It’s true what they say – kitchens sell homes, as evidenced by the fact that the second we entered the kitchen of our current home while touring it in 2013, I turned to Ben and said, “I MUST HAVE THIS.” I was also 8 months pregnant with Lincoln at the time and we’d already sold our house, so we literally needed to have this, but coming from a once-orange kitchen with bathroom tiles for countertops, the tall cabinets, sleek appliances, and stone countertops of the new place gave me immediate goo-goo eyes.
While I do love our current kitchen, the thought of designing my dream kitchen from the ground up sends me into an emotional tailspin. Oh, the possibilities! Truly I couldn’t care less about having the biggest house with the fanciest finishes – but a tricked out kitchen? Yes, please!
When I think about my dream kitchen, I think design and convenience. Beautiful cabinetry, a big island, wide-plank wood floors, white stone, and fabulous hardware – plus functional features like the 5 must-haves I’m sharing below. This “Just 5 Things” post idea came from a reader and it was a blast to curate. I’ve already pitched 10 kitchen upgrade ideas to Ben as a result of my “research”, which will all undoubtedly be knocked into the atmosphere (?,) but ah, a girl can dream. ?
Tell me – have you ever had the chance to design your dream kitchen? What did you include? If not (hi! ??) what would you include in yours?
1. Appliance Garage
Clutter in any area of the house drives me nuts, but clutter in the kitchen makes me insane. Probably because I spend so much time in there for my job – and who doesn’t like a zen, organized work space?
That said, I would adore cupboards at counter height set up as an appliance garage to hide any of the cough FIVE appliances currently residing on our counter: toaster, KitchenAid Mixer, Keurig, Nespresso, plus the air fryer Ben got me for our anniversary earlier this week (can’t wait to try that bad boy out.)
Isn’t this solution just so sleek?
Here’s another fun option with a top sliding door. Must have for my dream kitchen – totally obsessed.
2. Walk-In/Butler’s Pantry
Forget walk-in closets, I’m ALL about the walk-in/butler’s pantry. CAN YOU EVEN with this space?!
My dream kitchen would have a separate, walk-in pantry loaded with shelves, pull out shelves, and counter space for ALL THE STORAGE. I’ve seen some really cool pantries a couple stairs away from the main kitchen space, but have always liked the idea of tucking it behind a kitchen wall like the photo below.
The only pantry we have in our kitchen is a skinny pull out shelf next to the fridge, so I use the cupboards in the laundry room for overflow and it’s really inconvenient. Our current kitchen layout would lend itself well to installing the kind of pantry in the photo above and below, so who knows, maybe someday my dream pantry could become a reality!
3. Sliding Pull Out Drawers and Shelves
One thing I love about our current kitchen is that it’s loaded with pull out shelves making it really convenient to store and retrieve items in deep cabinets. Our garbage/recycling is even on a track and I don’t think I could ever go back.
Another feature I’ve always wanted to include in my dream kitchen is drawers under the sink. How many bottles of cleaner, plastic bags, and dishwasher detergent boxes have you lost in the dark recesses of your under-sink cabinet?! Hate that space!
4. Command Center
A command center is something we lack in our current kitchen and I’m desperate for a space like this. Probably because I have to use up a big corner of the kitchen to organize bills, etc, and it’s really unsightly (again, hate clutter!) We could use the office/guest room upstairs for that stuff but for me, if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. I have the memory of a goldfish.
I love the space in this dream kitchen below. From the traditional desk design that matches the rest of the kitchen cabinetry, to the cork board backsplash and shelving above (which I’d cover with doors in my dream kitchen,) it’s the perfect size and design.
This command center is dreamy too. The chalk board backsplash + under cabinet lighting is a fun touch.
5. Built-In Wine Refrigerator
No explanation needed for why I’d want to include a built-in wine refrigerator in my dream kitchen! That said, I love the location of this wine fridge – tucked into the end of the island vs taking up cabinet space in the main kitchen area.
Just like the microwave, I am also obsessed with the idea of stashing the wine fridge in a walk in pantry. I don’t care if people SEE my wine, I just don’t want to have to go down to my spider-infested basement – where we currently keep our wine fridge – every time I want a glass.
5 More Features I’d Love!
- Cabinet lighting. We currently have under and over cabinet lighting and the ambience it creates at night is totally dreamy.
- Farmhouse sink. Timeless and functional – got to have it in my dream kitchen!
- Hands free faucet. A must!
- Pot filler. Would love to hear from people who have one – love it or hate it? I would love the convenience but what if there’s an issue with the pipes? Do you have to bust open the wall?
- Waterfall edge. Adore this look.
What are your must-haves for your dream kitchen?
join the conversation
Britney Jones 06.08.2022
I love these ideas! My husband and I are in the process of looking into remodeling our kitchen and hadn’t thought about an appliance garage before. Great idea! We were thinking about replacing our wood floors but we found out that we can make our wood floors last longer with a wood floor cleaning. We’re going to save some money there to spend it on things like this! Thanks again for the great post!
First time pot-filler 🙋♀️In the 4+ years we’ve been in our new build, I can count on both hands how many times I’ve used it. At the time of design, I was obsessed with Joanna Gaines and she did them ALL THE TIME. The one thing I would not ever ever ever not have in my kitchen again is a pull out utensil drawer. Similar to the pull out trash but on a much slimmer scale, this handy dandy honey houses 4 utensil canisters and 2 foam knife cases. If I had your appliance garage over my utensil drawer, I’d literally have zero clutter in my kitchen. My hubs is a kitchen designer so this might be a thought for our next build 😉. Loved your ideas!
Just finished a complete gut renovation of our “new to us” home last year…a walk-in pantry was top on my list for the kitchen. We made sure it was constructed wide enough to fit our chest freezer, which is super convenient! Also a pull- out stand mixer shelf, farmhouse sink, white quartz and cabinetry with tons of drawers for storage, and a few open shelves flanking the large south-facing window overlooking my garden. It’s definitely my dream kitchen!
omggggggg – I wish there was a way to share photos in the comments bc I would LOVE to see this setup!! It sounds so dreamy!!!
Love our pot filler. We have had it for 10 years and it’s great. Wild love to add a hot / boil water to it. Honestly the touch less faucet can be annoying with the kids but I would do it again now that they are older. Totally love the walk in pantry. Adding a counter to ours and outlets has been a game changer. Moved most small appliances in there.
Terry Ahlers 09.25.2021
I’m an Iowa girl too. Lived in TX several years and now in US Virgin Islands. I am going to be remodeling my kitchen in a couple months. I appreciate all of your dream kitchen ideas. Beautiful.
Nancy Gehring 09.22.2021
DON’T do the command center in your kitchen. If you hate clutter, you will detest the crap that accumulates on your desk. Push for your walk-in pantry and put it there. I had one in my last kitchen and all members of the family dumped their crap on it so I would see it. My kitchen? Tidy. My desk? A beast!!
Also, I don’t quite understand the pot filler. You still have to lug the used water to the sink, so………
I believe the drawer under the sink is only a half drawer on top and maybe a 3/4 on bottom:) live the idea
I just finished the kitchen in my new build house.I used drawers everywhere I could. Sooo much easier than cabinets!
How did you get drawers under your sink? Mine has all kinds of plumbing underneath!
Beautiful kitchen-enjoy it.
love you’re ideas expressed here, all of them even down to your five additional features.
Nydia Molina 11.03.2020
I love the kitchens, specially the one with the big pantry. God bless you!
I love, love, love my pot filler!!!!
We designed and built our home in 2004 and favorite things in my kitchen are: 1) pull up shelf for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, 2) pull-up shelf for food processor, 3) pot filler (which I use at least once a day to wet a rag to clean the stovetop and for adding water to pots, and 4) a walk-in pantry (where I took sleeves all the way to the ceiling).
Would love to see pictures of some of these comments. Sounds great to have a pit filler:)
Nancy G 07.02.2020
You might want to re-think the placement of your command center.I had one in my last kitchen and it was always a mess. I hate snail mail (too messy, too time consuming) but my desk was always where it landed. Anyone in the family need something done? Put it on mom’s desk. Disaster all the time. In my next house, I’m putting my command center in the laundry room – off the kitchen!
Kim Zimmer 06.17.2020
I put a pot filler in my last home build. I used it a hand full of times. I was more worried about leaks or drips onto my stove or an accident and running my hard wood floors.
I would opt out on this next build. I am going for the walk in pantry close to kitchen. I had a decent sized one further away and became a back and forth game. I like the idea of it being more a second part to the kitchen…microwave, coffee pot and warmer. Plenty of room for holiday storage as well.
When I was a girl growing up on a farm in eastern Iowa I dreamed that my house would have the kitchen with an east facing window to catch the morning sunrise.
Working on remodeling our kitchen now. A walk thru butler’s pantry is #1 on my list
I know someone who has a pot filler and loves it. I’m building a house now, but I have no interest in a pot filler. Waterfall edge seams like a big waist of $$$$$. Everything else you mentioned sounds good! Now, do I want brown cabinets or whitewash?Seams the white, clean look is in now, but I like the more woodsy look. ? Decisions decisions.
Built in coffee maker(plumbed).
Had one in last kitchen but not
new kitchen…must find a way to add one.
Norma Lewis 12.07.2019
I love the steam clean feature in my Dacor ovens . I would love to have vent fans in my kitchen ceiling to remove cooking smells. One over the cook top is not enough .
5 Dream Kitchen Must Haves | Dadne 10.06.2019
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