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Gourmet and more: Homebuyers favor deluxe kitchen upgrades

Categories: New Homes Chicago | Posted: November 10, 2017

With the holidays approaching, gourmet kitchens are still at the top of homebuyers’ priority lists. Kitchens have traditionally been considered the heart of the home, and with today’s open concept floor plans, they are increasingly the center of attention for family and friends.

Chicagoland homebuilders report that more dollars are typically spent on kitchen upgrades than in any other areas of the home.

“With the popularity of shelter magazines, websites and television shows devoted to home design and features, buyers are increasingly sophisticated and want to have creative, exciting interiors,” says Jeremy Lund, sales manager for Shodeen Homes. “Function is very important but buyers also are looking for maximum decorative value as well. It is also true that money spent on luxurious kitchens can typically be recovered at resale time.

“Gourmet kitchens, including double ovens or oven and convection oven combination and cooktops with decorative metal hoods, are now included in all of our quick move-in homes. White and painted cabinets are preferred by nine out of 10 buyers, and kitchen islands are growing bigger, with more surface area work space and the ideal gathering spot for family and guests in open concept living areas. Gray, taupe and beige are alternate cabinet colors, and quartz is becoming popular due to its durability and low maintenance qualities. Backsplashes can add an important decorative element, and glass front cabinets, wine refrigerators and warming drawers are requested by luxury home buyers.”

At David Weekley Homes, white is still preferred for kitchen cabinets but some luxury home buyers choose very dark wood cabinets, says Joan Svoboda, sales consultant.

“Island cabinets that contrast in color from wall cabinets are a striking look, and glass front cabinets, wine refrigerators and upgraded faucets and hardware are also requested,” she says. “Though our homes have abundant windows, buyers want as much light as they can add to their kitchens, so extra can lights, under-mount and over-cabinet lighting and outlets for television and sound systems are very popular. Granite is still desirable but quartz is gaining in popularity as it is more predictable in color and pattern. Our buyers are definitely interested in combining aesthetics with functionality.”

With the grand opening of a semi-custom single-family model home at Ashcroft Place in Oswego, the kitchen is among the highlights of the two-story, 2,952-square-foot home.

“This kitchen is appointed with white 42-inch Shaker cabinets with soft pull drawers and crown molding,” says Pat Curran, president of West Point Builders. “Crown molding is a popular and inexpensive option, and the hand-scraped wood floors are a growing trend and are included in the kitchen, breakfast room and foyer. The garden window over the sink has a granite base that continues into the granite countertop for additional space. A large walk-in pantry is another important feature with buyers.”

“Some of the options that are available for kitchens at Ashcroft Place include staggered height cabinets and under cabinet lighting, glass cabinet doors, backsplashes and subway tile for backsplashes,” he says.

Builders all agree that islands are growing in size, and William Ryan Homes offers a super island option that is ideal in open concept living spaces.

“A modern, streamlined look is very popular,” says Erin Clark, sales manager. “The super island we offer is perfect for food preparation and casual dining, and it is a natural gathering space for family and guests. To complement this inviting focal point, our signature morning room with its windows on three sides is an open, airy extension of the kitchen gathering space and can be used for dining or a conversation area.

“Our kitchens include 42-inch cabinets, with white being very popular although some buyers still choose natural wood-tone cabinets. The kitchens include standard granite countertops with quartz as an option, stainless-steel appliances, and chef’s double oven and separate range. Farmhouse sinks are a frequently chosen option, while our oversized pantries are universally popular.”

Gio Hernandez

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