Pops of personality

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It’s time to bid ‘adieu’ to all-white kitchens and stainless-steel range hoods. Today’s luxury kitchens feature pops of personality, such as warm and welcoming colours, big windows that let in the sun, and matte and textured surfaces that create tactile experiences.

“A growing trend in kitchens is a move away from utilitarian, neutral environments toward one that reflects individuality and a lived-in feel,” says Summer Kath, executive vice-president of design at Cambria, a leading producer of quartz surfaces.

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“This translates into kitchen designs that layer in personalized touches and artifacts, include a range of colours and feature combinations of matte and glossy finishes.” Picture, for example, a smooth matte island with mitered edges and waterfall that’s soft to the touch, a range hood with a customized rough texture that creates an organic look and fluting on the front of the island.

Here are some of the hallmarks of today’s luxury kitchens:

Multifunctional islands

“Large islands are still a key feature in a luxury kitchen,” says Kate Davidson, founder and principal designer of Kate + Co Design, a multidisciplinary interior design firm based in Oakville. “They’re great for entertaining, provide storage and create a focal point.”

Coloured cabinetry

Colour blocking, a technique that pairs two or more colours together, can make cabinetry feel like a collection of furniture. Davidson typically chooses three colours: one for the island, another for the wall that houses the fridge and pantry, and still another for the cabinets. She may paint the lower cabinets a slightly darker hue than the uppers.

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Warm whites and mushroom greys with brown undertones are among Davidson’s go-tos. In keeping with nature-inspired designs, blue, green and earth tones have also become favourite colours in kitchens. Inspired by the Art Deco movement, oxblood, burgundy, terracotta and clay are all having a moment, Kath adds.

A mix of woods

“Wood is definitely making a comeback,” Davidson says. White oak cabinets that boast earthy and visible grains are durable and provide a breath of fresh air, along with sleek shaker-style or flat panel doors. Mix-and-match upper and lower doors make for added interest and dimension.

Statement hood

A hood fan is functional but has the potential to be a striking focal point. In a modern space, a hood fan that’s built into the cabinets creates a minimalist look. Marble, porcelain slab or plaster can be made into any shape, so the hood sits almost like a piece of sculpture on the wall in farmhouse and other kitchen styles, Davidson reports. Stainless steel hood fans, once must-haves, are past their prime.

Natural stone

A solid slab backsplash of marble, granite, quartz or other natural stone that matches the countertops offers a clean, uninterrupted surface and transcends trends. “Some homeowners prefer a tiled backsplash for a more casual style,” says Davidson. A subway tile with a nice texture is also timeless but trendy tiles will eventually date your kitchen.

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The calming, nature-inspired energy once reserved for private spaces like the bathroom has radiated throughout the home, underscoring the popularity of quartz, which “acts as an amplifier for healing energy,” says Kath. Because Cambria designs are inspired by elements of nature, they have a natural grounding quality, she adds.

Integrated appliances

Discerning homeowners wanting all the bells and whistles are investing in luxury appliances, according to Davidson. Think a speed or steam oven, second dishwasher or dishwasher drawer, fridge drawer or wine fridge. Demand for Wi-Fi-enabled appliances and the conveniences they offer continues to grow.

Mixed metals

With a finish that’s both understated and luxurious, brass continues to be a strong home accent element, Kath reports. Silver and chrome finishes are also on trend, making it “not only acceptable but desirable” to combine two or more metal elements in one space, creating newfound options for faucets, lighting, appliances and cabinet hardware, she says.

Cambria is the first quartz manufacturer to infuse alloy elements into its designs. The collection, with rich brass or striking steel veining, includes Berkshire Brass, and makes it possible to spread the shimmer of metal across your countertops.

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Floors that flow

Floors that flow seamlessly from the entryway through the kitchen – whether hardwood or tile – make your house feel larger and tie different spaces together. Oversized porcelain or natural stone are the ultimate in elegance, Davidson says.

Natural harmony

Incorporate as much natural lighting as possible, she advises. Consider windows that are flush with the countertops and big picture windows over the primary sink. In a modern kitchen, consider a long linear window under the upper cabinets.


The innate instinct to connect with nature and other living things – has inspired a design movement that incorporates nature into the built environment. “Creating a strong indoor-outdoor connection is one of the surest paths to making a space feel fresh and nurturing,” Kath says.

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Originally posted 2023-10-06 17:10:54.