Here are some high-end sink styles to take your bathroom to the next level:
Undermount sinks are minimal and refined, making them a perfect fit for contemporary or modern style homes. These sinks are generally custom-made fixtures designed to integrate with the countertop in the most natural way. Their seamless drop-in can act as the sink’s focal point. Since there is no sitting sink overhang or lip, the undermount sink harmonizes with the bath vanity for a sophisticated, cohesive surface.
These sinks feature a freestanding basin to create that dramatic look that’s very in vogue these days. You can choose a vessel sink in a wide range of materials: hand-painted ceramic, wood, marble, metal, copper, glass, and stone.
Vessel sink basins sit atop the vanity and don’t require an under-the-counter installation which increases the counter space that surrounds the basin.
There was a time when trough style sinks were the hallmark of a farmhouse, but over the decades, they have made their way into luxury home design. Their perfect blend of industrial aesthetics and timeless design has made them a major hit among homeowners.
A trough sink has several utilitarian benefits as well. Their spacious basin comes with the functionality of dual sinks, and requires a single basin unit, which allows for an easy plumbing set up. Minimal plumbing means you’ll have more space for shelves and cabinets below the sink. They are available in dozens of designs for every home style ranging from sleek to farmhouse rustic.
If you have a smaller bath, a floating sink can create the illusion of extra space. The wall anchors raise the sink off the ground to allow for space between the vanity base and bathroom floor. This extra space lets light pass beneath the vanity, making your bathroom seem more spacious than it is. The raised placement of vanity also means you can go all-out with custom cabinetry.
Some of the options discussed above also go well in a kitchen, such as the undermount sink, but here are some additional choices to upgrade your cooking workspace:
Also known as an apron sink, this one extends in front of the edge of the counter. You have probably seen farmhouse sinks in a rustic farmhouse or traditional style kitchen. They usually come in stainless steel, cast iron, or fireclay. These sinks are extremely easy to clean and long-lasting due to their non-porous material. You can choose a single bowl or double bowl design.
As the name suggests, bar sinks are installed in a wet bar and are used for drink-making, prep-work, and convenient cleanup. If you entertain frequently, a bar sink is a must-have in your home bar, terrace, or patio.
Kitchen Island Sinks
With the growing popularity of kitchen islands, kitchen island sinks are also worth considering. You can use an island sink as a prep or primary sink, depending on your needs. They not only save you space on your main counter but are also a great way to compliment your workflow. Stainless steel, granite, or wood islands can look even more stunning with the addition of a sink.
Made from glaze and clay fused together, fireclay sinks look a lot like cast iron sinks, but they are more durable. They won’t stain, etch, or chip, and you can get away with using abrasive cleaners – unlike in the case of a cast iron sink. If you are looking for a farmhouse-style sink, fireclay sinks are a super cool option.
Different Types of Bath Tubs
Your bathtub sets the tone of your entire bathroom experience so choosing the right one is important. From tub materials to shapes, there are dozens of different options. But if a luxury bath is what you’re looking for, take a look at the following types of bathtubs:
An alcove or recessed bathtub allows you to maximize the floor space since it can be tucked out of the way. These tubs are usually square or rectangular in shape, creating a hot-tub like experience.
Unlike an alcove tub, a drop-in tub has no finished sides. It can be dropped into a fixed structure, in any space, anywhere. You can choose a square, diamond, oval, or round shape. The deck built around the tub offers extra insulation to keep the water warmer for longer, which it unlike freestanding bathtubs.
To install a freestanding bathtub, you don’t need a surrounding platform or a support wall. These double-layered tubs come in a variety of beautiful styles, including Japanese soaking tubs, clawfoot tubs, pedestal tubs, slipper tubs, double-ended tubs, and single-ended tubs.
For a spa-like ambiance, you can do what Jennifer Aniston did and install a luxury soaking tub made from marble, or you can install a freestanding teak tub as seen in legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s home.
Natural vs. Artificial Light
There are so many ways you can use lighting to create stunning effects and accentuate certain elements in your kitchen and bath. But first, you have to determine whether you want to use natural light or artificial light to illuminate these spaces.
If you want to capture the natural beauty of your surroundings and rejuvenate your kitchen/bath, you can’t go wrong with natural lighting. Apart from windows and skylights, you can also get natural light from candles and fireplaces. However, you can’t always control the intensity of light from these natural sources. Here are some ways you can get more of that sunlight into your home:
Add Mirrors & Reflective Surfaces
Putting a mirror across from a kitchen or bathroom window can double the amount of sunlight that enters the room. Things like decorative nickel cabinet pulls, silver photo frames, metallic faucets and light fixtures, furniture with mirrored or glass accents, and metallic finish on the ceiling are also excellent ways to reflect light back into the space to brighten it up.
Add Larger Windows
If you are renovating your kitchen and/or bathroom, it is the perfect time to install larger openings to allow for more natural illumination. Depending on how experienced your contractor is, they can work with minimal framework so the expanse of exposed glass is bigger. We recommend bay, bow, and picture windows for the greatest impact.
Another suggestion we often find ourselves making to our clients is to wash the windows. Yes, it seems so basic, but if your kitchen/bath windows haven’t been thoroughly cleaned in a while, they can block the sunlight from getting in and make the room much darker.
If adding windows is not an option, or you simply want more controlled illumination, artificial lighting is the perfect solution. In areas like the kitchen and bath, you sometimes need good lighting to complete tasks like cooking or applying makeup. In these cases, artificial lighting might be the only way to get the job done.
Now, when it comes to light fixtures, you can go for warm lighting or cool lighting. Making this decision can be tough because you need different types of lighting for different things. And that’s why our interior design experts recommend a combination of both warm and cool light fixtures.
When we say “warm” or “cool” light, we are talking about the color temperature of the light. Our eyes perceive warm light in an amber tone, while cool light has blue-ish tones.
Warm light is used to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere and you can also use it to emphasize visual elements in your kitchen/bath because it can spotlight colors and textures. Another reason why we love warm light in kitchen is because that’s where you spend time with your family and friends and wind down after a long day, so “cozy” is what you want.
Cool lighting is what you see in office spaces and work areas as it allows you to see everything with enhanced clarity because it is associated with daylight. Multiple studies have also indicated that cool light is good for productivity!
This type of lighting works really well in the kitchen especially if you spend a lot of time cooking in there. It’s also a good option for bathrooms if you want to invoke a happy, energized feeling.
Note: As we mentioned earlier, using both cool and warm lighting in a room is recommended because together they can balance each other.
Having ample storage is essential throughout the home, especially in the bathroom and kitchen so the space doesn’t look cluttered. Let’s take a look at the best storage solutions for both of these rooms:
Custom cabinetry is just as important for the kitchen as it is for a luxury bathroom. In a family bathroom or a busy master bath design, sufficient customized storage is needed to meet the needs of the family members using it. For a powder room or a guest bath that’s not used frequently, you can opt for basic cabinet storage for that extra toilet paper and soap.
Regardless of what type of vanity you have, it can be outfitted with customized accessories like a specialized make-up counter, a pull-out for styling tools, and a charging drawer for electronics.
If you have ever binge-watched celebrities’ bathroom tours (like we do), you have probably seen pretty trays set on the countertops for things like jewelry and perfume bottles. Find a decorative tray that speaks your style language, from sleek-contemporary to a vintage-Victorian.
Nothing maximizes storage space like a wall of cabinets from floor to ceiling. Toe-kick drawers at the base of lower cabinets are ideal for small items like extra linens, while upper cabinets are perfect to store items you don’t use regularly.
Luxury Kitchen Storage
Don’t like open shelving? No problem – go for pull-out cabinetry behind a fake backsplash! This space can be used to hide mugs near your coffeemaker or store spices near the stovetop. And since this storage space is hidden so well, you can also keep your liquor there.
If you have empty space next to your stove or fridge, it’s the perfect spot for a pull-out pantry. Items that can take up a lot of storage space, like cereal, canned food, dry goods, etc. can be stored in a single pull-out shelf, conveniently hidden away from sight.
Hidden Charging Stations
If like us, you and your family members spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a charging drawer will be a great addition to the room. Install a charging drawer with built-in USB ports and outlets to charge your small kitchen appliances as well as phones and tablets, without cluttering the counter space.
Hidden Coffee Station
A hidden coffee station or a pull-out coffee shelf allows you easy access to the machine when you need it, and hides it out of view for the rest of the day.
Keep small appliances and larger cookware neatly organized and out of sight with rollout drawers into your kitchen cabinets. Instead of stacking cooking pans and pots on top of one another, these drawers can help you organize all your baking and cooking equipment more effectively.
Looking For A High-End, Luxury Bathroom And Kitchen Renovation? Contact Us!
At the Linea Studio, we transform interiors into personalized spaces that are a perfect reflection of you and your style. We offer individual designs that will transform your home into a space that prioritizes your needs and feeds your soul. You can schedule an online consultation here to request a free estimate or call our showroom at 305-576-5720.