Home improvement and home renovations are part and parcel of home ownership. They’re also something in which people are willing to make a serious investment. The average cost for a home renovation in 2021 ran about $10,000.
In a surprise to no one who keeps tabs on renovation trends, kitchens remain one of the most popular options for renovations and upgrades. It makes sense with the kitchen displacing the living room as the central hub of most homes.
If you have some serious kitchen upgrades on your mind, keep reading for five things every modern kitchen should have.
1. The Right Flooring
With the possible exception of your entryway, almost no floor in the entire house will suffer more abuse than your kitchen floor. Everyone will walk through that room multiple times a day. If you have pets, they’ll be in there too.
Beyond that, you are going to drop and spill things on that floor. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll drop a heavy pot that has something liquid in it. In other words, you need a floor that can withstand that level of abuse.
You need a material this is durable, liquid resistant, and comparatively easy to clean. You do have some options, but only a few really tick the boxes on all of those needs:
- Some laminates
Of all the options, tile probably provides the best cross-section of benefits. It’s highly durable and waterproof, but it can take a bit more cleaning than the other choices.
Storage almost always comes at a premium in kitchen cabinets, in part because people don’t always take full account of everything that goes in those cabinets. Most people think about their cookware, but a lot of other stuff winds up in those cabinets, such as:
- Dry foods
- Canned foods
- Small Appliances
- Cleaning supplies
More than ever these days, those small kitchen appliances take up a lot of room. Even if you confine yourself to multi-function appliances like a pressure cooker/slow cooker combo, there are a lot of them out there. They must live somewhere.
Granted, your available space does put a hard limit on your cabinets and total storage capacity. Even within those limits, you can probably squeeze a bit more storage into your kitchen during a renovation. For example, you could install some floor-to-ceiling cabinets or integrate an island with some storage space in it.
Not sure where you’d put extra storage? You can try a 3D kitchen design tool to see what will fit.
3. Commercial Style Range
A lot of people discovered or rediscovered a passion for cooking during those long months of quarantines and lockdowns. Sadly, they also discovered that their kitchen ranges, which had seemed perfectly adequate, don’t really get the job done with complicated meals.
One of the most important benefits of a commercial style range is that most of them come with six burners instead of the more traditional four burners you see on most ranges. Those extra burners can prove invaluable if you need to let something simmer for hours but still need to do more basic cooking tasks like frying, sauteing, and blanching.
As an added bonus, these ranges typically provide an extra large oven. That can simplify tasks like batch cooking cookies or preparing a turkey come Thanksgiving dinner time.
While an excellent option for the serious home cook, you will need a larger kitchen to support the additional size of this kind of range.
Another caveat with these ranges is that they also generate a lot more BTUs than a standard range. That makes good ventilation a key element in making this kind of range functional for a home kitchen.
Drawers are part of the kitchen storage strategy, but they’re so important and offer so many options that they deserve their own section. Let’s look at some key drawer options.
Deep drawers are a great alternative to piling up your pots and pans in an open cabinet. Even if you only store things like your frying pans and skillets in a deep drawer, it leaves space to logically organize your pots in an open cabinet.
Sure, you can use a plastic organizer in a drawer to keep your silverware separated. A divided drawer can let you ditch the environmentally unfriendly plastic organizer and still keep things organized.
You can even do more than one divided drawer. You can reserve one for things like forks, spoons, and butter knives. You can reserve the other for things like corkscrews, ice cream scoops, and even kitchen thermometers.
Full Extension Drawers
Ever find yourself pulling almost everything out of a cabinet looking for the one ingredient you know you bought? Full extension drawers eliminate the problem. You can even mount two or three of them inside a cabinet for canned or dry goods.
Don’t underestimate how much easier a variety of drawers can make your life in the kitchen.
5. Good Lighting
Bad lighting can make an otherwise great kitchen feel claustrophobic and undersized. Good lighting in the kitchen is more complicated than it might seem at first, though.
Yes, you need some kind of solid overhead lighting that provides general illumination in the kitchen. You should also give serious consideration to some under-cabinet lighting as well
Under cabinet lighting focuses light onto your counters, which serve as the main food prep areas in most kitchens. You get a better view not only of your ingredients but also of how you cut and prepare them.
A Modern Kitchen and You
Your kitchen probably serves as the main waystation in your home for your family and pets. If you also treat cooking as a serious activity, putting together a modern kitchen requires more than just a good paint color.
You need good flooring to withstand the constant abuse. You need lots of storage, including different types of drawers. A commercial-style range will open up the possibilities for your cooking adventures.
Everyone, including you, will appreciate a well-lit kitchen.
Looking for more kitchen design tips? Check out the Kitchen articles in our Interiors section.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.