Step into the New Must-Have for Custom Homes: The Killer Kitchen!

The “mid-century modern” image of a wife like Harriett Nelson toiling away in the kitchen while her husband, Ozzie, sits in his easy chair and scans the afternoon newspaper or doles out Socratic wisdom to sons David and Ricky is a black and white relic found only on the Retro Television Network. These days, Ozzie would most likely be enjoying the company of his lovely wife while helping prepare his favorite gourmet dish. The boys would most likely be on their mobile devices!

Kitchens, especially those that are large and have every modern appliance known to man or woman, are extremely hot for homebuyers and this is not due to the stoves and ovens cooking dinner. The new, must-have room in most custom or luxury homes is a stylish and highly functional kitchen. Sometimes these kitchens are found indoors, sometimes they are outdoors on a patio or near a pool, and in many custom homes they are found in both places.

As noted in a recent article of the “Mansion” section of the Wall Street Journal, “Tastes are changing in the luxury kitchen. Divisions of labor in the household are softening, as couples find new ways to share domestic duties. Home cooking is on the rise and more men are participating. To meet the demand, home builders are creating distinct zones, with duplicate or triplicate appliances, specialty built-ins for various culinary pursuits, and matching workspaces—so it never feels like there are too many cooks in the kitchen. But striking the right balance, between gourmet and gimmicky, takes some seasoning.”

These kitchens are also getting bigger. The average kitchen grew 53 percent since 1992, from 200 to 306 square feet in 2013, the latest year data were available, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Plus, they are being constructed with classic materials such as brick.

The Charm of a Brick Kitchen

“Brick brings a touch of warmth, scale and personalization to any kitchen,” noted Jay Cox of Acme Brick.  “From full-size brick or the thin brick applied as easily as tile to the wall, in the warm red and brown tones of turn of the century buildings to the cool touches of grey and buffs, today’s home owner can customize the look of their new or existing kitchen with a wide choice of colors and textures.”

The woman responsible for interior design at one of Denver’s most successful custom homebuilders completely agrees.

Amy Sublette, who is the “Interior Liaison” for Ryan Homes Colorado, has been advising customers for more than 20 years and has seen many changes in tastes, especially with regards to kitchens.

“Recently, we’ve used gray brick for kitchen flooring and a herringbone design, constructed of brick and mortar for a chef’s kitchen,” she said. “Many of our customers really like using thin brick on walls in the kitchen as a backsplash.

“I’ve noticed a trend that people who are investing in a custom home really want that ‘reclaimed’ look, whether it is distressed wood, older-looking hardware or classic brick. Acme Brick also allows us to have a wide range of colors,” Amy said. “We have blended red and black for a unique brick color and our client loved it.”

“The homeowner or designer’s brick color choices are easily coordinated with today’s range of interior colors,” added Jay. “From the light buff clays in the Golden area to the dark reds of the Front Range, Colorado clays offer colors for every application.”

Ryan Homes: A Legacy of Customer Service

Ryan Homes Colorado was launched more than 20 years ago, by husband and wife team Chris and Amy Sublette. Their experience before entering the custom home building industry has paid great dividends for current customers.

“We were both businesspeople in the fire and restoration industry and learned very quickly the importance of customer service,” Amy said. “Chris and I are very analytical and this translates into accurate budgeting and on-time completion for our customers. We build homes in the $800,000 to $2 million range, not counting the cost of the land, and we have had 200 projects since we launched Ryan Homes.

Amy takes pride in helping clients find exactly the “look” they are searching for.

“The sky’s the limit,” she laughed. “We are a full-service builder and spend a great deal of time helping our clients find just the right look. For example, if someone wants a brick kitchen wall, we will build a sample wall with the color of brick they have chosen to enable them to see exactly what the wall will look like when it’s completed.”

An Entertainment Hot Spot: An Outdoor Kitchen

Even with the bracing weather of a Denver winter, many homeowners use their outdoor kitchen year-round and brick is the overwhelming choice for this “added room.”

“Wrapping today’s outdoor kitchen with full or thin brick adds an appearance of permanence, beauty and warmth to the home’s extended living space,” Jay said. “Plus, since all Acme Brick is produced to withstand the climate extremes on multistory buildings, it is perfect for the same weather variables in your backyard. Every kitchen component receives an extra level of weather protection when wrapped with hard fired brick.”

“We recently used a design that employed ‘cladding’ thin brick around a barbecue grill,” Amy said. “Because of their entertainment value, outdoor kitchens, constructed of brick, are on the wish-list of most of our customers.

If you would like to see the warmth and efficiency of a custom brick home constructed by Ryan Homes Colorado, contact Amy Sublette. If you would like to get more information on how brick can make your kitchen spectacular, contact Jay Cox.