By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
It’s no secret kitchens have evolved over the years. Once a room for cooking with harvest-gold or avocado-green accents, today’s South Florida kitchen is more likely to be light and bright, with sleek, contemporary lines and countertops of natural stone or quartz. More importantly, today, the kitchen is the heart of the home – a place for cooking, crafts and company where children do homework and adult entertain and socialize.
“Every good kitchen pulls people to it like a magnet,” says Niki Higgins, executive director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Fort Lauderdale. “The kitchen is the social hub of the home.”
In the past, the kitchen was for cooking, the living room was for entertaining and the formal dining room was for showing off your culinary skills for guests. Today, however, most homeowners lead a more casual lifestyle. So, kitchens tend to be open and spacious to allow for family and guests to congregate and eat in the same place.
There’s another social change that’s increased the prominence of the kitchen as well.
“People have become a lot more health conscious, and more people are cooking than they used to,” Higgins says. Plus, since cooking has become a way for people to interact and connect, kitchens that allow for multiple cooks to work at the same time are in demand.
According to a survey of nearly 4,000 homebuyers released in February by the National Association of Home Builders, 86 percent of respondents said they prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top preferences for finishes include stainless steel appliances (67 percent), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57 percent) and white kitchen cabinetry (32 percent).
Many luxury homes in South Florida have state-of-the-art kitchens, designed not only for functionality but also to impress. Here are three with kitchens sure to dazzle any chef.
Room for Four
This 16,577-square-foot estate at 220 N. Compass Drive in Fort Lauderdale’s Bay Colony neighborhood has all the comforts of home: six bedrooms, eight baths, a movie theater, library and even a stock-trading room complete with ticker. But it also has a spacious kitchen designed to allow four chefs to work simultaneously.
“They spent three years designing the house for their family,” says Higgins, the listing agent for the home. “They like to entertain, and you can have amazing parties at this house.”
The house, priced at $12.995 million, also has 250 feet of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as another 111 feet on a deep-water canal. And it comes with a Lincoln limousine, so you can make your trips to the grocery store in style.
Contact: Niki Higgins, 954-817-2500, nikihiggins.elliman.com.
This mansion, at 430 W. San Marino Drive in the Venetian Islands of Miami Beach, is the epitome of modern architecture. Priced at $22.5 million, it is the perfect balance of wood, glass and stone and boasts many unique features: dual floating staircases, a wine cellar, a living green wall, a secret garden for outdoor dining and a bayfront lounge.
The kitchen is unique as well. Design elements include Boffi cabinetry in gray lacquer, a Viking gas cooktop, two Miele dishwashers and Gaggenau espresso maker, steam oven, warming drawer and convection oven. There’s also European white-oak flooring and a wine cellar with custom Acacia-wood cabinets that hold 2,000 bottles.
And if that kitchen isn’t suitable, you can also cook in the summer kitchen on the rooftop terrace, which features three Viking grills.
Contact: Dina Goldentayer at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 786-277-7539, dinagoldentayermiami.com.
This brand-new, ultra-modern three-story estate, at 14 Isla Bahia Drive in Fort Lauderdale, has high-end finishes throughout and a multitude of luxury features, from a media room and gym to a third-floor entertainment space and elevator. It also has a gourmet kitchen with top-of-the line appliances and water views.
Listed for $11.995 million, the six-bedroom property boasts a SieMatic kitchen with Miele appliances and a unique Waterstone faucet. There’s also a stainless-steel hood over the stove that was custom designed for the house.
Contact: Tim Elmes of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 954-522-2803, timelmes.com.
Photo: Mansion in the Venetian Islands of Miami Beach, courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate