25 Must-Have Kitchen Features That Boost Storage, Convenience, and Style

kitchen with light green island and runner rug
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul

Enhance the look and functionality of your kitchen with a few must-have kitchen features. Smart storage solutions, specialty appliances, and other upgrades can have a major impact without requiring a huge investment. Incorporate a few of these cool kitchen ideas into your design to boost organization, convenience, and style.

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Narrow Pull-Out Drawer

small cabinet pulled out to show spices and tools
Edmund Barr

Sneak in storage with narrow pull-out drawers between cabinets or appliances. The slim kitchen cabinet feature allows you to make the most of a sliver of space alongside your range or at the end of the island. This pull-out drawer includes divided storage containers for utensils and shelves with guards that help keep spice jars in place.

02 of 25

Pet-Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Features

dog drinking from bowl in kitchen
Kim Cornelison

Your pet is an important part of the family, so ensure your kitchen design meets their needs, too. Consider built-in storage solutions for pet food, dishes, beds, and more. Here, dog dishes slide out from the island during feeding times but otherwise remain out of the way.

03 of 25

Wine Refrigerator

kitchen island with wine fridge
David Greer

Stash your favorite vino at the ideal temperature with a wine refrigerator. Available in a variety of sizes, these specialty appliances can provide a safe and stylish storage area for any wine lover's collection. Integrate this kitchen feature into an island or lower cabinetry for a seamless look.

04 of 25

Steam Oven

stacked ovens coffee machine in artsy kitchen
Nathan Schroder

Steam ovens create a moist cooking environment that eliminates the need for added oils. Because the steam heats food at a lower temperature than traditional ovens, this also helps preserve heat-sensitive nutrients for healthier roasting and baking. Offering fast, tender-crisp results, a steam oven can be a convenient, health-conscious alternative to a microwave.

05 of 25

Built-In Refrigerator

kitchen with light green island and runner rug
Kritsada Panichgul

Built-in appliances give your kitchen a smooth, integrated look. In this remodeled kitchen, the refrigerator is nestled into custom cabinetry, which provides storage directly above and to the side of the fridge. The stainless steel finish ties in with the professional-style range and hood on the other wall.

06 of 25

Double Ovens

kitchen double wall oven white cabinets baskets
Megan Chaffin

Typically stacked and built directly into perimeter cabinetry, double ovens provide a sleek look and added convenience. This kitchen feature offers a main oven you can use without bending over and a secondary oven for plate warming and additional baking. Separating the ovens from the burners also lets you install a cooktop in a kitchen island or elsewhere, opening up new floor-plan possibilities.

07 of 25

High-Style Faucet

dual faucet large sink
Werner Straube

Kitchen faucets are made in dozens of finishes in myriad styles and sizes, so you can easily find one that suits your aesthetic. Offering double the style, these two kitchen faucets take full advantage of the extra-wide sink. The shiny brass finish and streamlined shapes repeat on cabinetry hardware and sconces above the sink for a cohesive look.

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Island Cooktop

white kitchen with large black countertop island
Emily Followill

With ovens located elsewhere, the cooktop can be placed on the kitchen island. When this kitchen feature is built into a large island, you also get generous work surfaces and room for amenities below, such as a warming drawer or storage for pots and pans. Opt for a statement-making range hood or install a downdraft exhaust system for a more streamlined look.

09 of 25

Commercial-Style Range

stove with blue tea kettle
David Greer

A commercial-style range is a smart splurge for the serious home cook. Expect a high-end gas range to have three to four times the BTU output of a standard home range, which means proper ventilation is another essential kitchen feature you should consider. Besides extra cooking power, commercial-style ranges also provide rugged good looks that pair well with industrial or contemporary kitchen designs.

10 of 25

Ample Kitchen Lighting

white kitchen marble island rattan chairs
Joyelle West

Outfit a kitchen with layers of light and consider multiple fixtures to cover every area. Recessed ceiling fixtures offer ambient light that fills the room. Pendant lights can provide style and task lighting above an island or sink. Don't forget under-cabinet lights for proper task lighting on every countertop.

11 of 25

Bar Sink

kitchen with blue base cabinets and white shelves over sink
Dane Tashima

A secondary sink can be a functional addition to a large kitchen or in an adjacent pantry area. Often smaller than the main sink, it provides a convenient spot to rinse vegetables, ice down drinks, or fill a pot with water. Consider a bar sink for a second prep station, a butler's pantry, home theater, or basement rec room.

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Trash and Recycling

trash and recycle bins
Emily Followill

Make life easier by planning a handy trash and recycling area. Incorporate separate bins or containers for sorting recyclables, compost, and other waste. Consider installing this kitchen feature under the sink, in a pantry, or in a handy pull-out drawer.

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Pot Filler

marble kitchen, stove top, copper
Michael Partenio

Eliminate the need for hauling heavy pots of water across the kitchen. A pot filler is a smart kitchen feature that can go wherever you can run a cold water line. Here, a swing-out faucet is mounted high enough on the kitchen backsplash to provide a flow of water to a big pot of pasta or soup.

14 of 25

Coffee Bar

coffee station with lift up appliance garage door
Greg Scheidemann

Transform a kitchen alcove into a home coffee station for a bright start to your mornings. This small coffee bar includes an espresso machine, a drip coffee maker, and storage for mugs and saucers. Use nearby drawers or shelves to house coffee grounds, sugar, stirring spoons, and other essentials. A narrow spot like this provides dedicated functionality out of the way of the main cooking area.

15 of 25

On-Counter Garage

coffee maker pulled from cabinet
Ed Gohlich

Use an on-counter garage to house appliances you often use but don't always want in plain sight. Here, an appliance garage opens to reveal a coffee maker, which can be pulled out onto the counter space in front when in use. An outlet inside the cabinet keeps cords contained.

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Corner Storage

blue corner kitchen cabinet lazy susan
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Consider kitchen features that take advantage of space that would otherwise be wasted. This corner lazy Susan, for example, turns potentially dead space into usable storage. The unit's two-tiered carousel shelving allows easy access to stowed items.

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Deep Drawers

pots and pans storage drawers
John Granen

A deep drawer near the kitchen range provides easy access to large pots and pans. Here, a spacious drawer houses cookware directly beneath the cooktop. A shallow pull-out within the drawer holds lids that correspond to the cookware below.

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Full Extension Drawers

organized kitchen cabinet drawers
John Granen

Hardware that allows drawers to slide open all the way makes it much easier to get objects in and out. Look for full extension drawer hardware when you're shopping for new cabinetry or upgrading what you have. Drawers with high sides and backs can keep stacks of items neat and orderly.

19 of 25

Glass Doors

Liz Strong home built-in china cabinet
David Tsay

Glass cabinet doors are visually appealing and mimic the decorative appearance of a china cabinet. This built-in cabinet has the look of a hutch and includes display space for dishware as well as drawers for storing kitchen and entertaining essentials. One shelf serves as a makeshift bar for mixing and serving drinks at countertop level.

20 of 25

Tray Storage Cabinet

pan dividers in upper cabinets
Werner Straube

Designate a cabinet for storing racks, cookie sheets, pizza pans, and cutting boards. Instead of precariously stacking them, use vertical dividers to keep these flat items neatly arranged and easily accessible. Here, baking pans and trays are stored directly above a wall oven for maximum convenience.

21 of 25

Utensil Racks

kitchen with stainless steel backsplash
Michael Partenio

For an inexpensive touch that personalizes your kitchen, install a utensil rack under a cabinet or along a wall. Position it near the cooktop to hang an assortment of often-used tools within easy reach. It's an easy kitchen storage idea that can be customized any way you like.

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Dishwasher in a Drawer

wood stained kitchen cabinet dishwasher drawer halfway pulled out
Jay Graham

Use dishwasher drawers in place of a regular dishwasher or in addition to a full-size dishwasher. These handy appliances offer efficient cleaning for a few dishes. Consider installing one in a butler's pantry, basement game room, or near a prep center. This cherry-paneled dishwasher has the look of a regular drawer, then pulls out for easy sink-side cleanup.

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Divided Storage

internal kitchen drawer tools utensils nickel drawer pull
Ed Gohlich

Internal drawer dividers give you a template for organizing your kitchen utensils. Built-in dividers also give a more finished look to the space than organizers purchased separately and placed in the drawer. Sort items into compartments by type, and be sure not to overfill the drawer.

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Pot Rack

metal pots hanging modern pot rack kitchen corner
Jon Jensen

If you like to cook, it's likely you have a decent collection of pots and pans. Free up space in your cabinetry by relegating your cookware elsewhere. A pot rack hung near the stove keeps the essentials easily accessible.

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Warming Drawer

white kitchen warming drawer appetizer tray
Jennifer Phelps

Great for parties as well as busy households, warming drawers add lots of functionality in very little space. This handy kitchen feature keeps dishes warm until you're ready to eat. You'll need to plan ahead however, since the drawers are heavy and require a reinforced cabinet with available power.

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