A trend I am seeing throughout the country is that builders are stepping up their game relating to elevations. Why?
With its upscale appliances, elegant palette of materials and finishes, and open floor plan, the kitchen in this luxury residence in Scottsdale, Ariz. is designed to boost the home's entertaining space when the occasion calls for it, says Gina Spiller, design director for builder, Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes.
With its upscale appliances, elegant palette of materials and finishes, and open floor plan, the kitchen in this luxury residence in Scottsdale, Ariz. is designed to boost the home's entertaining space when the occasion calls for it, says Gina Spiller, design director for builder, Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes. "It really is the focal point of the home's living space." But it did not start out that way, she says.
Less than enthusiastic about the original plan for the kitchen in this 6476-square-foot ranch, built as part of a new golf course community, Spiller pushed for a redesign of the space although framing for the home had already been completed. "I just felt that the space was too small overall and that we really needed to increase the size of the island to make this kitchen really successful," she says.
Her instincts proved to be right and after reworking the space, the resulting kitchen functions as a culinary masterpiece that features two efficient work triangles in which appliances, sinks and storage areas are all within easy reach of each other. The kitchen also features a 48-inch range and a separate coffee bar.
"That is really the minimum for the high end market now, says Spiller. "In a lot of cases we are even incorporating the big 60-inch units into kitchens these days."
And by paying particular attention to the selection of materials used throughout the kitchen, including tumbled marble backsplashes, travertine flooring, granite counters, custom alder cabinetry that resembles fine furniture, and a rough-sawn beam ceiling, the builder was able to create a space that is as "beautiful as it is efficient", says Spiller. "Our intention was to blend really nice upscale materials with a comfortable floor plan. We wanted it to feel elegant but casual at the same time."
The spec-built home was marketed as a fully furnished turnkey project. Upholstered chairs with distressed wood frames were used to provide seating at the island to complement the rustic elegance of the home's overall design.
The beamed ceiling defines the perimeter of the kitchen while permitting it to remain visually connected to an adjoining breakfast nook and family room. "From the island, you can look directly through the nook and out to the rear yard and pool terrace," says Spiller. "It really provides a nice view of the home's high desert location."
Opposite the nook, a butler's pantry with a built-in warming drawer and climate controlled wine room serve as the link between the kitchen and the home's formal dining room. "Wine cellars are very big in our market," says Spiller. "We include them in about 90 percent of our custom homes and in every one of our spec projects."
The home, which features three bedrooms, including a spacious master retreat with its own exercise room, and a separate guest house, was targeted to the area's affluent family and empty-nester buyers. It was completed in December 2003 and was sold four months after completion.