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Must-Have Features to Optimize the Functionality of your Kitchen

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, or just looking to revamp a tired cooking area, learn what unique and interesting features are currently available in kitchen design. Pay attention to these must-have kitchen features, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a stylish and peak-performing kitchen.

You’re savvy, and don’t want to choose bells and whistles that are simply pretty or showy. You want to optimize the functionality of your kitchen—including using some neat little hidden tricks—while also making sure the room is tasteful and matches your style.

Read on for the 12 must-have kitchen features that will optimize the functionality of your kitchen. It’s time for change, and you want to make the right decisions when it comes to your kitchen.

1. Double ovens

If you’ve got a big family, or love to entertain, double ovens are a must. How with one oven do you cook a dish at 400 degrees, and simultaneously cook another dish that calls for a 300-degree oven? A double oven solves this problem.


You can cook a large main course in one oven, while baking a few sides in the other. Or, stick the kids’ food in one oven and the adults’ meal in the other to ensure both meals are cooked correctly and don’t take on the other dish’s aromas.

2. Island cooktop

Islands aren’t just for leaning on, or collecting backpacks, anymore. Designing your kitchen so your cooktop is a part of the island can open up counter space elsewhere, and make your kitchen a more social place for the cook.

Having an island cooktop allows you to see and interact with people in your kitchen, whether they’re sitting on the other side of the island, or at a table nearby. You won’t have your back to your family while you cook, as you might with a cooktop placed elsewhere.

3. Commercial-style range

You don’t want to look back on your kitchen remodel in five years and say, “I wish I’d spent a little more on a commercial-style range.” Not only are they stylish, they pack a lot of power and offer tons of functionality (think interchangeable grills).

You don’t have to choose the top-of-the-line model that breaks your bank. Instead, think about which elements you’ll use most and go for the model that makes sense for your family.

4. Pot filler

A pot filler isn’t something likely on your must-have list. But once you have one, you’ll know why it made our list.


With a pot filler, you won’t be stuck leaning over the sink forever to fill a pasta pot with water when you’re prepping for your child’s soccer team dinner. In addition to saving time when you cook, a pot filler can save you from the strain of lugging a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stove.

5. On-counter garage

You may think you use your toaster, coffee machine, or teapot enough to warrant housing them on your kitchen counter. But think again. These appliances are used for mere minutes of the day, and yet they’re on display.

Consider an appliance garage to potentially save counter space, or just to keep your machines behind a stylish door. Read on for how to give your coffee machine its due.

6. Coffee bar

If your day simply must begin with a hot cup of coffee or shot of espresso, don’t leave your caffeine kick out of your kitchen design. Add a built-in coffee or espresso machine to your plan, and include space to rest your mug, stow your sugar, and house any other coffee accessories or tools.

Also consider creating a nice little spot—near a sunny window, or in a cozy corner—where you can drink your coffee peacefully.

7. Corner storage

What do you do about all that wasted space in the corners of your kitchen? There are some pretty neat corner cabinets on the market, including ones that cleverly pull out from the corner, meaning you won’t be left to crawl inside the depths of your cabinets to find a pot or baking dish.

Or, consider track door cabinets to eliminate the wasted space a swinging door can leave you with.

8. Deep drawers

You can never have enough kitchen storage space, let alone storage areas that don’t break your back to access them. Think about having drawers installed instead of lower cabinets—ones that are wide and deep. You’ll have easier access to pots and pans, plus, plenty of storage area for other kitchen items.


9. Full-extension drawers

In addition to deep drawers, full-extension drawers maximize space by allowing you to pull the whole drawer fully open instead of just partially open. Full-extension drawers are perfect for storing pots and pans, kitchen utensils, or even appliances. You won’t have to go sticking your head in a cavernous cabinet to find what you’re looking for.

10. Built-in refrigerator

Not only does a built-in refrigerator give your kitchen a high-end look, it can help your refrigerator melt into a background of cabinets and drawers instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.


If a built-in refrigerator isn’t in your budget, there are ways to achieve the look, including building cabinetry around your refrigerator, or bumping cabinets out so they’re flush with your fridge.

11. Warming drawer

Add convenience to your kitchen with a warming drawer. Great for warming plates, keeping food warm before the meal is served, or even helping bread dough rise.

Meals you serve your guests, or even just your family, take on a restaurant air when they’re the right temperature and served on a warm plate.

12. Trash and recycling hide-away drawer

Get your trash and recycling bins out from underfoot in your kitchen with a hide-away drawer. Pull one drawer out, and have separate trash and recycling bins inside. Or, hide your bins on pull-outs behind hinged doors.

Whatever dreams you have for your new kitchen or remodeled cooking area, consider how these must-have kitchen features can help make your life that much easier. 

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