While working on designs, clients often ask me “what would you do if this were your kitchen or bathroom?”. Even though the answer may be different depending on the space, there are some elements that designers find more important than others. Here is my list of ‘must have’ features for every kitchen and bath.
Good lighting: Whether it is for food preparation or cleanup, lighting helps to keep our food and ourselves safe. Bright lights for work centers, dimmable lighting over eating areas and under-cabinet lights to show off your beautiful backsplash are all essential to a well lit kitchen.
Leftovers: I am not referring to tomorrow’s lunch but to the food scraps and packaging that comes from food preparation. Every kitchen should have a compost bucket near the sink so fruit and vegi scraps can be carried out to the compost bin. I like to specify a double pull-out set of bins for trash and recyclable items.
Large Drawers: Let’s face it, pots and pans can be awkward to store. Why not include large drawers for that purpose so the utensils can be reached without opening cabinet doors?
Junk Drawer: Every kitchen needs a junk drawer and some people need more than one. Rather than trying to ignore the inevitable, those drawers should be included in a kitchen plan, but not in your main work area.
Lighting: Just like the kitchen, good lighting is essential to safe use of a bathroom.
Soap & Shampoo Storage: Recessed shelf niches in showers and bathtub walls provide a convenient, easy to find place for shampoos and soaps. An extra space for razors is also important
Towel Storage: Robe hooks and towel bars are a great place to hang wet towels but be sure to include storage for clean towels as well.
Non-slip Flooring: Since most household falls happen in the bathroom non-slip flooring is essential. Showers floors in particular should have good gripping ability.
Ventilation: Nobody likes bad bathroom smells so a good, quiet fan should be installed to expel odors and moisture. A timer or humidistat switch will make it more likely that the fan will actually get used.
Wow Factor: I like to consider backsplashes a canvas waiting for an artistic touch. Whether it’s a special piece of granite or a custom tile design, the backsplash is the place to make a statement. The same can be said of shower walls. Art glass pendants are another way to add that wow factor to a kitchen seating area.
Send us your ideas for “must haves” in your kitchen or bathroom, I would love to add them to my list and share them with others.
Brian Egan is a Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer through the National Kitchen & Bath Association. He and his wife Kris are the owners of Corvallis Custom Kitchens & Baths, your local experts for quality design and remodeling.