If you are lucky, you may have $20,000 for a kitchen remodel or like most of us, need to take out that home equity loan for kitchen and bath upgrades. What if you had a $100,000 budget? If you could take a peek into the kitchens of the new loft condos begin built on Park Avenue in New York City, or in the Marina District of San Francisco with views overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, what would you find?
Yes, you would probably still find tile on the floor (like the masses) but it would most likely be porcelain and not ceramic. You and I can load our station wagon up with tiles from Home Depot at $3 per square foot, but even stores for the masses like Lowes and Color Tile have tile that run over $20 per square foot in their showroom so as you can imagine there are many varieties of tile at over $50 per square foot to please the hedge fund managers. (Other floors you may find in these posh settings: cork, marble, travertine tile and seamless hardwood.)
Under the tile you may find an electric heating system because no one wants to creep down out of bed at 2 a.m. for cookies and milk, and have their feet get cold. The electric line snaking under each tile will perpetually remove the chill.
Looking at the countertop you can bet you will find granite 80% of the time, but for completely custom jobs with unlimited budgets you will find a lot of custom concrete. And yes, the Wall Street tycoons can find granite about as exotic and expensive as you could want to pay for it. (Five thousand dollars for a countertop would embarrass many of these people.) Adding an inch or two to the thickness of the granite and sourcing the granite from some of the most remote countries on earth should add $10,000 to the cost, just enough to not be embarrassed at holiday parties.
The range would be a 17,000 BTU stainless steel, six burner with dual ovens below, costing $10,000 to $15,000. Of course, there would be a wall mounted chimney hood for venting, above the cook top with six speed settings, dual halogen lights, and rated at 650 CFM. You could see the food cooking, you just won’t be able to smell the food cooking!
The refrigerator will probably be a Sub Zero built right into the kitchen cabinets, because Maytag or Amana just won’t do. This $10,000 beauty will be able to hold enough food to feed a small Icelandic village.
The kitchen cabinets would still be wood, like we have in most houses, but the wood would be imported and exotic. Solid under the countertop and glass door above, so the fine dishes and the sushi sets can be seen without opening the door. The “hardware,” meaning the handles on the cabinets and drawers, would be more than $10 each or it just would not be a posh kitchen. Actually, this “hardware” is getting more and more expensive for the rest of us too, as it’s almost impossible to replace your hardware today for under $4 per handle. Let’s hope we can live with what came stock.
On the kitchen island you would have another sink and perhaps another cook top. Over the island you would have recessed lighting and a pot holder. The dishwasher, would be a 3 rack stainless steel, because the common people have two racks. Enhanced insulation would make this thing quieter than a small fan humming, not the beast that sloshes water around in our kitchen, forcing us to crank the volume on our televison sets. Of course, on this dishwasher, no need to pre-wash!