» more from Slideshows

Extreme Kitchens

To hear them tell it in home renovation programs and publications, every kitchen should look like it’s starring in a cooking show or else be dismissed as subpar, even when the existing older components are still perfectly functional. The critics are harsh. There is no room for an avocado laminate countertop.

This kitchen-shaming has proven most beneficial to contractors, to makers of granite and marble countertops, and to manufacturers of stainless steel appliances. Yet, as much as the tastemakers tout the latest “classic” or “neutral” ideal, one day these, too, shall look dated.

So homeowners can either plan to periodically overhaul their kitchens to reflect what’s in vogue, or they can flout the conventions, go with personal taste and choose a look that no one else has.

Many homeowners, builders and designers have done the latter. In the spectrum of unusual kitchens, there are automated kitchen islands with adjustable heights and motorized panels, there are appliances that come in vibrant colors and retro styles, and fridges can be printed with custom designs and images. There are many fetching modern modular kitchens on the market, and kitchens from designers and brands such as Fendi, Armani, Ferrari and Philippe Starck.

We’re also used to kitchens being made from a mix of materials such as tile, wood, steel and marble. Some of the kitchens in the following collection are made primarily from one material. One is high concept, one uses a common material uncommonly, and others showcase unique looks.

Wherever your tastes lie, though, it’s practically guaranteed that at least one of the following 10 kitchens will not be your cup of tea.

By Colleen KanePosted 2 March 2012

Steininger Designers