Many of today's homeowners love to cook, and are looking for a gourmet kitchen fit for a chef. While Remodeling contributor Symone Garvett says gourmet kitchens are not the norm (the 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen and Trends Study found cooking from scratch ranked only fourth in homeowner interests), homeowners that do focus on at-home cooking will be wowed by projects that find room for a sink area, range center, and refrigerator zone.

Sink Area
Although the National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) found in its 2018 design trend report that the three trendiest kitchen sink styles are undermount (92%), single-bowl (81%), and farmhouse (81%), there is another style perfect for gourmet kitchens: a workstation sink. Also known as a prep sink, it’s a longer undermount sink, sometimes with dual faucets, that incorporates areas on the sides for cutting boards, straining, racks, and other accessories.

“The beauty in it is that, even in a small space, you can get so much functionality out of it,” says Donna McMahon, associate kitchen and bath designer at Denver-based KE Interior Solutions. “But in a big space, it’s a fabulous prep area and makes the whole process of cooking, cleaning, and entertaining so simple.”

Range Center
Gas ranges with four to eight burners and a griddle are typical in a chef’s kitchen, but Paula Kennedy, certified master kitchen and bath designer and owner of Seattle-based Timeless Kitchen Design, joins with McMahon in saying induction cooktops are becoming more popular. For a more professional look, designers will dress up the ventilation hood above.

“People want a statement range with an oversized hood as their focal point,” says Danielle Burger, certified kitchen and bath designer and principal designer of Charlotte, N.C.-based Kitchen Vitality Design. “It’s becoming this sculptural piece of art.”

Refrigerator Zone
Homeowners may opt to have a higher-end fridge with an air purification system and vacuum-seal door to help preserve the quality of freshness.

Silver stainless steel remains supreme in finishes, but appliance manufacturers are debuting black and matte-black stainless. Glass door fridges are also an option, to provide visibility into the appliance. Homeowners may choose to integrate or overlay the fridge to streamline the overall look of the kitchen. Another common appliance in gourmet kitchens is a beverage or wine cooler. These can vary from refrigerator-height to smaller under-counter installations.

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