Whether you’re a professional chef or a happy homemaker, having a well-designed kitchen can make a huge difference in your overall experience. Of course, it should be equipped with everything you need and more. It should be visually appealing to inspire your creativity as a kitchen whiz. But beyond aesthetics, it should also be practical so prepping family meals and everyday kitchen cleaning will be fast and efficient. 

So if you’re building a new home or looking to remodel, here are five key features every perfectly functional kitchen should have.

Sufficient counter space

Countertops are the workhorse of any kitchen. It’s where you prep ingredients, assemble meals, and clean up. You should aim for at least 10 linear feet of countertop space in your kitchen. If you have more room, consider adding an island or breakfast bar for additional workspace.

Ample kitchen storage

A cluttered kitchen can make cooking feel like a chore. To keep your kitchen organized, you’ll need plenty of storage space. Cabinets, drawers, and pantry shelves are all essential. Dedicate enough room to store your cookware, utensils, and pantry items and have frequently used items within easy reach.

Optimized and intentional layout

The layout of your kitchen should be designed to maximize efficiency. The three most common kitchen layouts are the U-shape, L-shape, and galley. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so consider how you spend time in the kitchen and your everyday flow of activities when selecting the best layout. A well-designed kitchen will make it easy to move between different work zones, such as the stove, sink, and refrigerator.

Quality kitchen appliances

Consider investing in high-quality appliances that fit your needs. You don’t have to get everything, just the ones you’ll surely use regularly. For example, if you don’t bake, you can put the oven on a low priority on your shopping list. 

Adequate lighting

You’ll need plenty of task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, to help you see what you’re doing when prepping and cooking food. Overhead lighting can also help brighten the space and make it feel more welcoming. In addition, install dimmer switches to your lighting fixtures to adjust the brightness as needed.

Guest Contributor: Elizabeth Shields


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