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Your Favorite Kitchen Features

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Your must-haves for a renovated kitchen.

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January is the month for new dreams. New Year, new you. We want it for ourselves, and we want it for our space. Maybe it’s a little re-organizing that your kitchen wants. Maybe your spices need an overhaul. Redoing your kitchen can be one of the highlights of your year -- how often do you get to make the space you already spend the most time in into the one you never want to leave?

For TobiT this was the question of the hour, adding: "We have youngish kids, a busy schedule, a conservative budget, and overall NOT a pristine household. We rarely entertain these days, but I'm hoping to do more, as I love a casual dinner with friends." As usual, you all came through with the features you love (and the ones you wish you had) in your kitchens.

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Must-haves:

  • SexyLAMBCHOPx likes deep drawers to keep countertops free of appliances.
  • Drbabs suggests planning for a tall cabinet with vertical dividers for easy storage of cutting boards, cookie sheets, and cooling racks.
  • A deep, farmhouse-style sink is an essential kitchen feature for a number of Food52ers.
  • Fat Tony votes for wide countertops, saying it was the best feature he added during his own kitchen renovation.
  • Petitbleu favors a high-quality butcher block countertop, saying: “Being able to treat your chopping surface as a work surface might change your life. At least, now that we’ve experienced it, we’re never going back to normal cutting boards.”

The extras:

  • Nutcakes suggests having dedicated pull-out drawers for trash and recycling.
  • As the mother of a toddler, ktr wishes for soft, self-closing drawers, explaining: "My son loves to help but he also loves to close doors and drawers with gusto!"
  • Consider doubling up: Pegeen is a fan of a second refrigerator or freezer and SeaJambon loves having a double oven (a preference echoed by many of you).
  • Melusine enjoys having a warming drawer and a touch faucet.
  • Keg72 likes the idea of adding extra storage space with toe-kick drawers.

Best advice:

  • Mickle advises: "Spend more now on quality appliances; you won't regret it and it will be cost-effective in the long run."
  • SeaJambon says: "How you use your kitchen should dictate the design and where you spend your money."
  • JAC echoes the importance of a plan: "Keep in mind that more than any other room in the house, in the kitchen function must lead form. A beautiful kitchen that doesn't function well is just exasperating!" -- something we can all agree on.

What is your favorite kitchen feature? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

Tags: kitchen, renovations, appliances, fixtures