Trends in the Luxury Kitchen: Conversation with Christopher Peacock

He’s the British-born designer who gave us the iconic white kitchen. He also gave us the “Kitchen of the Year,” and a fresh, traditional style that has often been imitated by the mass design market. We’re talking about none other than Christopher Peacock, the owner of the renowned upscale cabinet design firm, of course. His kitchens are ubiquitous among the affluent, and forever revered as the gold standard in luxury, both in the United States and abroad. Peacock, however, remains decidedly modest. He himself describes his style as “understated, elegant and timeless.” He even took an unpretentious approach when it came to designing his own kitchen for the Colonial home he shares with his wife Jayne and three sons.

“As a kitchen designer doing your own kitchen, you feel this inherent pressure to wow people,” he once told House Beautiful. “But I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to be a walking advertisement for myself.”

We recently caught up with the legendary designer to find out what’s in and what’s out in the luxury kitchen.

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Previews Inside Out How would you define ‘luxury’ in the kitchen today?

Christopher Peacock Having things made to order and specifically for you, and of course, beautiful materials.

Previews Inside Out What are the major kitchen trends this year?

Christopher Peacock People are really thinking about cooking seriously. Dark rich painted cabinetry colors. Brass is back. Brushed metal finishes.

Previews Inside Out What’s the one luxury item in the kitchen that all of your clients are asking for that they weren’t asking for five years ago?

Christopher Peacock Dimmable LED lighting in cabinets.

Previews Inside Out Have you noticed any regional or geographical differences in what clients may ask you for?

Christopher Peacock Yes. The United States is definitely still more traditional and plays it safe with color. The European market is more daring with colors and material choices.

Previews Inside Out Is the all-white kitchen still in?

Christopher Peacock Yes, its still in, and always will be. It’s like ketchup. People are used to it and it goes with pretty much everything.

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Previews Inside Out What kitchen design trend do you wish would just go away?

Christopher Peacock The pot filler faucet behind a range. Mostly an expensive waste of time and money to install one. They are used rarely.

Previews Inside Out Which ‘kitchen trend’ never gets old for you?

Christopher Peacock Marble countertops. So beautiful and endless colors to choose from.

Previews Inside Out If you could look into your crystal ball, what’s going to be big in the future?

Christopher Peacock Fake marble countertops that look amazing (it’s already happening), and intelligent appliances that are voice activated.

Previews Inside Out What should homeowners always splurge on in their kitchen?

Christopher Peacock My cabinetry, of course. In this business, you really do get what you pay for. Getting the same for less somewhere else is simply not true. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I can promise you, I know.

Previews Inside Out What can they get away with not splurging on?

Christopher Peacock Trophy cooking equipment. It won’t make your eggs taste better, but it will look nice.

Christopher Peacock has eight showrooms across the globe, including Greenwich, Conn., San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Boston, Short Hills, N.J., Cannes and London. More information can be found at www.peacockhome.com.

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