Planning for a kitchen remodel is exciting but can also feel somewhat overwhelming. There are so many different features and fixtures to consider, from the layout, lighting, and workstations to storage solutions, appliances, and décor. Knowing which key features to add to enhance your food preparation experience can seem like guesswork.
Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as you imagine. The best inspiration comes from what fellow homeowners are installing. To help you gain a better idea of what you can add, we’ve collected together some of the most popular kitchen features Tippecanoe County homeowners are requesting for their new kitchen remodels.
A kitchen island is one of the most requested kitchen features in Lafayette and throughout Indiana. This central focal point provides multiple benefits, including extra food prep space, increased storage options, and even an extra work surface on which to browse the internet. It’s also a wonderful feature for entertaining guests.
Kitchen islands come in different sizes and styles, with an endless array of customizable design options, including inbuilt sinks and cookers. Unfortunately, islands are likely to overwhelm smaller kitchens, so these are only really an option for medium and larger interiors. That said, a butcher block cart can work wonders in a galley-style kitchen.
Another increasingly popular kitchen feature is the workstation sink. This is no ordinary sink but has instead been described as the “Swiss army knife of sinks”. Designed to allow for simultaneous tasks to be completed in one area, the workstation sink typically features a chopping board, colander, drying rack, and sometimes multiple faucets.
These are different from the standard sink in that they enhance productivity and reduce unnecessary movement from one kitchen area to another. You can find workstation sinks in various configurations, styles, and sizes and with additional features, including cutting boards, strainers, serving trays, drying racks and integrated food waste disposal systems.
More Prep Space
Many traditional kitchens were designed for one cook with preparation space primarily near the sink. Nowadays, home kitchens are multifunctional environments for multiple cooks, and as such, a lot more prep space is needed.
Some good ways to add extra countertop surface space is by adding a kitchen island or peninsula (essentially an island joined to a wall). They can also double as service stations where you can place food ready to be served to guests in the dining area.
It’s also important to consider whether certain prep surfaces in different kitchen work zones potentially need to vary in height according to usage and comfort.
A lot of storage is good, but specific storage is even better. Innovative storage solutions are must-have kitchen features that improve functionality, convenience, and the visual appeal of the interior.
Narrow pull-out drawers between larger cabinets or appliances make use of often wasted space. These are perfect for storing jars, canisters, spice racks, and utensils.
Corner storage options turn potentially dead space into usable storage for all types of kitchenware and dried foods. For example, a Lazy Susan allows for easy access by simply pulling out the entire shelving frames.
Instead of stacking baking sheets, platters, cutting boards, and pizza pans, place them in their very own tray storage cupboard above or near a wall oven. Vertical dividers ensure safe storage and easy accessibility.
Create a dedicated garbage and recycling area where you can easily sort between recyclables, compost, and general kitchen waste. Separate bins or containers can fit into one pull-out drawer under or near the sink.
Compartmentalize your kitchen utensils with divided drawer storage. They provide a more finished look to your utensil drawers and help you quickly find what you need.
These are just a few of the many must-have kitchen storage features currently popular with American homeowners.
If space allows, consider creating a walk-in pantry. These have been around for a while and are now considered a staple of a highly functional modern kitchen. Pantries typically hold groceries, but you can also use them to store countertop appliances, extra kitchenware, service items, cleaning supplies, and even books.
There is an endless array of design choices for walk-in pantries with different shelving and cupboard options. The best pantry is easily accessible with an entrance close to the food prep areas.
Solutions for Uncluttered Counters
There’s something immensely pleasing about gazing upon the decluttered counters of a newly remodeled kitchen. However, to keep your surfaces clear, clean, and looking fabulous, it’s essential to plan ahead and ensure you incorporate organizational systems that help you keep your kitchen clutter-free.
Better in-draw solutions are key for items such as spices, knives, and other utensils. For example, spice racks can hang on the inside of the door while wooden knife blocks or specialist magnetic strips hold even the biggest of knives safely in place.
If you have many small appliances dotted about, you can create an appliance garage. This is a little cupboard space with outlets in the back wall designed specifically for appliances such as microwaves, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, and more.
Consider also how you can hang things out of the way. Pot racks are functional and decorative, and can be hung from the wall or ceiling.
Multiple sources of light are a vital part of the multifunctional and potentially hazardous space that is the kitchen. It’s important we see what we’re doing when cutting meat, slicing vegetables, stirring boiling pots, and serving food.
Flexible lighting for the kitchen considers all the different functions and uses of a modern kitchen and dining space.
Ambient lighting is the primary light source encompassing the entire interior space and ensures you can perform general tasks and move safely around the room.
Task lighting highlights specific areas, such as the main food prep area and stove.
Accent lighting is decorative and highlights attractive focal points, such as a beautiful chinaware collection in a glass-door cabinet.
Decorative lighting is lighting that is the focal point itself. It’s a statement piece and a conversation starter.
Glass Doors for Upper Cabinets
As already mentioned, glass cabinet doors are an excellent way to show off your beautiful dishware and other attractive kitchenware. But, instead of hiding your best china behind wooden cabinet doors, the glass panels give you plenty of creative opportunities to enhance the overall appeal of your kitchen interior.
There are different types of glass cabinets, including clear glass and seeded glass, as well as a variety of pane designs such as stained glass, mullion fronts, diamond panels, and arched fronts, to name a few.
Smart home technology is growing rapidly. To truly future proof your home and minimize future cost of living expenses, investing in smart appliances is a good idea. Connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can control smart appliances from your favorite device, whether you’re at home or elsewhere.
Connected appliances make home life easier for you and your family. For example, you can remotely start the oven, be ultra-precise with temperature changes, modify dishwasher cycles, turn the heating on from the car, and even check the refrigerator door has been closed.
There are too many exciting smart appliances to list in just one article, but a great place to start is seeking advice from a local remodeling firm like Riverside Construction who can advise you on the best performing models to consider.
Eliminate countertop clutter with a docking drawer, which is a very popular addition. As the name suggests, this is a specially designed drawer with power outlets inside that provides a designated space for all your electronic devices.
It’s the perfect place to store and charge smartphones, laptops, and tablets, as well as house dongles, notepads, pens, and other miscellaneous items.
You can also use the docking drawer when open to power general kitchen appliances such as blenders, toasters, and coffee makers.
Work With a Qualified Design Build Firm like Riverside Construction
With so many fantastic kitchen design options, it’s always important to work with a qualified design-build firm to ensure your new kitchen meets its full potential.
Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.
With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in a range of fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance on remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.
Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation about your upcoming kitchen remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.