Granite countertops, hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances have gone from beautiful, groundbreaking trends to defaults of any home built or upgraded after 2005. But in a world where this combination of materials has become an essential in any home, what has happened to the customized kitchen, the one that stands out? It might be easy to dismiss this concept as being tacky since the granite-wood-steel package has monopolized the realm of kitchen decor, but homeowners are quickly tiring of the uniformity. We're told to avoid personalization in order to sell our homes, but that doesn't mean your kitchen can't be luxurious in a way that's anything but standard. Here are 3 ways to boost the style and elegance of your kitchen and make it stand out — without compromising your selling prospects.
Mix Up Countertop Materials
Your first step is to focus on the countertops. While the safest thing to do is opt for a neutral granite, it's also the least interesting or outstanding move. There is a wealth of stunning materials that are just as practical as granite that most people don't consider simply because using them is not the current standard.
Nothing adds warmth, coziness, and a rugged authenticity to a kitchen like butcher block countertops. Coming in a range of finishes, these stunning wood counters create an inviting atmosphere in kitchens old and new. Sure, they require oiling and can take the occasional scratch, but like fine wine or a leather jacket, their age only adds to their character.
Marble is also a classically elegant addition that is softer in composition than granite. This allows it to scratch more easily, but the careful homeowner can avoid this without issue. Some homeowners even prefer the lived-in look of a few blemishes on marble. Stainless steel countertops add an industrial touch, perfect for a gourmet look — it turns your kitchen into a true foodie's workhouse, a place where great fare is crafted. Plus, it's simple to clean and low-maintenance. Glass, soapstone, copper, and quartz are found in unique custom luxury homes throughout the country. However, if you're not ready to select anything other than granite—but you still want to mix things up— choose a fresh finish for your granite counters. Leathered granite adds texture and depth to your kitchen space, while white granites that imitate the look of marble offer an idyllic compromise.
Address Your Appliances
Stainless steel is the way of the world in this day and age, but, that doesn't mean you have to settle for an uninspiring set of appliances. White and black are always in style, despite what the latest magazines might say. Or, you might opt for some of the new, cutting-edge finishes that are entering the industry: different hues of stainless steel, matte slate gray, and lacquered high-gloss browns, blacks, and grays. Alternatively, go for a throwback look with a pastel fridge, or a bold modern one with a bright lustrous shade.
Reject Stock Flooring
To prevent your kitchen from looking too "stock", choose flooring that complements—but doesn't match— your cabinetry. Ashy tones, luxe laminate, and whitewashed hardwood flooring make for beautiful, luminous kitchen aesthetics. While laminate might have made most homeowners wrinkle their noses several years ago, the material has improved exponentially, now imitating real wood with convincing precision. Modern laminate is also available in a stunning range of finishes.