A hint of luxury
Adding luxury items into your kitchen design tends to be based upon your personal culinary needs and preferences. They won’t necessarily be on everyone’s essential must-have list – but without a doubt, they should be…
For the master chef: steam ovens
Adding a steam oven into your kitchen design is a favourite for many up-and-coming master chefs. Those who understand the benefits of a cooking process that preserves the goodness and nutrients of foods such as fish and vegetables will want a steam oven in their kitchen. While steam ovens are still popular, and are great for more things than just veg – think pasta, pulses slow-cooked foods and proving bread – it’s combination steam ovens that are fast becoming the appliance on the top of our wish-lists. Combining a steam function with a microwave and also fan oven, if you’re short of space or your budget is limited, they provide most of the cooking functions you could ever need all in one convenient unit. Steam is delivered into the cavity via a removable water tank, meaning there’s no tricky plumbing into a water source either. Most appliance manufacturers include a steam or combination steam oven in their offering but be aware that most steam-only models are compact so it’s wise to combine them with another one or two combination single ovens.
For convenience: hot water taps
Something which is quite a new luxury addition to kitchens is the hot water tap – and by that, I don’t mean your standard hot and cold water tap at your sink. As commercial models from companies such as Quooker began to show up in hi-end domestic kitchens, the benefits of having boiling water at the drop of a lever became more apparent. As a result, tap manufacturers began to develop their ranges, first with standalone taps and now the easier to include tri-flow monobloc with hot, cold and boiling water all in one, neat unit. Not just for making tea and coffee in a flash, combined with a super-fast induction hob, a boiling water tap can help you to prepare pasta and rice dishes in a flash as well as speedily steaming veg and fish. Most models heat the water to 98° but some, like those from Quooker, reach 100°. Try also Grohe, InSinkErator, Franke and Zip for three-in-one monobloc models and Insinkerator and Blanco for standalone taps that are useful for prep sinks. Tanks vary in size but some are compact enough to incorporate into a small kitchen design and all designs feature child-locks to prevent accidental scalding.
For the coffee lover: coffee machines
For some people, a coffee machine is a must-have that they can’t do without. But to others, it is something of a luxury item – especially if you’re not a fan of clutter on the worktops but can’t function in the morning without a large latte or Americano. Although they might seem pricey at first, many aren’t much more expensive than top-of-the range countertop models and think of all that money you’ll save not buying a coffee on your way to work everyday. If you’re planning an appliance bank in your kitchen design, then it’s worth noting that most manufacturers are designing coffee machines to match their ovens and as a result a combination of three ovens and a coffee machine are becoming a popular configuration. Price points vary, from the very affordable semi-automatic models from Hotpoint to the pricier all-singing, all-dancing bean-to-cup coffee machine from AEG. If you can’t bear the thought of messy beans or grinds, then a Nespresso pod machine by Miele is a good option.
For culinary delights: domino hobs
If you are one for preparing and cooking all sorts of culinary delights using a variety of cooking methods, then a domino hob could be the perfect luxury addition to your kitchen. If you’ve been seduced by the undeniable benefits of induction but can’t prize yourself away from the brilliance of gas for preparing stir-fried food, then domino hobs might be the answer. These two-zone cooktops – usually measuring around 30 x 60cm — come in a variety of different types. As well as gas and induction models, you can also buy charcoal-style grills for all-year-round barbecuing, steel tepanyaki plates for Japanese style griddle cooking and even fryers for perfect southern-style chicken. Whichever you choose, it’s best to buy from the same manufacturer to keep the materials, design and size consistent. If you’d prefer to keep costs down with just one worktop cut, then AEG, Caple and CDA all have single glass topped hobs that include both a powerful gas burner and induction plates, proving that in some things, you really can have it all!
For the wine lovers: wine fridges
As a wine lover, you’ll want your wine to be kept at the optimum temperature so that whenever you fancy a tipsy, it’s ready for you. The wine cooler is a popular luxury appliance. While there might not be space for a wine cellar in your kitchen, the latest wine coolers are very sophisticated machines that will ensure all wines – both red and white — are kept in the optimum conditions. Undercounter models from companies such as Liebherr, Caple and CDA vary in size, from space-saving single columns to those with room enough for up to 48 bottles and featuring several temperature zones for keeping reds and whites at exactly the right temperature. Perfect placed on the dining side of an island so that guests can help themselves while you cook, look for coolers that also include UV protection and anti-vibration – to keep harmful light at bay and stop the disturbance of sediments – as they’re important features to keep your wine at its best for longer. Larger models look great in a bank of appliances and many, such as those from Miele, have elegant wooden shelving, three temperature zones and even a sommelier unit for sampling your best vintages.
*This is a collaborative post.