11 things every kitchen should have

Christine Pittel
House BeautifulJanuary 17, 2013


Updating your kitchen? We asked designer Mick De Giulio — who designed his first kitchen when he was 19 and has 3,000 projects under his belt — to give us a list of what he thinks are the essentials.

1. Natural Light
Look for ways to maximize light, from eliminating cabinets next to windows to using transparent or reflective materials like glass and stainless steel.

2. Comfort
I like to incorporate soft seating, a TV, and — when I can — a fireplace, to make the kitchen the coziest place in the house.

3. Visual Texture
It's the mix of woods, countertop materials, and finishes that creates warmth, personality, and mood.

4. Stainless Steel
The consummate neutral, it looks great with everything and will never go out of style. I love its organic quality — it develops a well-worn patina over time.

5. An Island
If space allows, an island is essential. It's the social center of the kitchen.

6. A Great Sink
Accessories such as an integrated colander and a sliding cutting board make working there more efficient.

7. Integrated Refrigeration
Creating cabinet facades to hide refrigeration units gives me a tremendous amount of design freedom. By eliminating a large, boxy element, I can make a kitchen feel more room-like.

8. High-Performance Appliances
Today, high-efficiency burners and ovens with convection and self-cleaning are really indispensable.

9. A Hook
Every great kitchen has a hook, that one unique element that just pulls you in. It could be a hood, a sink, a pot rack.

10. A Kitchen Designer
Kitchen design is complicated, and the landscape is constantly changing. Hiring a professional is perhaps the most valuable investment you will make.

11. Ice Cream
In my opinion, no kitchen is complete without it.

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