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Long gone are the days when kitchens were hidden away at the back of the house and designed specifically for utility. Nowadays, kitchens play a central role in family life, providing a backdrop not only for everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning, but also spending time with loved ones, hosting get-togethers and working on projects.

If your kitchen is the heart of your home on the Florida Gulf Coast, then you want to give it the right design and features to live up to the demands of that status. You can accomplish that by remodeling the space into a modern gourmet kitchen.

What is a Gourmet Kitchen?

What makes a gourmet kitchen? The answer may vary among Florida homeowners, but in general, gourmet kitchens surpass the standard kitchen in terms of their beauty, functionality and convenience. They are characterized by top-of-the line materials, easy-to-clean surfaces, high-performance appliances, customized storage and prep space, and those little extras that enrich daily life for you and your family.

When it comes to a gourmet kitchen vs. a regular kitchen, the former will generally add more value to your home in Sarasota. Even if you aren’t planning to sell in the near future, it pays off to have a highly functional and aesthetically appealing environment where you will enjoy spending hours each day.

Gourmet Features for Florida Kitchen Designs

The elements you choose for your upscale kitchen remodel in Florida will make or break its success. While gourmet kitchen designs should be customized, as no two families are the same, there are certain features and amenities that possess a more universal appeal. 

To help you get started on planning and design, here are a few popular gourmet kitchen ideas that are sure to take your space to the next level:

1. Warming Drawer

Ever cooked a large meal for many people, and had the food go cold before the last dish was finished baking? If so, you need a warming drawer in your Sarasota kitchen. Designed to keep dishes hot with a gentle, non-drying heat, warming drawers are a useful tool if you like to entertain and prepare large meals. Warming drawers are designed to fit into the architecture of the room—whatever that may be. They also include panels on the front that make them blend into your cabinetry, rather than appearing like a stove. When not in use, the panel recedes into the design of the kitchen.

2. Task Lighting

Task lighting makes food preparation easier, and it should be included in your gourmet kitchen plans. When not turned on, task lighting is invisible, because it’s hidden beneath overhanging cabinets. While task lighting elevates the appearance of your kitchen, it also serves a practical purpose, illuminating your workspace and making it easier to see when cutting and mixing. You also will be more comfortable reading recipes, enabling you to prepare meals quickly and efficiently. Task lighting is installed according to the needs of the homeowner.

3. Gourmet Refrigerator

No gourmet kitchen is complete without a gourmet refrigerator. Each model comes with different features, so you can choose the type of refrigerator that meets your specific needs. Look for features like Internet connectivity, moisture control, ice makers and wine drawers.

If you prioritize eco-friendly home appliances, you should also take energy efficiency into consideration when selecting a high-end refrigerator for your gourmet kitchen remodel in the Florida Gulf Coast. Each refrigerator model has its own energy guide, so you have the opportunity to do research before determining which refrigerator is best fit for your space.

Refrigerator configuration also makes a big difference in terms of convenience and performance. The freezer may be on top or bottom, and it may take the form of a drawer or be opened by a door. All of this varies from one type of refrigerator to another. The highest-end models are typically built into the wall and are hidden by wood cabinet panels, so they fit seamlessly into your kitchen’s design.

4. Convection Oven

Convection ovens use a flow of hot air to warm foods evenly and efficiently. That means they are far more efficient than standard ovens, and produce a better baked good overall. If you’re known for throwing large parties, one convection oven might not be enough. A second oven makes it possible to cook multiple dishes at different temperatures, speeding up food preparation dramatically.

5. Walk-In Pantry

Homeowners love storage space, especially in the kitchen. It allows you to de-clutter your counters and maintain an efficient organization system. Along with gourmet kitchen cabinets, consider building a walk-in pantry that makes it easy to store a variety of dried foods, from cans to boxes and jars. The larger the pantry, the better. Work with your Sarasota remodeling contractor to install more than just shelves.

Drawers and cabinets give you a variety of storage options, so your pantry can remain full and your kitchen can stay tidy throughout the year. Your contractor can install other custom features as well, like a light that makes it easier to see and an attractive door to keep everything hidden within.

6. Wine Refrigerator

If you enjoy entertaining—or if you’re a wine aficionado—a wine refrigerator is the product for you. Homeowners who buy a wine refrigerator without remodeling must find a place to store their new appliance, either on the floor or on the countertop. The advantage of installing a wine refrigerator during your Florida kitchen remodel is that your contractor can build the wine refrigerator into the cabinets, so the appliance is more invisible.

7. Beverage Station

A beverage station is a must-have if you like to entertain, or even if you just have lots of household members with varying tastes. It will make your home the perfect place to have a party for friends and family. Talk to your contractor about installing a hand-made beverage station built into the wall, with glass cabinets to show off your attractive glassware. If possible, work with your contractor to install a beverage station that’s accessible from the dining room, as well as the kitchen. This may require knocking down a wall, but the end results will be worthwhile.

8. Large Prep Sink

Imagine you’re making Thanksgiving dinner, and the sink is piling up with dishes. You need to rinse those potatoes, wash the lettuce for salad, and drain the corn. Where will you do it? Your spacious prep sink that you installed as part of your gourmet kitchen remodel. Second sinks provide flexibility during large meals, and they also prevent people in the kitchen from tripping over one another as they cook together. For example, you have a place to do dishes, even when someone else is using the sink for food preparation purposes.

9. Countertops Made from Stone or Wood

For many years, granite was the most desirable high-end countertop material available. Today, however, homeowners in Sarasota have a broader range of tastes. Many still like natural stone, but you may prefer engineered stone, also called quartz. Engineered stone has the appearance of natural stone, without the maintenance.

Wood is also quickly becoming a go-to countertop material, especially on kitchen islands. Wood or butcher block countertops have a chic yet rustic appeal, and they’re also surprisingly durable. To maintain the visual warmth and beauty of your wood countertops, apply regular wood oil, and then enjoy them as you would any other type of counter.

10. Multipurpose Island

Islands have become a must-have feature for any kitchen. When strategically placed, they effectively optimize the flow and function of a room that more often than not is a hub of activity. You also benefit from the additional storage and counter space. However, gourmet kitchen islands can provide more benefits. You can select a unit that has integrated seating so visitors can relax while you prep drinks, or you can keep an eye on children while working. There are also kitchen islands that have surfaces at different heights, boosting your ability to incorporate it into your workflow however you need.

Designing and Constructing Your Gourmet Kitchen in Sarasota

To get the most out of your upcoming kitchen remodel on the Florida Gulf Coast, consider working with a reputable contractor that can help optimize your design, as well as oversee construction. At Gilbert Design Build, our team puts an emphasis on creating gourmet kitchens that embody functional elegance. We will help you define your priorities and navigate the selection process so you can complete a kitchen makeover that elevates the value, comfort and appearance of the space for many years to come.