Luxurious Custom Kitchen Designs for 2021

Incredible custom kitchen designs by top designers in the region.

Sometimes customizing your own kitchen can be a bit daunting and overwhelming. However, with the help of these designers, your next dream kitchen is just around the corner.  Made for almost every style, these kitchen designs are sure to inspire.


Walnut Cabinetry

Photograph by Tim Lenz

The collaborative duo of Gara Morse of Gara & Co. and Caryn Bortniker of CJB Designs are the masterminds behind this custom kitchen design. The owners requested a modern space that was warm and welcoming but with a cool modern vibe. “The intention for the kitchen was for it to be a focal point of the main room, a place to cook, entertain and gather with friends and family,” says the homeowner. “We wanted to maximize the view of Gray’s Creek, a beautiful tidal inlet. The spectacular sunsets can elevate a daily task like making dinner from the mundane to the sublime.”

Morse’s open-kitchen design meant eliminating upper cabinets. “However, as we still needed tons of storage, Caryn devised huge drawer spaces, oversized floor-to-ceiling pantries and a large ‘appliance garage’ to hide any evidence of kitchen-y stuff and to house all of the small appliances,” says Morse.

The unique shape of the space was a design challenge. “When laying out the main wall with the refrigeration and the stove, the space didn’t allow for a symmetrical solution,” says Morse. “So we made a bold statement of not doing it symmetrically—it looked far more interesting and the client loved it.

Concludes the client: “My favorite part of the kitchen is its simplicity. It is elegant, not fussy and not tricked out or gadgety. The natural materials are the stars of the show.”

Spaces of Distinction

Spaces Of Distinction Corner Kitchen

Photographs by Kim Sargent Photography

A lacanche range and the client’s love of blue inspired this custom kitchen design. Designed by Denise Balassi of Spaces of Distinction, the space is elegant and not too bold. Countertops in Namibian Sky marble from Stonehenge Marble & Granite and ombre backsplash tile through Artistic Tile take cues from the blue-and-white palette.

Renovations increased the kitchen by 150 square feet and doubled the size of the butler’s pantry. “The added space gave us the opportunity to fulfill the client’s wishlist, which included two islands—one for prep work and the other for more casual dining—two refrigeration units, expanded storage, and a generously sized range imported from France.” In addition to adding space to the kitchen, an adjacent enlarged mud room, pantry, and back hall feeding area with a dog-washing station were added.

“Although the kitchen is considered large, there is a certain coziness to the overall feel of the room,” says Balassi. “Because each appliance work station is strategically positioned, there never seems to be a bottleneck in any one area even when the space is occupied with lots of people.

Nesting with Grace

Kitchen Island

Photographs by Semihandmade/Brooke Christen

Brooke Christen, founder of design blog Nesting With Grace, sought a bright and airy kitchen remodel for her own home. So, she put her online skills to work. “I had seen Semihandmade on Instagram,” explains the designer. “They make solid-wood, customizable door and drawer fronts that you install onto Ikea kitchen boxes, and everything I’d seen looked so custom and gorgeous.” After making a quick drawing of her space online with an Ikea kitchen planner, she received a bid from Semihandmade. “It was an easy choice to go with their Supermatte white Shaker cabinets, and I wanted to accent with a wood, so we chose the Cove finish for the island cabinets and around the fridge to break up all the white.”

Pattern and texture was introduced with Serena & Lily woven rattan pendants and bar stools, plus a tile backsplash with charcoal grout, while metallic accents added just the right amount of bling. “The stove and fridge have some major showstopping brass accents,” says Christen. “I wanted those to be the star of the show and not distract with brass hardware on all the cabinets, so I chose black hardware for the island.”

To create a cohesive look with the rest of the home, the designer added shiplap to the entire first-floor ceiling. She also had the original 1950s red oak floors sanded down and stained with a whitewashed finish to match the new herringbone oak floor in the kitchen.

For this family that loves to cook together, the large island with its Calacatta white waterfall quartz top has become indispensable in their daily lives. “I love that we can use it to serve bigger meals or roll out homemade cinnamon rolls,” says Christen. “It also acts as a desk during the day and then a place for creating at night.”

Moss Design

Moss Design Kitchen Counter

Photographs by Jane Beiles

Meghan De Maria of Moss Design started from scratch when designing this custom kitchen. “The kitchen was a complete gut and reconfiguration, although we kept some of the original hardware,” says De Maria.

Trusses salvaged from the demolition of the Yale boathouse were sourced by Christopher Rosow of Three Beans Design/Build firm, and then added to the ceiling. While perimeter countertops are made from a milky glass, the double waterfall island is crafted from a beautiful piece of Statuario marble through New England Stone.

The addition of Serena & Lily cherry wallpaper to the breakfast nook adds a pop of color and is complemented by a contemporary Knoll Saarinen table and Victoria Ghost chairs. “It is a whimsical wallcovering and reminded me of the client’s own fun personality,” says De Maria. “The chair and table are contemporary and bring a real calmness to the wallpaper design—they work perfectly together and ultimately balance the design.”

The client expressed that it was impossible for her to choose just one favorite element. “If I had to pick one thing,” muses the homeowner, “I’d say the cherries! Or the waterfall or the beams. It is such a comfortable, inviting space.”

The print version of this article appeared with the headline: Kitchens with Personality. 
Subscribe to C&G