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Luxury Clients ‘Crave Experience,’ NKBA Research Reveals

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Luxury kitchen clients want an authentic, original design that marries beauty and function, along with elegance in simplicity, precise execution and a personalized scheme – from aesthetics to function – that meets their specific needs. Above all, they “crave the overall experience” that results in their dream kitchen.

Those are among the key findings revealed at a recent National Kitchen & Bath Association summit entitled “Luxury Defined.” The online event, sponsored by Cambria, the Le Sueur, MN-based quartz surfaces supplier, was based on exclusive, qualitative research that studied the key factors that elevate a kitchen to the luxury space, according to the NKBA.

“Luxury is a differentiated renovation experience that provides an ‘elevated’ living experience,” said Tricia Zach, head of research for the Hackettstown, NJ-based trade association. “It’s not about the amount of money that’s being spent.”

Rather, Zach said, “luxury happens when proven designers navigate clients skillfully and efficiently; numerous possibilities are optimized (needs, preferences, values, the art and the science, expertise, materials, products) and options are intentionally curated and executed to deliver an elevated living experience, with less risk and regret.”

“A luxury kitchen is an experience,” Zach said, “how it makes the homeowner feel and how it serves their family’s needs. It’s personal, a clear reflection of the client’s personality and lifestyle. It’s simple, with everything having its discreet place and no room for the extraneous. And it’s beautiful, emerging from a layered design, a harmonious blend of color, materials and surfaces (with) natural and organic elements combining to showcase artisan details, and create a unique and compelling space that’s timeless.”

Besides being affluent, luxury clients, said Zach, “are discerning, lead full, active lives and love to travel.

“They recognize beauty in everything, from nature to architecture,” Zach said. “They’re also collaborative and excellent listeners, but they want and expect to be heard. They’ve thought about their dream kitchen for a very long time and come prepared with examples of the design elements they want to consider.

“They’re definitely outcome-driven,” Zach added. “Most have a specific vision, or if they don’t, they expect their kitchen designer to deliver a finished product that will delight them, and they’re willing to invest to get that result.

“Finally,” she said, “they value and trust expertise, and understand that they absolutely need a kitchen designer to navigate this lengthy and complex undertaking. They know it’s going to be a process, not always smooth, but the result is a realization of a dream.”

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