Deciding on which layout you want for your dream kitchen is an interesting task. Do you go for the Triangle, the Galley or the L-shape? Of course, this decision isn’t left completely to chance since the shape of the room determines the layout for you in most cases.

After the colour, design and set up have been chosen, now comes the decision about what goes into your kitchen. For many households the kitchen is the hub of the home, where meals are prepared and eaten, clothes are washed and sorted, troubles are worked out over glasses of chilled liquid, and children’s outdoor attire piles up in the corner of the room. So, what essentials do we all need in our kitchens?

Kitchen basicsHome Stove

  • Oven and hob – Whether combined or separate, gas or electric, it’s pretty unheard of these days to find a kitchen without one.
  • Refrigerator – A fridge/freezer (either top freezer or bottom freezer), side by side, french door, counter depth and compact. Whether the fridge stands alone in the kitchen or is blended into the units, the fridge is used on average 30 times a day, so make sure it’s one that you like!
  • Cupboards (storage) – Low cupboards, high cupboards with inner adjustable shelves and drawers for cutlery.
  • Sink – Sink with taps.
  • Washing machine – Unless your home has space for a utility room, the majority of us have our washing machine in our kitchen.
  • Worktops – Even in a small kitchen there is need for a counter top.
  • Cutlery – A basic set of knives, forks, spoons (various sizes), a sharp knife and a wooden spoon.
  • Crockery – Plates, bowls and mugs.
  • Saucepan – Small, large and a frying pan.

Like the chef Curtis Stone says:

If you use quality ingredients, you don’t need anything fancy to make food delicious: just a knife, a cutting board, and some good nonstick cookware, and you’re set.”

So these elements make up the basic kitchen, and if truth be known, we could all actually survive with just these. However we do like to make our lives as easy as possible so we tend to add a few other items…

Important itemsToaster

  • Dishwasher – Not everyone’s cup of tea, but busy households with busy kitchens and lots of mouths to feed will benefit from one of these.
  • Kettle – Some would say this is an essential, but we have all at some point been without a kettle and have managed to survive.
  • Toaster – The convenience of popping in the bread and going off to do something else whilst it browns – great!
  • Microwave – Although there seems to be a bit of a backlash about microwaving food – try and show me a busy person who doesn’t at some point need to ‘zap’ something.
  • Can opener – Need I say more!
  • Baking tray – Nearly everything goes in the oven on one of these.
  • Spatula – Multitude of uses.

Amongst the numerous different designs and makes of kitchens, utensils and utilities it would seem that we all use the same ones. If we look to the future, however, there are some new innovative gadgets that may, or may not, make our lives easier- and if not easier definitely more fun. Next time we shall look at some of these.

And let’s not forget that some of these kitchen essentials such as washing machines and dishwashers require appropriate heating and plumbing services to be in place to start with.

[Photos by Atlanta Scott, cogu and orek]