The age-old obsession with status symbols has found a welcome home in the kitchen, which is now a hotbed for name-brand appliances, luxury materials and custom work. No matter your budget, making your kitchen look like a million is all in the know-how.
To that end, consider this list of today’s most popular kitchen status symbols and the snazziest alternatives.
Countertops. Real stone is the belle of the ball, with pricey granite reigning supreme. While granite is too rich for many budgets, new WilsonartHD high definition laminate is not. Complex layers of color and the high definition technology-which combines high performance and optics-create the crisp, elegant dimension of natural stone. The subtle, tactile nature of the finish gives it the feel of real stone. There are three WilsonartHD series to choose from–Bella, Sedona and Deepstar.
Cabinetry. Custom cabinets steal the show-and the budget. To get the same look for less, you can install oversized crown molding on top of stock cabinets to make them “pop.” Also, get creative with the layout. For example, don’t place all your cabinets flush against the wall. Instead, bring the cabinets above the sink and stove out a few extra inches from the wall.
Appliances. High-end name-brand appliances are de rigueur in some kitchens. Fortunately, many affordable lines offer similar looks and performance. Doubling up on less costly appliances is another way to achieve a high status look. For example, kitchens with two sinks or two refrigerators say luxury and can still be had at half the price of a single name-brand model.
Sinks. Let’s say you don’t have $1,500 to spend on a trendy oversized farm-style sink; consider a commercial one. Many manufacturers produce lines for a range of commercial applications and you may find one that suits your needs for a fraction of the price.
Hardware. Highly popular glass or decorative nickel knobs and pulls can run as much as $16 apiece. For a look with impact that’s easy on the wallet, consider oversized hardware-eight to 12 inches long as opposed to the standard four to five inches.