A Look at the Future of High-End Kitchen and Bath Design
December 1, 2023
When I began working in the luxury kitchen and bath space more than 20 years ago, the market was very much one size fits all. We’d install the same cabinets in the kitchens, bathrooms and closets in a large house, and the homeowner would be thrilled with the results. In the last two decades, however, not only has the way we live changed, but technology has progressed faster than ever, essentially redefining the look and feel of high-end kitchen and bath design.
Above photo: A luxury bathroom in one of the St. Regis Chicago’s units designed by 210 Design House. Photo credit: 210 Design House
Today, at our 210 Design House showroom and in projects all around the country, we work with a curated group of incredibly high-end vendors. Notably, we just completed The Residences at St. Regis Chicago’s 404 standard and 21 360-degree penthouse units, installing Italian designs from Snaidero, MisuraEmme and Milldue’s noorth and Vitage. The St. Regis team, like so many of our other clients, has exacting standards and impeccable taste, and they inspire us to continually search out the next big things in luxury design. So, what can we expect in 2024? The upcoming trends are all about specificity, efficiency, flexibility and personalization.
Precision Is the New Luxury
Today’s bathroom elements are made for functionality and personalization. Cabinets are designed and manufactured specifically for a bathroom and to store bath-specific items. Mirrors and lights are designed for a particular vanity, and the depth of a sink is made for that specific base unit. That level of customization not only elevates the design, but it greatly increases how the space functions for the homeowner.
Efficient Living Spaces Demand Flexibility in Design
When you’re dealing with a large project, flexibility within rooms doesn’t matter so much. But when you’re dealing with limited space, you want to get the most out of every inch, and that always boils down to design.
For our multi-housing projects, we’ll create a mock-up of a 500-square-foot studio apartment that functions and feels like a one bedroom. How do you use cabinetry, storage, smart home technology and even sliding glass doors to make it feel larger? A lot of that has to do with creating different functions within one space without compromising the aesthetic.
Common Materials Get a High-End Makeover, Thanks to Tech
Forty or 50 years ago, there were certain elements that weren’t considered high end, including melamine, resin and ceramic. Technology has bridged that gap and created something interesting and beautiful out of something common. Additionally, stone has gained more flexibility in terms of applications through technology. Instead of using a large piece of heavy granite, we can now apply stone in lightweight and cost-effective ways that weren’t possible until recently.
Sustainability Translates to Timelessness
A focus on sustainability isn’t going away, and it starts at the factory level. More than 70% of our product is recyclable and Earth-conscious – think ultra-low-VOC product and lacquer that is water- not oil-based. We want to be friendly to the atmosphere. Another way to look at sustainability? Using high-quality products and materials means you don’t have to replace anything after three to five years. Quality means durability and timelessness.
Focus on Wellness in Design
Focusing on wellness is as much about creating a well-designed space your clients want to spend their time in as it is about any specific element. Updating kitchen and bath spaces with timeless, enduring, high-quality products will not only promote wellness today, but it will also stand the test of time. At some point, as a designer, you must trust your own taste and design instincts. Have confidence that what resonates with you, what exudes luxury design in your eyes and what you envision your clients living in will translate into a timeless design.
By Rama Dandamudi, CEO/president, 210 Design House, a lifestyle showroom offering a collection of high-end interior products
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