Top ten on trend kitchen must haves

Budget and space considerations aside, these are my top ten kitchen must haves.

1 - Built in range hood - no more steel extractors
The tide has turned on stainless steel and feature range hoods.  Save your cash for a better extractor mechanism and build it into some attractive cabinetry.  I love these ones below where the shelves extend right across the extractor cover. (top, bottom)

These white on white versions are just gorgeous too. (left, right)

2 - Butler's pantry
A butler's pantry is a secondary storage space for washing up, storage, and appliances you don't want on display.  This is where you should keep all those appliances that you use daily which normally clutter up the kitchen counters: kettle, toaster, coffee machine and juicer at my house.  A good butlers pantry deserves a whole post on it own (coming soon).  Little snippets of great ones below.

    3 - Drawers instead of cupboards - so much easier to access
    Make the lower draws deep and wide for pots and pans, the top ones just deep enough to store spices, cutlery and linen.  A soft close mechanism is a must.  You will never want cupboards again.
    4 - Wine fridge - not essential but oh so desirable
    I like them tucked into the end of the island bench and filled with champagne.
    5 - Under counter dish washer drawer  
    Next house I will have a single dish washer draw in the island bench as well as a full dishwasher in the butlers pantry.  All the coffee cups and glasses can go straight in the draw, ready to be used again quickly, especially useful when you have extra people visiting.
    6 - Flush mount stove and sinks
    Shop around to find the sink and stove top with the slimmest profile.  The Barazza stove tops and Abey sinks have a very slim line look, a gorgeous luxe detail for a minimal extra cost.
    7 - Expensive back splash and inexpensive bench tops
    Save your cash for an expensive back splash and use something hard wearing and less costly on the bench tops.  There is usually way more bench top than back splash, so this is going to save you some build dollars.  Also a good way of introducing a less hardy material, like marble or encaustic tiles, into your design, the look without the maintenance issues. 

    8 - Custom cutlery and spice drawers 
    So lovely to open an organised drawer and find what you need at a glance.  
    I am looking to add an in-drawer knife block to mine, taking the knife block off the kitchen counter.
    Condiments and spices are also best stored in a shallow draw close to the stove.  Include space for storing bottles on their side, as well as a few boxes for stacking resealable spice packets.  
    9 - Handy plug points
    Make sure there are enough plug points so that you can use your blender, or your iron, anywhere in the kitchen.  At a minimum you should have: one close to the cook top so that you can use your stick blender without moving the pot off the range; at least two in the side of the kitchen bench for plugging in the toasted sandwich machine, blender or food processor.
    10 - Hidden USB ports 
    If your place is anything like mine your kitchen counter constantly has a multitude of devices on it recharging.  Next time I am putting at least two USB ports into a drawer, or in a custom designed shelf.  My goal is to keep those kitchen counters clear.

    At the end of the day the kitchen needs to be practical.  The finishes are the icing on the cake but planning and investing in great storage will deliver a kitchen that looks beautiful and works seamlessly every time you use it.

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