Trends in Chicago Luxury Home Design: High-End Countertops

This is the time of year when many folks are thinking about whether they will sell their home in 2016. That means a lot of thought and attention are going into what makes a luxury home sell quickly in today’s market.

It’s not uncommon that the word “luxury” is used without consideration as to what real luxury is all about. It’s not simply a high price, square footage or a great location. So what makes a home a true “luxury” property?

While the main criteria for a property (like size and location) of course play a role, I believe luxury is defined by a home’s accoutrements. The finishes, the materials, the details and the odds and ends are what bring the luxury lifestyle to a home. These are the things that differentiate a home from the rest. It’s what makes it unique and cutting-edge and causes prospective buyers to walk in and feel that “wow factor” as soon as they walk in the door.

It’s important to pay attention to even the smaller features of a “luxury” home, and the latest au courant addition to a kitchen is show-stopping stonework. While granite has certainly had long been the attention-getter in a high-end kitchen, homeowners are now bringing unusual varieties of stone—such as limestone, schist and labradorite—into their home design. Taking the stone less traveled, if you will, is yet another way sellers can help their property stand out in the market.

The Wall St. Journal recently highlighted this trend of moving away from expected granite finishes. Here are a few examples of kitchen stonework that are anything but run-of-the-mill:

Via Houzz / Contemporary Kitchen by Silver Spring Kitchen & Bath Designers Aidan Design

Quartzite is clean, elegant and ultra-modern in a light, natural shade as is shown here. It’s an ultra-durable material that can produce the same aesthetic as marble but with the hardiness of granite.

Via Houzz / Traditional Kitchen by Buffalo Kitchen & Bath Designers Artisan Kitchens and Baths

Made from semi-precious stones, labradorite brings a stunning dose of deep color and functions as a durable, non-porous surface in the kitchen.

Via Houzz / Farmhouse Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Walker Warner Architects

Limestone is a predictable stone for the facade of a home, but is less expected in the kitchen. It can work smoothed out as a countertop or an elaborate focal point like the wall shown here.

Via Houzz / Contemporary Kitchen by New London Architects & Building Designers Bonin Architects & Associates

Similar to granite in its chemical markup, Schist is medium or coarse-grained and can resemble the distinctive layering of slate.

Updating Your Chicago Home When it’s Time to Sell
For the prospective seller, making updates to the details of your home can make all the difference in determining the value of your property. For a kitchen refresh like this, I can assist you with sourcing the right materials that will set your home apart. I have consulted on a number of home design projects with the goal of resale value in mind, as well as working with clients on new construction projects—each of these involves selecting luxury finishes and materials that make a space feel truly upscale.

For more information on what updates and changes will impact the resale value of your home in 2016, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

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