Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of any home- it’s used for hosting, preparing and serving meals, and spending time with family. Design-wise, kitchens offer a lot of opportunities to showcase personal style and bring in some unique elements. However, above all, a well-designed kitchen can streamline your functionality in terms of both cooking and hosting. Here are a few must-have elements for every kitchen that make day to day life a little bit easier- and the time spent more enjoyable.

Durable Flooring- Back in the day, tile kitchens were the norm. While we see that less today, it’s still wise to choose a flooring that makes sense for the kitchen- one that’s durable, easy to clean, and doesn’t warp or stain due to spills. Wood, vinyl, laminate, tile, and stone are all great flooring choices for the kitchen and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. As a rule of thumb, when researching flooring make sure it is moisture resistant!

Space for Small Appliances- Having a number of small appliances on the countertop can take up a lot of room in your kitchen, and cause the space to feel cluttered. When designing the layout, consider the appliances you’ll want to keep out and ensure there is adequate countertop space or plenty of built-in storage for them.

This may mean that instead of a galley kitchen, you opt for an L-shape, or include a butcher’s pantry for the sake of extra countertop space. Be realistic about the number of belongings vs. the area available. There may even be ways to save room by building-in some of the appliances, like installing a microwave overhead alongside the cabinets or adding shelving to move some things up and out of the way.

Adequate Lighting- While natural lighting is always sought after, it’s not always feasible. If your kitchen allows, consider adding more windows to invite light into the room. Otherwise, be selective about the overhead lighting you choose. There should be enough light to prepare meals, but not too much to where it seems harsh and overbearing. Dim switches are helpful, as they allow you to customize the level of lighting at any given time. Options are always appreciated!

While these are just a few basic necessities for the kitchen, having these three things well-accounted for puts you well on your way to having a functional kitchen that’s easy to clean. The more simple and inviting the room is, the more you’ll enjoy the time you spend!