kitchen photo

by Dan Fritschen

Update: Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen after many years or have just found your first home, you’ll probably be wondering what exactly you need in your kitchen; apart from the obvious fixtures, fittings and appliances, there are a number of questions you have to ask yourself to find the answer to which optional extras you need in your kitchen: what suits your lifestyle? What works for the overall design of the kitchen? What is your budget?

Deciding what fixtures, fittings and appliances you need in your kitchen depends entirely on each individual’s living situation; the needs of a young, single professional will differ from that of a large family or a retired couple. Moving into a new home or remodeling a kitchen means you will need to think about exactly what your needs are.

Whether you’re 25 or 75, there are certain things that every kitchen must have. A stove, oven, refrigerator and dedicated cleaning area with sink and drainer are essentials for basic food preparation. Optional items that have become more and more desirable in recent years include a microwave for easily and quickly heating or defrosting food, as well as food processors to speed up the cooking process, and dishwashers that automate the cleaning process.

Depending on your budget and the time constraints you encounter in your day to day life, each person will find some of these things more necessary than others. Most young mothers I encounter, for instance, couldn’t do without time saving devices such as dishwashers and microwaves!

There is, of course, no end to the number of gadgets you can fill your kitchen with; but think about how often you will really use these items. If you prefer chopping and preparing by hand and taking time over preparing meals then by all means stick to the method you enjoy. Many others love their gadgets and enjoy the thrill of waking up to fresh bread from a bread maker and the ease of throwing some pieces of fruit into a juicer for a healthy and tasty smoothie.

A coffee machine is also a good investment for any kitchen, as people of all ages need their morning pick-me-up!
A concern for many parents of young children is educating kids about food and getting them interested in the cooking process so they have the skills to eat well in later life. Devices such as pasta makers are great ways to involve children in the cooking process and are fun to use! There are also plenty of child-friendly versions of cooking utensils including plastic knives and smaller sized wooden spoons so that they can join in.

Lots of space on countertops is ideal as it means your kitchen won’t become cluttered, and helps to keep individual work areas for washing, preparing and cooking food separate – but this depends on the dimensions of the room.

Many modern family homes designate the kitchen as the heart of the home and make it a social space that is combined with a dining or living area. This is great for busy family homes or for people that enjoy entertaining frequently; however you may prefer to keep the kitchen separate or may not want a crowded cooking environment.

All in all, it depends on the individual needs of your home and your personal preferences as to what makes a great kitchen. But using these tips as a starting point, you’re sure to get many years of pleasure out of your kitchen.