Las Vegas expert spot luxury kitchen trends

A beautifully designed kitchen serves as the home’s centerpiece — especially during the holiday season.

Whether baking sugar cookies, entertaining loved ones or preparing a festive meal, the kitchen becomes the hub of activity for family and friends.

Just as the pandemic changed holiday gatherings, it also affected the homeowner’s relationship to the kitchen space.

“People were forced to stay home,” said interior designer Tiffany Sparks, owner of Tiffany Sparks Design. “The kitchen became more than a kitchen. It became a multifunction space for remote work and school.”

The new multipurpose function along with spending more time at home resulted in an evaluation of the kitchen’s overall design. Affluent homeowners discovered the importance of designing a highly functional yet inviting kitchen space.

“Clients are being more thoughtful about what’s going into their homes and kitchens,” said Blue Heron interior design manager Heather Gunn. “It’s about having more comfortable space to gather together.”

Today’s luxury kitchens incorporate a clean modern, yet warm aesthetic. Minimalistic open-concept designs connect high-end kitchens to the home’s exterior living spaces through the inclusion of biophilic design elements such as natural stone and warm woods. Neutral color palettes create a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

Current high-end kitchens introduce voluminous central or double islands, sleek cabinetry, sizeable paneled Smart appliances, hidden pantries, catering kitchens and integrated lighting systems.

“There has been an emergence of wellness architecture where mood and well-being can be affected by colors textures and the layout,” said Randy Char, president and corporate broker of Las Vegas Sotheby’s International Realty. “Clients are looking to advance what a kitchen means to them.”

Here is a look at a few kitchens trends in the luxury market.

European-style cabinetry

Homeowner Kimberly Fender’s luxury kitchen design showcases the trend toward a simple, elegant aesthetic.

Its two-tone European-style flat panel cabinetry combines a Phantom black matte finish on the perimeter walls with warm cognac-colored walnut wood on the central island and upper smaller cabinetry.

“We have a place in Utah that is warm and inviting,” Fender said. “People feel comfortable the moment they come in. I wanted that in this home but with a modern twist to it.

“I love the color black and just started playing with different colors and found the color cognac,” she continued. “It brings a warmth to the space.”

The sleek cabinetry has no visible hardware, and the upper cabinets fold up instead of opening outward. Matching black paneled appliances and hidden pantry doors integrated into the cabinetry embrace the clean lines of the minimalistic design.

A 12-foot central island with Calcutta quartz waterfall countertops complements the cognac wood front panel. A light gray large format porcelain tile flooring flows throughout the 400-square-foot space, creating a soft visual backdrop for the eye-catching cabinetry.

“There is a nice contrast, between the cabinets, counters and flooring,” said Steve Yanke, president of Westpoint Development Group Inc. “It works very well together.”

Sleek European-styled flat-panel cabinetry complete with hidden hardware and motorized doors is finding favor in high-end homes. Trending materials and finishes include natural woods like walnut and oak and thermally fused laminate.

“People are gravitating to natural lighter woods,” Sparks said. “And toward the European-style flat panel cabinet design.”

Gunn notes the popularity of cabinet faces incorporating materials such as black glass, steel, embossed leather, cement and metal panels.

Fender’s 7,000-square-foot custom home in the MacDonald Highland community in Henderson was designed by Richard Luke Architects and built by custom home builder Westpoint Development Group Inc.

Larger kitchen islands

Expansive central or dual islands create a strong focal point for high-end kitchens, as well as additional storage.

“Larger kitchen islands are trending,” Sparks said. “Seven-foot used to be the traditional size, now they are over 10 feet.”

These expansive islands are completed with luxurious natural stone waterfall-edge countertops, such as quartzite and marble.

“We do a lot of beautiful streamline kitchens,” Gunn said. “We’ll use a beautiful slab on the island that becomes a piece of art in the room.”

Located in the prestigious Azure at The Ridges within Summerlin is a 400-square foot, transitional-styled kitchen mixing elements of contemporary and traditional design. Its central feature is an oversized 6-foot-by-16-foot island with a white quartz countertop.

“It is a beautiful kitchen,” Yanke said. “The island is huge and offers incredible space.”

Designed by Richard Luke Architects and custom-built by Westpoint Development Group Inc., the kitchen features hardwood flooring and wood-stained beams set against a white tongue and groove ceiling.

Cutting-edge technology

The impressive gourmet kitchen inside Blue Heron’s Vegas Modern 001 showcases incredible biophilic design.

“We’re connecting the kitchen directly to our outdoor spaces,” Gunn said. “In VM001, the rooms are all open concept and the kitchen is no exception. It opens to the great room which opens to the amazing outdoor pool and landscape.”

Drawing inspiration from its geographical location, its unique design features concrete flooring with micro-topping, natural travertine countertops with waterfall edge and premium walnut cabinets trimmed with black glass and blackened steel.

Complimenting the incredible architecture and interior design, the 396-square foot kitchen features innovative cutting-edge technology. Linear islands feature built-in touch screens. Smart appliances that are Wi-Fi compatible and an integrated LED lighting system add to the design’s sophistication.

“Smart appliances with touch panels can control the automation systems of the entire home,” Gunn said. “The smart ovens Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to preheat or control temperatures remotely.”

VM001 features a fully integrated LED lighting system with recessed LED directional can lights in the ceiling and under-cabinet mounted linear LED lights.

“In years past lighting in the kitchen wasn’t so much a focal,” Gunn said. “But now we’re seeing a fully thought-out design element.”

Located in the exclusive double-gated Dragon Reserve of MacDonald Highlands, the 15,000-square-foot show home epitomizes Blue Heron’s 17-year design evolution of innovative custom home design. It recently sold for an unprecedented $25 million.

Statement pieces

Sparks integrated a stunning 8-foot-by-5-foot black square metal hood for her client’s custom, modern-designed kitchen.

“A statement hood really dresses up the space,” Sparks said. “I had it fabricated. It’s so huge we had to put reinforcement in the wall to hold it.”

The commanding hood matches the lower black cabinetry and island, while adding a striking contrast to the upper light oak wood cabinets.

Surrounding the striking hood, the elegant kitchen showcases vaulted ceilings, Thermador appliances and large format porcelain tile flooring.

The kitchen’s backsplash is comprised of a quartzite slab that mirrors the countertop material.

‘What you’re seeing now is bringing the counter material up for a full backsplash,” Sparks said. “It creates a clean look carrying it straight up the wall.”

Sparks’ approximately 475-square-foot kitchen project is part of a 4,714-square-foot custom home located in Henderson.

Hidden pantry or back kitchen

Duncan and Irene Lee’s centerpiece cookery won this year’s Silver Nugget Award for Best Kitchen.

Designed by Eric Strain, AIA, designer and founding principal of assemblageSTUDIO, the approximately 300-square foot area integrates two distinct kitchens into one cohesive space: a central main space and a hidden back kitchen.

“If they have people over, they can use the working kitchen as a place to prepare food,” Strain said in an interview for the Silver Nugget Award’s special section, which published Nov. 7. “The main kitchen stays relatively clean throughout that process.”

The 85-square foot back kitchen is located directly off the main space. It features a Wolf gas stovetop with a commercial-grade hood, Cove dishwasher, full sink, additional counter space and 11-foot pull-out pantry. A door matching the kitchen’s cabinetry hides the space from the main area. Paneled appliances serve as a transition from the back to the main kitchens.

The Lee’s 7,400-square-foot custom home is in the prestigious Summerlin Summit community. It was built by Merlin Custom Home Builders.