Now that the kitchen is finished, here are my favorite features that I would recommend to you a thousand times over:
1. Have a place to organize your clutter. Yes, it happens to everyone. My solution? We have ‘his’ and ‘her’ cubby baskets for our clutter. And my favorite, we have a six plug usb device to charge our electronics. I love how I can put the clutter in this dedicated spot, and keep the countertop clear for cooking.
2. Go for a big, single bowl sink. Disclaimer: This does not apply if you are like my mom, who has a very specific way she washes dishes, and hence needs the double bowl sink. However, if you are on the fence about what sink to get, I would suggest going for the big, single bowl sink. You will love it. And you can wash anything in it- big roasting pans, cookie sheets, your newborn…
3. Put a hood (not a microwave) over your stove. I LOVE having the openness to see everything on the cooktop. I love the look of it. For me, this feature single-handedly makes my kitchen look high end. Sometimes mounting the microwave over the stove is the only option for a small kitchen, and I understand. But if you have the means, I recommend to try and move it elsewhere.
4. Consider Gas. The previous owner had put in a brand new Jenn-Air electric cooktop that killed us to take out. I don’t want to open a can of worms and start a debate on which is better, gas or electric. To those of you who love electric, respect. For our family, we changed it to gas and I’m so glad we did. I love cooking with gas. It’s one of my favorite features in our new kitchen.
Once we made the switch, we also had our contractor include a natural gas valve outside for our grill. I love never having to worry about replacing propane.
5. Install a pullout garbage and recycle drawer. Now that I have one, I can’t imagine cooking without it. It is very efficient and very much part of my ‘cooking triangle’. Plus, it doesn’t take up any wasted floorspace. You have probably seen it all over, and for good reason. It really does rock!
6. Have a dedicated cabinet for a step-ladder. If you have 42 inch upper cabinets, you will need it. If you have kids, you will need it. A lot. (so they can wash their hands, their dishes… etc.) It’s just really nice to have it accessible all the time.
7. Put the microwave at a convenient height. This sort of goes hand-in-hand with not putting the microwave over the stove. I love having it at counter height and in my ‘working triangle’. I love that I don’t have to reach above anything boiling on the cooktop to retrieve something.I love that when the girls get older and mature enough they can use it and it wont be a safety hazard.
8. Replace cabinet doors for drawers.
Another score here. It’s awesome to pull out a drawer and choose whatever pot, pan, or utensil I am looking for. We have deeper drawers on the other side that fit all our cookware. This is another time saver, and in my opinion, just plain pretty.
9. Include bar seating.
I had to fight for this one. My contractor thought we would be too tight on space. But, I love how our family sits down and talks to each other while we cook. I really really wanted to have it in the kitchen. So I ended up having a narrow, custom dining table made for the eating area to accommodate the bar.
Every morning when I walk down the stairs and the girls are sitting at the bar, talking to my husband as he cuts their fruit, I am so glad we have this feature.
10. Shop online!
Who doesn’t love a great deal? And there are tons to be had online. Especially when it comes to lighting. I found this close-out deal on amazon for $99!
I hope you found these tips useful. If I used the word ‘love’ a lot here, it’s because I really value these features in my new kitchen. I recommend them to you whole-heartedly.