Kitchen Must Haves I Can’t Live Without

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I don’t know about you all, but we spend so much time in our kitchen. From cooking, eating, to socializing, the kitchen seems to be the gathering place at our house. This could be because we have such a love for food. Actually some of our greatest memories have taken place in our kitchen.

While in the process of thinking about what we would like in our new kitchen, we definitely have things we wish for, but we also have things that are on our must have list. Things that we will make sure to pay a little more and have before getting any wish list items. Several things are included on this list and I’ll share them with you.

Large Island

I’m not sure what many consider a large island, but to us, we have used every inch of our current eight foot island. We will be going bigger on our new build and making it ten foot.

Our island is where I food prep for meals, where I pack lunches, and even where I place all the food when entertaining. We have found it is a multi-purpose area that has been so useful. Not to mention, a large island with some great pedant lights can be a beautiful centerpiece of a kitchen.

Upgraded Appliances

Upgraded appliances are very important to us. This is not somewhere I would want to go skimpy. I have to say, I love to cook, but I probably don’t cook as often as I should. I still love having great looking appliances. To me, appliances are just as much about about looking great as they are about how they function.

Range Hood

It’s so funny, but when thinking about our new kitchen, one of the very first things we thought about was the range hood. We planned exactly where we wanted it first and then started thinking about what it would look like.

For the new house, we’re planning on doing a plaster hood like the one below.

Credit: Home Bunch

I feel like the range hood should be a focal point in the kitchen. It’s and element you can use to really make a statement. In our current kitchen, Henry built a wood hood, that added an element of warmth and created the perfect contrast with the white cabinets and walls.

Large Drawer Space

With living in six different homes, not counting rentals, we have discovered how important large drawer space can be. We have pleasantly found that we can store anything from small appliances to light weight dishes in our drawers. While we love the open shelving idea, large drawers on the bottom have come in so handy. Think about it, with a cabinet you have to reach back in to put items up, but the drawer comes to you. Much more sensible.

I also love the look of multiple large drawers in an island or even for a taller area. It creates a different look giving some uniqueness to your kitchen.


A pantry is always a must have. To us, it doesn’t have to be big, it can even be built into the cabinetry, but for sure a must have. Like I said, I don’t do as much cooking as I should, but having somewhere to store your snacks, food, and paper towels is pretty necessary.

At our current house we have a pantry built into our cabinets which has worked just fine. The pull out drawers are also very cool and easy for storing can items, etc. For our new home we will have a butler’s pantry, but only because we had the extra space. It will also house our microwave and espresso machine due to limited counter space.

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  • Reply Sarah

    Love the kitchen! What color did you paint your island?

    August 15, 2019 at 1:37 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! It is Dorian Gray by Sherwin Williams.

      August 15, 2019 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Krista

    What color are your white cabinets? Having a hard time finding a white that doesn’t read yellow. We are having our brown cabinets painted. Thanks. Beautiful kitchen.

    October 7, 2019 at 11:57 pm
  • Reply Brooke

    Hey Krista! Ours are Wilmington by Carolina Heartwood, which was just a prefinished color. You may want to check out our interior white paint article for some colors.

    October 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    • Reply Cindy

      What color is your stain for the wood hood and floating shelves? They are lovely!!

      January 15, 2020 at 7:45 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Hello, love the kitchen! What color stain is the vent hood cover?

    May 3, 2020 at 2:20 am
  • Reply Erin Huss

    Hi Brooke and Henry! We’re in the process of designing the layout of our kitchen, and the appliances are having quite an impact! I’ve noticed in your homes that you don’t use double wall ovens, but instead just a range with oven or 48″ range with oven. Is this a preference? Or, do you have reasons you avoid the double wall oven? In our current home we have a double wall oven and a standard width range. I’d love any advice you have to give… Thank you! Your homes are lovely!

    January 22, 2021 at 7:34 pm
  • Reply Charisse

    Would love more info on your flooring. I am have a hard time finding light flooring.

    February 17, 2021 at 3:13 am
    • Reply Kallie

      Me too!

      March 21, 2021 at 3:24 am

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