When the time arrives to create your dream home - the place that you and your family will call home for many years to come - there's one space that needs plenty of attention: The kitchen.
It's the place where you gather for meals with family and friends, where you share those informal but important chats with loved ones over a cuppa, and where you enjoy a few moments peace before the busyness of the day begins.
If you're building a new luxury home, a quality kitchen is an essential element of the design and there are some key details to keep in mind as your kitchen plans take shape, says Christine Ghrayche, Creative Director of One x One Interiors. "The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house to renovate, so it needs some careful thought," she says.
So, what are the key elements of a luxury kitchen?
Clever storage - and plenty of it
The more secret storage you can include in your kitchen, the better. Picture: Getty
"Do a stock take of how much stuff you have in your kitchen - what's in your pantry, how many pots and pans do you have, how much cutlery do you have, and how much do you need?" says Christine.
Make sure your new kitchen has enough storage for your needs. Metricon's luxury home designs include kitchens with generously-proportioned cupboard spaces to accommodate all kitchen essentials.
"Think about creating custom storage spaces with a power supply for appliances, like the kettle and toaster, so you have easy access to them but they're out of sight," says Christine. "People aren't always choosing a butler's pantry these days. Instead they are opting for bigger kitchens that are streamlined and minimalist."
The big island
An over-sized island is a must-have in a luxe kitchen. Big islands double up as a preparation space and an entertaining space. While you prepare dinner for later in the day, the kids can eat breakfast on the other side of the island. Or while you add the finishing touches to dinner, your guests can take a seat and chat to the chef.
Waterfall bench tops, seen here in Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo, is the ultimate in kitchen luxury. Picture: Caesarstone
Metricon homes feature Caesarstone - a highly durable quartz surface suitable for benchtops and splashbacks that comes in 46 designs that are marble, concrete and terrazzo-inspired.
"Colours range from the purest of white through soft neutrals, patinated greys and dramatic blacks," says Linda Hannah, Senior Brand Manager at Caesarstone Australia.
"For a statement island bench, choose a waterfall profile that has immediate impact and creates a pivotal point in the kitchen."
Let there be light
Kitchen lighting has to be practical, but it's also an opportunity to add some style and personality.
Metricon's popular designer homes often feature a mix of practical downlights, contemporary pendant lights that become a feature over an island bench, and perhaps a classy chandelier if ceiling height permits.
"Choose a mix of lighting that suits your home - whether it is classic or more contemporary," says Christine. "Task lighting can be achieved with downlights and if you have high ceilings a chandelier suits traditional homes. LED strip lighting in your pantry or cabinets are also useful. They work on a sensor when you open the doors and are handy when you are looking for those items hidden at the back of a cupboard.
Consider a mix of task and decorative lighting to finish your kitchen. Picture: Getty
Be bold with colour
Cookie cutter all-white kitchens are certainly classic and will stand the test of time, but don't be afraid to add some depth and personality to your kitchen with a touch of colour.
Metricon designs run the gamut of neutrals that blend classic contemporary styling. Greys, whites and creams are popular but think about neutral darks, too, suggests Christine. "Navy blues, blacks and olive greens all work well in kitchens. They are dark and striking but very beautiful," she adds.
Add some finishing touches
It's the small details that finish that luxury kitchen look. Consider integrating some of your major appliances, like the dishwasher and fridge, with your cabinetry for a streamlined look.
Those appliances can be fitted with a door front so they look like part of the cabinetry," says Christine. If your new home will be an entertainer's paradise consider including two ovens and a double door fridge, along with an in-built espresso machine. The latest tapware also adds some luxury and convenience by offering instant hot water or instant sparkling water on tap.