State-of-the-Art Extravagance Vs. Austerity in the Kitchen

Extravagance and luxury in a home are noticeable in every room, but none more forcefully than in the kitchen. Kitchens can boast every possible convenience: state-of-the-art appliances, high end finishes, and custom designs. They may even incorporate features once relegated to other rooms of the house such as televisions, stereo systems, and computer stations. Kitchens thus appointed pose a stark contrast to kitchens with only the basic amenities for preparing and eating meals.

Extravagant kitchen furnishings such as granite countertops and high tech appliances are associated with a budget that can accommodate these expensive materials and items. In the past, even top of the line kitchens included only a stove and refrigerator, kitchen sink, traditional cabinets, Formica countertops, and small dining sets. An average kitchen today would include all of these items plus a microwave oven, garbage disposal, dishwasher, and likely a small TV or radio. Kitchens of the past were sparsely furnished compared to the average kitchen of today with few, if any integrated appliances. Those kitchens were functional in regard to providing storage, preparation, cooking and eating areas for the average family. However, they lacked many of the modern conveniences that now are taken for granted, as well as the luxury items and finishes that are standard in kitchens of wealthy homes.

Oddly enough, some similarities exist between the traditional kitchens of the past and kitchens built today in the minimalist style. Some of the minimalist kitchens have small cupboards and similar layouts to traditional kitchens.  The difference is in the modern finishes. The storage areas are often made of glossy materials other than wood, with granite or marble countertops, modern fixtures and sleek appliances. Even minimalist kitchens can be extremely expensive if they are on the cutting edge of innovative kitchen design. Other extravagant kitchens that boast such items as walk-in pantries, brick pizza ovens, and wine rooms bear little resemblance to the functional, austere kitchens of the past.

Eclectic kitchen furnishings can combine the extravagant and the austere according to individual taste. Austerity in the kitchen does not necessarily have to be associated with a dated style and low end appliances and finishes. In modern kitchen design, there can be a harmony of simplistic style with high end materials and modern equipment and conveniences. For some, the definition of extravagance includes anything beyond the basic requirements of a normal modern kitchen, and austerity refers to inexpensive and dated kitchen furnishings. However, there is a way to combine the two concepts to achieve a modern kitchen space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. By selecting individual design elements to include in the space, you can create your own custom kitchen furnishings to be as extravagant or as austere as you may wish. In this way, it is possible to blend the traditional and the modern in a way that is unique and inclusive of both the extravagant and the austere.