Planning the Perfect European Fall Getaway

If you’ve found yourself staring out the window lately, maybe it’s time for an invigorating European getaway. And, no, it isn’t too late to plan an excursion across the Atlantic. In fact, tourism in Europe hasn’t been showing any signs of slowing down this fall. Not convinced by gorgeous views, amazing food, enriching architecture, and an enchanting lifestyle? Maybe the economic incentives will tempt you; the dollar and euro are holding an unprecedented, nearly equal value—making right now the perfect time to set sail.

Once you’ve decided to book a trip, you’re left with your most important choice: where do you go? The unique personalities of Europe’s many countries, communities, and cul-de-sacs can complement a myriad of vacation hopes and dreams. As such, we took the liberty of breaking down a few different paths for you to consider for your fall European trip:

The museum-goer

Without a doubt,  museum enthusiasts must visit Paris, France, a city densely packed with over 250 museums and galleries. Albeit most famously known for The Louvre, our advisors at Engel & Völkers Paris can happily steer you in the direction of the galleries known and loved by true Parisians. 

The would-be beacher

Although we are in the midst of planning a fall European getaway, the ease and allure of a summer climate can still be wistfully enjoyed in certain spots. In Tenerife, the sun continues to shine over world-famous beaches—creating an ideal destination for beach lovers in need of a little autumnal rest and recovery.

Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is home to idyllic fishing towns, lively beachside oases, and everything in between. To discover the best spot for your vacation, reach out to one of our advisors at Engel & Völkers Costa Adeje

The city-dweller

For those truly entranced by romantic European architecture, Budapest, Hungary, may be just the spot for you. Its Central Market HallOpera House, and Castle Hill are accentuated by the season’s change, an ideal time to visit this bustling European center. 

Engel & Völkers Hungary can give you the full rundown on must-see streets and sites that await your Hungarian holiday. 

The foodie/adventurer

For true adventurers, the Puglia region of Italy, while not a common stop on regular tours of the country, epitomizes the Italian spirit and lifestyle 

If you’re yearning for an Italian excursion, chances are you are also craving some Italian food; Lecce will happily provide this—and our advisors at Engel & Völkers Lecce can point you to the best-of-the-best restaurants in the city. Between stops, make sure to enjoy its famous and historic Roman amphitheater


No matter where you are going in the world, our global network of local experts will undoubtedly be able to assist you—from knowing the true local hotspots to extending your vacation to a lifetime, helping you achieve your goals is just what we do. 

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Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Buying a home is one of the most important personal and financial decisions that you’ll make in your life. In today’s market, it is essential that you understand the journey you are about to embark upon. Complex and seemingly contradictory economic headlines have misled many potential buyers into hesitance. While it’s easy to prioritize mortgage rates in your decision-making process, the economy is just one factor, but should not be the sole deciding factor. Your personal finances, life journey, and local market trends should all be taken into account and given their own weight.

There are a number of elements that may make this the ideal time for you to buy a home. Engel & Völkers has compiled a list of some of the most important factors to consider.

Finances

Credit. A high credit score will help you lock in a lower interest rate—which could save you thousands over your loan’s lifetimeAnd, get this, a recent credit scoring ruling has given millions of U.S. consumers 22 extra credit score points.

Savings. Lenders want to see that you have cash set aside in case of an emergency. While your down payment should cover 3.5 – 20% of the listing price, it’s essential to have extra cash—be it in savings, retirement, or anything else—so you can have a fallback in case of a job loss or need for major repairs.

Debt. Lenders considering your mortgage applications will be sure to look at your debt-to-income ratio. As its name implies, this number gives insight into how much of your monthly income is being used to pay off debts. Most lenders look for a ratio lower than 28%

Market Prices vs. Your Budget: While both listing prices and your budgets are influenced by the economy, higher market prices do not necessarily mean your dream home is unaffordable. The trick is to evaluate the homes available in your desired market at your desired price range to see if they meet your needs.

Investing in Your Future

Over the past month, you’ve probably heard a lot about mortgage rates, inflation, and a pending recession. If these headlines are making you hesitant to buy a home, rest assured that the real estate market is in a much better position than they imply. Here’s why:

Historically low mortgage rates: Despite recent increases, mortgage rates are still historically low. However, they will continue to rise. By purchasing today, homebuyers can lock in lower rates and lower monthly payments than those that will be available in the future.

Prices are rising: While the real estate market has slowed, home prices have continued to climb—albeit more slowly. Delaying purchasing a home in the hopes that prices will fall does just the opposite: it ensures your new home will be more expensive. The moment buyers who are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach return, the market will accelerate again.

A substantial investment: As prices around the world rise, property values also increase—ensuring that real estate remains a stable investment. A home you purchase today could be worth significantly more in the future.

Make a deal: As the market cools, home sellers are more open to negotiations. Where earlier in the year buyers have been compromising on home inspections and inadvertently entering bidding wars, buyers now have more opportunities to make a deal. In fact, listing adjustments were up slightly from August 2020, with 17.3% of active listings having seen a price adjustment.

These market conditions will only hold for so long, and buyers who act quickly have the opportunity to purchase a property to secure their future. 

Timing

Like many others, you’ve probably considered whether today’s economy is conducive to your homebuying goals. While mortgage rates and inflation are meaningful considerations, the real question is whether you are ready to buy a home. 

Starting a family? Need to relocate for a new job? Or, perhaps, you finally have enough savings to enter the real estate market? No matter why there’s likely a timely reason that you are considering buying a home. Don’t delay in taking the next step in your life…the timing won’t be right forever.

National vs. Local Trends

Finally, most headlines focus on national and international housing trends—not those impacting your local market. It’s important to research local housing conditions, specifically mortgage rates, housing inventory, and listing prices. For example, cities like Cleveland, Ohio, are seeing median listing prices of less than $120,000 USD and are also reporting discounts in selling prices over the past months.

In order to properly assess your local market, it’s essential to work with an expert real estate advisor like those at Engel & Völkers—who, first and foremost, are your neighbors. Our local advisors have a comprehensive understanding of the trends affecting their markets and are well-equipped to evaluate how the market looks given your personal circumstances.

Architectural Wonders Worth Visiting

As pandemic restrictions have lifted, travelers are once again venturing out of their home countries to explore the world—be it via land, air, or sea. The tourism industry is back and running, with nearly 76% of Generation X comfortable traveling.

Going abroad is your chance to see the world—both its natural beauty and the genius human creations that together define its landscape. As a global luxury real estate brand, Engel & Völkers is highlighting just a few architectural monuments that are worth the trip. Starting with an ancient town in Italy and ending with the tallest building in the world, this list compiles some of the world’s most stunning structures, with design nuances that serve as inspiration for modern architects and designers alike.


San Gimignano | Italy

Located midway between Siena and Florence, San Gimignano and its iconic towers sit perched on a scenic hilltop. The town gained its independence in 1199 and reached its glory days in the 1300s. During this century, the noble families who controlled the town constructed 72 towers—exceptional in their height, magnificence, and expense. While only 14 towers have survived, the town’s skyline maintains its resemblance to those of major cities like New York.

Thousands of tourists visit every year to experience the distinctive medieval architecture that has earned the town a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beyond the stunning architecture, visitors to San Gimignano can visit local museums like San Gimignano 1300 and take a peek at local life at the Tower and Casa Campatelli. The town’s tallest tower, Torre Grossa, overlooks a striking panoramic view of the historic district. 


Tiger’s Nest | Bhutan

Also known as Taktshang Goemba, Paro Taktsang, and the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Tiger’s Nest is one of Bhutan’s most famous and recognizable structures. Constructed in 1692, the building is centered around one of the Himalayas’ 13 tiger lairs. Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava), who is credited for bringing Buddhism to Bhutan, is believed to have meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, and three hours.

What makes Tiger’s Nest so beloved is its location and beauty. Almost 3,000 feet in the air above the Paro Valley, perched on a cliff, the monastery is comprised of four temples, residential houses, and a series of wooden bridges. The only catch: guests must travel through miles of treacherous terrain to reach this remote location.



Royal Palace of Brussels | Belgium

Across the park from the House of Parliament, the Royal Palace of Brussels sits imposingly in front of its meticulously maintained landscaping. Located in the Kuntsberg district, the palace is one of Belgium’s most breathtaking works of architecture—a must-see for lovers of art and history alike. The structure features the magnificent neoclassical architecture popular at the time of its construction, between 1820 and 1934.

Throughout the majority of the year, the palace serves as the king’s main office, and its interior is closed to visitors. While the building is closed, guests are welcome to visit the building’s exterior and the surrounding park. Those who hope to take in the architectural brilliance inside should plan to visit between July and September.


Chrysler Building | The United States of America

Constructed in 1930, the 1,048-foot Chrysler Buidling was the tallest building in the world for just 11 months (surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931); however, that does not take away from its architectural brilliance and significance. Located on Manhattan’s East side, the skyscraper was designed by William Van Alen on behalf of developer William H. Reynolds. Its Art-Deco-style architecture was considered modern and luxurious at the time of its construction, and it remains a favorite of architects, builders, critics, engineers, and historians.

Originally housing the Chrysler Corporation’s headquarters, the building is now home to storefronts, restaurants, cafes, bars, office suites, apartments, the exclusive Chrysler Club, a library, a lounge, and a yoga and meditation room.


Hungarian Parliament Building | Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament Building is located on the left bank of the Danube River in the center of Budapest.  Although more than a century has passed since its opening, it remains the largest building in Hungary, covering more than 193,800 square feet (or 4.5 acres of land). 

The building harmoniously combines elements of Neo-GothicBeaux–Arts, and Italian Renaissance architecture. The interior of this impressive building contains the main state symbols of Hungary in its dome hall: the Holy Crown, sword, and globus cruciger, Hungary’s sacred symbols of full sovereignty in the medieval period. 


Maropeng Visitor Centre | South Africa

Maropeng Visitor Center was constructed in 2006, making it a more modern addition to our list. This state-of-the-art, award-winning visitor center is dedicated to telling the story of human development over the course of the past few million years. The exhibition goes all the way back to Earth’s formation and follows our ancestors to the modern day.

The structure itself was designed by GAPP Architects and MMA Studio of South Africa. It is designed to model a burial mound, growing from the ground and seamlessly blending with nature.

“You enter the building as ants would enter an ant heap, or bees a hive.”

Chris Kroese, GAPP Architects

Once you exit the building at the end of the exhibition, however, the view transforms. From the back, Maropeng Visitor Center is sleek, modern, and futuristic. Kroese goes on to explain that this is representative of how we have not yet come to the end of history, as the future awaits.


Peleș Castle | Romania

Located in Sinaia, RomaniaPeleș Castle is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful neo-Renaissance-style castles. Previously a summer residence for Romania’s royal family, the castle is now home to the Peleș National Museum and is occasionally used for royal ceremonies.

The palace’s exterior is breathtaking, and its interior feature incredible worksand of art. It boasts more than 160 rooms, over 4,000 pieces of weaponry, an extraordinary ceramic collection, and thousands of art pieces like works from Gustav Klimt.


The Burj Khalifa Tower | The United Arab Emirates

The Burj Khalifa Tower in the center of Dubai is both the tallest and most expensive construction in the world. With superb, panoramic views, chic restaurants, luxurious shops, and lively entertainment, it is one of the most exclusive buildings in the city.  

While the tower is surrounded by high-rise buildings, its height of 2,717 feet ensures it’s visible from almost everywhere in the city. The building includes an Armani hotelluxury apartmentsa restauranta rooftop with 360° views, office spaces, and a lounge. It meets the highest environmental protection standards as it independently generates electricity via a wind-driven turbine, an array of solar panels, and a rainwater collection system.

📈Yield Calculation For Holiday Properties

Holiday properties are attractive capital investments that have become very popular. Ideal for partial owner-occupation, as a retirement property or financial provision in old age, holiday properties are usually more suitable than many other financial investments. An accurate yield calculation for holiday properties is necessary, however, because not every in-demand holiday property is equally lucrative as an investment. Apart from the location, amenities and size of the holiday properties, investors are therefore primarily interested in the financial aspects of the investment. How much return can you achieve with a holiday property? We show you what options there are for calculating the return on a holiday property and how you can determine it yourself.

What is the gross yield and how can it be calculated?

The gross yield or gross rental yield indicates what percentage of the purchase price of the holiday property the annual rental income represents. For example, the income in the form of a basic rent from letting the holiday property amounts to 24,000 euros or $24,596 USD per year. If the purchase price is 350,000 euros or $357,837 USD, this means that the gross yield is 6.86 percent. To calculate the gross yield, simply multiply the annual basic rent by 100 and then divide by the purchase price. The gross yield thus compares the rental income with the purchase price. It serves as a simple yield calculation of a holiday property, but does not take into account the utility costs and maintenance expenses.

  • Example calculation of gross yield: 24,000 euros/$24,596.34 USD basic rent x 100 / 350,000 euros/$357,836.64 USD purchase price

What factors influence the net yield?

In addition to the calculation base of the gross yield, the net rental yield also takes into account the incidental acquisition costs and other consequential costs. After all, it is not only the value of a property that is taken into account when calculating the yield. The purchase of a holiday property entails incidental acquisition costs that are part of the investment. The rental itself also incurs consequential costs. These are therefore important elements when calculating the exact yield of holiday properties. This is because they are part of the non-apportionable operating costs borne by the owners of a holiday property and not its tenants. To calculate the net yield, reduce the annual rental income by the non-apportionable operating costs and the annual reserve for maintenance work. The result is the net rental income. Multiply this again by 100 and divide by the investment costs.

  • Calculation of net rental income = basic rent – operating costs – reserves
  • Calculation of investment costs = purchase price + incidental acquisition costs
Hamburg - Holiday properties are attractive capital investments that have become very popular. Ideal for partial owner-occupation, as a retirement property or financial provision in old age, holiday properties are usually more suitable than many other financial investments.

What are the costs for a holiday property?

Depending on the holiday region, the exact location and the type of holiday property, the purchase prices can vary significantly. A villa with a wellness area and pool as well as a fantastic panoramic view costs a lot more, but at the same time yields higher rental income. A small apartment is much more affordable. On the other hand, the rental income is lower and there may be shared costs for communal facilities. The yield calculation shows in each individual case which holiday property is suitable as a yield property. Even the purchase of a holiday property incurs additional incidental costs. This includes, for example, the notarial purchase agreement and the land register entry. Regardless of whether you only let the holiday property or partly use it yourself, you will incur basic charges for electricity, water, gas, telephone and internet. Likewise, the property manager, the cleaning staff and the garden maintenance staff also need to be paid. These expenses are ongoing, regardless of whether the holiday property is let or vacant. The higher the occupancy rate, the more wear and tear on the holiday property. Depending on the condition and age of the holiday property, expenses for maintenance and renovation may be incurred over time. You should make provisions for these in good time. The following costs are to be expected when investing in a holiday property:Incidental acquisition costs:

  • purchase price
  • notary fees
  • brokerage fee
  • land register entry
  • property transfer tax
  • financing costs

Non-apportionable operating costs:

  • development costs
  • road construction
  • garden redevelopment
  • furnishing      
  • property management
  • cleaning
  • maintenance
  • insurance
  • depreciation
  • reserves
  • utility costs during vacancy

Detailed yield calculation for a holiday property

While the gross yield only takes into account the actual purchase price of the property as well as the net rental income, the net yield is much more meaningful. It takes into account all investment and operating costs as well as reserves for future repairs. If you want a very detailed yield calculation for your holiday property, you can also take into account a vacancy rate or the owner-occupancy rate. Depending on the holiday region and location, you can expect different rental occupancy rates. While holiday properties in ski regions are suitable for rental in summer as well as winter, most holiday apartments and houses generate the highest yield in the summer peak season. Tax incentives make the purchase of a holiday property even more attractive. It should be noted here that owner-occupation can reduce or eliminate the tax rebate if you fall short of the required local minimum occupancy rate. If you are planning a longer period of owner-occupation during the peak season, you may miss out on valuable rental income. And this in turn then affects the yield of your holiday property.

What is important when buying a yield holiday property?

If you know how you want to use the holiday property, you should choose the best location for it. A pure capital investment usually brings the best return in popular holiday regions that make high occupancy rates possible. Beachfront or seaside holiday properties require a higher investment. As a rule, you will achieve significantly higher rental income in prime locations than in peripheral locations. Nevertheless, even holiday properties in peripheral locations can achieve an attractive return if the purchase price and the general conditions are correspondingly good. Holiday properties intended to serve as retirement domiciles later on require a corresponding infrastructure as well as age-appropriate furnishings. Accordingly, senior citizens are particularly suitable as a target group for these holiday homes and apartments when it comes to letting them out. Families with children, on the other hand, prefer outdoor pools, playgrounds and other tourist attractions in the surrounding area. Romantic holidays or a quiet location in the countryside is optimal for holidaymakers seeking peace and quiet. When choosing a holiday property, you should consider your investment potential on the one hand and the target group and their requirements on the other. The legal aspects should also be examined before buying a holiday property. Can the property be used for any purpose? May a holiday apartment be let out or used as a retirement domicile under the terms of the owner’s agreement?

As a Broker with Engel & Völkers, I will be happy to advise you in more detail on the subject of calculating the yield of holiday properties. Take advantage of our many years of expertise and find your high-yield holiday home or lucrative holiday apartment with us that meets all your requirements.

June Economic Commentary: Consumers bearing the brunt of policies’ unintended consequences

John Beuerlein 
Chief Economist 
Pohlad Companies

The Federal Reserve’s declaration of war on inflation has increased market volatility as investors position themselves for the anticipated economic slowdown resulting from the Fed’s tighter monetary policy. Except in a few instances, it is too soon to see the impact in economic data; however, consumer spending indicates an imbalance between supply and demand. The Fed’s actions are focused on slowing demand for products and services, but the supply side of the economic equation also continues to aggravate inflationary pressures.
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Why Multifamily Real Estate is a Good Hedge Against Inflation? 

With inflation already a major concern, investors are looking for ways to protect their portfolios or even benefit from rising costs. One asset class that is becoming increasingly popular as an inflation hedge is multifamily real estate. The multifamily sector has some unique benefits, making it an exceptionally attractive investment.

Ability to Adjust Rents: The leases in multifamily properties typically last only one year, which allows property owners to respond quickly to inflationary pressures and adjust rents accordingly.

Necessity-Based Asset Class:  Multifamily real estate is a necessity-based asset and hence it is less likely to lose value during an economic downturn than other types of assets. Most people will pay their rent before paying for other expenses 


Maximizing Returns Through Value-add: The value of multifamily real estate is soaring, but investors can still find great opportunities by using a value-add strategy. This strategy allows an investor to purchase an underperforming property at a discounted price and significantly increase its value through renovations, improved management efficiencies, and rising rents.

Growing Demand: Home prices have increased dramatically over the past 18 months, and many signs point to this trend continuing. This is great for homeowners but bad for buyers, many of whom cannot afford to purchase a home. Since owning a home has become increasingly unattainable for many people, demand for rental units in multifamily properties has increased.


James Kandasamy

Your Guide to Home Staging

If you are beginning your home selling journey, first and foremost, congratulations. While undoubtedly stressful, this is also an exciting time, and I want to ensure you’re equipped with the tools you need for your journey.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homebuyers’ expectations are higher than ever before. Whether this is because of ever-popular home design television shows or easy access to home design inspiration, potential buyers arrive at showings with every intention of finding exactly what they have imagined. 

Deliberate and thoughtful home staging enhances your property’s unique features, ensuring your home stands out from other listings. Through proper staging, the physical landscape of the home becomes highly enticing to potential buyers who can already see themselves living there. Small changes here and there can have a huge return on investment and play a major role in differentiating your home.

When buyers are eager to jump at a house that they can imagine themselves calling home, why not do what you can to deliver it to them? With this in mind, Engel & Völkers and I are excited to present our new Home Staging Guide.

The Home Staging Guide

In the pivotal time before listing your home, reach out to real estate professionals and interior designers to make it the best debut possible. As a top advisor with Engel & Völkers, I know what home buyers are really searching for and the most effective ways of presenting homes. Within our Home Staging Guide, we have compiled key tips, tricks, and hacks into one comprehensive guide—just for you.

What to Expect Inside

The Home Staging Guide details the nuances of optimizing your home for buyers’ imagination. Doing so will protect the memories you have made, increase the value of your home, decrease the time spent on the market, and prepare you for your next chapter as best as possible. With the help of our Staging Guide and expert advisors, you can expect: 

  • Industry observations on what buyers expect to find.
  • Access to insider tips and tricks.
  • The resources to build a bespoke staging strategy.


Selling or Buying a Home? Here’s Your Guide.

Low housing inventory and tremendous demand for homeownership have created an exceptionally competitive marketplace. Entering the real estate market can be intimidating whether this is your first or second home. Buyers and sellers who come equipped with the essential knowledge, tools, and skills have an edge over others.

While being local market experts is our job, it’s important that both buyers and sellers understand what to expect throughout the process. As such, Engel & Völkers Americas is excited to present our Home Buyers Guide and Home Sellers GuideOur network of trusted advisors, spread across the globe, allows us to provide local expertise, global reach, and unparalleled service in real estate. Whether buying or selling, whether it’s a new adventure or the final pages of this chapter, Engel & Völkers is uniquely positioned to help you in each cul-de-sac, community, and country. 

The Home Buyers Guide

Your decisions when purchasing a home are among the most important in your life. A trusted sphere of dependable industry professionals is key to finding the right property—whether it is a first home or a dream home. Our advisors can help you find the homes that check all your boxes, as they understand the balancing act of purchasing a home that fits both your vision and budget. 

What to Expect Inside

The Buyers Guide details the nuances of the buying process from deciding the right type of property to evaluating the benefits of home equity, home financing options, and procedures. With the help of our Buyers Guide and expert advisors, at Engel & Völkers you will come to expect: 

  • Expert real estate advisors with extensive local knowledge.
  • Insights on how to leverage your buying power. 
  • A customized buying strategy based on specific budgets, needs, and goals.

The Home Sellers Guide

You may be wondering: how can I make the most of this unprecedented real estate landscape. Look no further than Engel & Völkers Home Sellers Guide. The key to an optimal experience is partnering with the best in the business. 

What to Expect Inside

Industry experts have reiterated the importance of capitalizing on the current seller’s market. We would be remiss to see your home sell for a lower price than it could with Engel & Völkers’ bespoke selling strategy. Prepared with the strength of an advisor’s local expertise and the reach of our global network, your home’s listing could be on the precipice of the most innovative selling strategies out there from revolutionized staging practices to the most up-to-date digital marketing methods. With the Sellers Guide and an Engel & Völkers advisor, your strategy will encompass: 

  • Extensive local knowledge and expertise.
  • Access to the most robust real estate market data available.
  • Exposure to potential buyers around the world. 
  • Customized marketing strategy developed for your property and more.

No matter where you are in the homeownership journey, let us do the work we do best—so all you have to focus on is making your next house a home. 

Find a home

2022’s Overarching Design Trend: Curves

“It takes more effort and care to create curves.” -Mario Bellini

Throughout the twentieth century architects, interior designers and homeowners alike have been enamored with modernism’s sleek, clean angularity. Which should come as no surprise as our world has continued to shift with global changes and technological advances that have introduced many to a new way of living and embracing the world.

While modern and minimalist homes continue to be trendsetters, the early years of the twenty-first century have left us wondering—is there room for more? Designers’ unwavering confidence in modernism has started to make room for organic, curvilinear architecture along with furniture and home decor that innately bring warmth and life to our homes.

“It takes more effort and care to create curves.”

Mario Bellini

A Modern Take

Architecture’s permanency implores designers to fashion long-lasting spaces that define generations. Early into 2022, many architects and clients are investing in new homes that, pivoting their design interests to include modern takes on arches. Historically rich, arches are a striking home element which help characterize the spaces we live in.

Interior Design & A Space for Play

Interior designers are reveling in the chance to create spaces that prioritize feeling over aesthetic.

Just as beautiful as their counterparts, these interiors are created with visual comfort and energy in mind. As homes become a mainstay for leisure, social and professional time, designing them to include spaces with functional appeal and positive energy is a must for many homeowners. 

Arched doorways, curved walls, and spiral staircases are examples of whimsical elements which oppose the assumption that white-box rooms are the way to go. These contoured aspects of interior design welcome guests into the home through their unique warmth and personality.

Furniture Designers & Redefining Luxury

Through furniture, nature and culture converse. The softness of sculptural, organic furniture encapsulates a desire for safety, warmth and benevolence. Designers have played a major role in establishing comfort as the ultimate luxury, creating sought-after organic homes with furniture resembling rolling hills, ponds and raindrops.

Designing the Ultimate Chef’s Kitchen

With people spending more time at home there has been an increase in home renovation projects across the Americas. In fact, home remodeling searches more than doubled in 2021, with kitchens remaining the most remodeled room.

As one of the most used rooms in the home, it’s not surprising that homeowners want to personalize their kitchens to better suit their needs, spending $12,000 USD on average. When remodeling the kitchen, culinary experts pay special attention to the oven, fridge, sinks, and cooking surfaces as these elements determine just how efficient a chef can be in their space.

The Oven

The oven is one of the most important appliances in the kitchen. While homeowners may not need all the advanced oven features that their favorite restaurants use, a higher quality oven does give home chefs more options. Cooking enthusiasts should consider buying convection or steam oven models for the most efficient cooking. A speed oven, which is a smaller oven that combines convection and microwave cooking elements, may also be a worthwhile purchase.

Models like the Miele M-Touch Series H6700BM come with a touch display, MasterChef automatic programs, precise temperature-controlled roasting and even a popcorn button.

Passionate cooks may consider investing in more than one oven to ensure multiple dishes can be cooked at the same time. Not only does this make cooking quicker, but it also increases the variety of meals that home chefs can create. 

The Sink

While every kitchen has a sink, a premium chef’s kitchen should have at least two, with one located on the island. Deep sinks are best for washing dishes and filling pots; so, ensure at least one sink can accommodate larger cookware. Ruvati’s low-divide double bowl sink features one deeper bowl to fit large dishes and one more shallow bowl for easier to clean items. The brushed stainless steel sink also includes rounded edges for easier cleaning and a sloped bottom for better drainage.

Depending on individual needs, homeowners may also consider buying sinks with other premium features like offset drains, integrated cutting boards, hands-free faucets, and multi-level interiors. If lugging heavy pots around the kitchen is a concern, position sinks near the stove or install pot fillers (small faucets) into the stove’s backsplash.

The Fridge

No chef’s kitchen is complete without a Sub-Zero, or equally advanced, refrigerator. In order to accommodate for large-scale cooking, consider investing in an oversized model with enough space for multiple large dishes.

Beyond size, homeowners should take features such as the fridge’s air purification system, vacuum sealer, and door style into account as well. For example, refrigerators with glass doors are currently growing in popularity as they allow home chefs look to assess what ingredients they have in one quick glance. 

Cooking Surfaces and Countertops

A chef’s kitchen cannot function without sufficient counter space which is essential for both prep and cooking itself. A simple way to increase counter space is the addition of an island that serves as a centerpiece for the workplace, around which all cooking activities will flow. When selecting the materials for countertops and islands, choose durable options—like butcher block, granite, or quartz—that require minimal maintenance and will last throughout the years. 

Home chefs may also want to consider adding a built-in trash chute to the kitchen island or countertops. Built-in trash chutes, like this one designed by Kegworks, are used by professional chefs to keep workstations sanitary and organized and can be a great addition for home kitchens as well.