Kitchens are the hub of a home. And a gorgeous kitchen can be a beautiful centerpiece. But what items need to go on your list? There a few kitchen must-haves in a beautiful and modern kitchen. From lighting, to storage of trash and recycling, and placement of islands and fridges, this is a go-to guide for some of the most important features to consider when designing your dream kitchen.

1. Your Own Private Island

First on the list of kitchen must-haves is a high-function, high-fashion island. The right island serves many purposes: you can prep and assemble food, entertain guests, and have another surface for work, homework, crafting, decorating, or storage.

Islands should fit properly in the kitchen, having plenty of room on all of the sides, and be large enough to support everything you and the family need.

Islands often contain storage in the form of cabinets under the island top, and some have sinks cleverly inserted in them, while still others have stovetops. It’s also possible to have dishwashers, refrigerators, or even wine storage placed in your island.

Island surfaces are most often wood, stone, stainless steel, or butcher block, you can choose the best fit for your kitchen and the design of your home.

2. Clever trash disposal

Have you ever made a meal and had no trash to dispose of? Nope. So every kitchen needs a place to get rid of their trash. What if that “place” was out of sight and out of mind? No one wants to stare at (or smell) the trash while they’re prepping dinner. Goodbye, onions!

Modern kitchens cleverly encase the trash and recycling in what looks to be another cabinet. You grab a pull and with a gentle glide, out rolls out a drawer-like space to reveal a trash can or two. (The second is handy for separating out the recyclable materials.)

This custom storage system allows more movement around the kitchen – no bulky cans in the way inhibiting movement. Sometimes trash containers can be a temptation for pets or even young children to create messes.

Eliminate this “necessary nuisance” by placing it in a drawer-like pull-out under your island.

3. Statement Pendants

Above the island, modern homes feature statement light fixtures. Fixtures like this serve as both decor and lighting.

Light warms the space and welcomes you and your guests into your kitchen. Happy homeowners spend hours of the day at their island so creating a welcoming space with an accent that represents their style is a fun, functional kitchen feature that is a must-have. And most pendants are less expensive than making that same statement with a large chandelier.

Blown glass, weathered metals, and rustic bare bulbs are trends in pendant lighting. Pendants aren’t a huge commitment so have fun with it!

4. A Sleek, Energy-efficient Refrigerator

Another kitchen must-have is a built-in refrigerator. The clever design makes this kitchen workhorse equal height with the cabinets on either side, shallow enough to fit in line with all the hinges of the cabinets. And it’s a feature that makes a custom home build so attractive. Remodeling a kitchen to accomplish this is a tall order.

Built-in fridges occasionally have panels that can be placed on the door of the fridge to make it appear to be another one of the cabinets. So sleek. Built-ins are very modern and stylish, and enhance the flow of traffic by freeing up floor space, as well as often being more environmentally conscious.

According to AJMadison.com, built-in refrigerators are a very new feature. Almost all fridges of this nature were built after 2002, making them all Energy-Star certified and beneficial to the environment. These fridges are adapted to have the capacity of standard fridges, adjusted to the depth of the cabinets. And even though that is slightly shorter than most fridges, it still has full storage. Built-in fridges provide storage and aesthetics to any kitchen.

5. The Perfect Pantry

When building a custom home people love planning for a great pantry. A walk-in pantry is helpful and so versatile. It can store food, appliances, linens, drinks, cleaning materials, craft supplies, pet food, or anything else you desire.

Within the pantry, it’s important to organize well. If you create a large space for yourself, but don’t organize, items easily get lost in the back. Experts suggest you start with a strategy, label items, and use different containers to store different objects. Lazy Susan’s help to organize a walk-in pantry. Fill small turntables with spices or toppings like sprinkles, and use bigger ones to store cereal or cake mixes.

Walk-in pantries are a kitchen must-have for their adaptability, low cost, and the benefit of having what you need when you need it.

6. Everything AND the Kitchen Sink

Don’t let your kitchen aesthetic sink- pick the right sink! One of the most-used features in a modern kitchen is the sink. There are so many to choose from in a variety of sizes, materials, and colors.

There are too many options to cover here. I may need to write another blog called “All This And the Kitchen Sink.”

I will say Farmhouse sinks are a big trend right now. They are inserted inside the counter, eliminating any barrier between you and the sink. It’s you and your apron flush to the sink, hence their popular name, “apron front”.

The right sink can make or break a kitchen. You might say, the wrong choice can sink your kitchen.

There are many kitchen must-haves to enhance your everyday living and the value of your home for resale. Consider how you want to incorporate them into your dream kitchen. Work with an expert builder to make best use of the kitchen must-haves for your home. The kitchen is a great space to spend some extra time planning and dreaming about your favorite must-haves.

Bill Herebic is a 4th-generation custom homebuilder in Colorado. Bill’s decades of hard work and honesty mean clients and tradesmen love to work with him resulting in every home being done on time or early for 35 years and counting.