1. Well-Thought-Out Workspace: Today, many people tend to serve their meals from somewhere other than a table. Often, plates are fixed at the stove. When I see a beautiful kitchen on HGTV or Houzz, and it has a large, wood-topped island, I cringe, because I know a hot pan or casserole dish doesn’t belong there. It looks good, but it’s not practical. Kitchens need to be as functional as they are good looking.
2. Smart Surfaces: Marble and wood surfaces look great as countertops, but they don’t function well when the work starts. Granite, quartz, concrete, and stainless steel are much better surfaces for kitchens; however, each has its own place in the hierarchy of where and when to use them.
3. Sink(s): I enjoy the multi-use sink I have in my kitchen, and often recommend a smaller second sink for my clients, if space permits. I’ve used the KOHLER Stages Sink in several jobs because it is large, open, and comes with some pretty cool gadgets for a very reasonable price.
4. Appliances: Next to cabinets, appliances are the most-expensive line item in kitchen remodels. I recommend choosing what you can afford and what you need. If you don’t have space for a double oven, then at least make sure the oven you buy is a convection oven so it cooks faster. Be smart about what you put in your kitchen, and make sure the appliances work for the space.
5. Lighting: I like to be able to light a kitchen for different tasks that will take place in that space from day to day. Many of today’s kitchens are part of an open floor plan. Thus, there are living and eating spaces in close proximity to the kitchen. In these types of homes, the overhead task lighting in the kitchen is not wanted or needed after the cooking is complete. Under-counter lighting is nice for these times as well as in the early morning, when you want to brew a cup of coffee without being blinded by bright lights.