Everyone likes to marvel at expensive kitchen gadgets and novelty kitchenware, but how many of these things are actually necessary? A high price tag doesn’t always mean high quality, and prioritising aesthetics over functionality won’t make your day-to-day life any easier.
The point of kitchen appliances and accessories is to be practical and convenient. They should help you to cook faster, and stay on top of your inventory to minimise food waste. With modern life being so busy for most of us, your kitchen should be a calm and organised place to escape.
So, what should every kitchen have to make it as efficient and comfortable as possible? Here are 10 of the top kitchen accessories that could totally transform your lifestyle.
As simple as they are, drawer inserts are definitely a must-have item. From utensil trays for all your cutlery to dividers for creating smaller compartments, there are plenty of ways to use these pieces to organise your kitchen drawers.
Grouping utensils and gadgets together means you’ll know exactly where to find what you’re looking for. You won’t miss having to rummage around for a vegetable peeler or specific pot lid when you can separate things into categories.
Many of us have the classic ‘junk drawer’ that leaves us digging through endless bits and bobs in frustration. Whether it’s batteries and bottle openers or sauces and spices, implementing drawer dividers will save you so much time.
If you find that your larger cooking utensils don’t fit in your drawer inserts well, another option is to use a hanging rack. Instead of letting utensil jars and knife blocks clutter up the counter, use hooks or a magnetic strip to keep them on the wall.
A step up from the humble drawer insert is the pull-out mechanism. Why make grabbing pans or plates from a base cabinet harder than it needs to be? Clever kitchen storage mechanisms allow you to access whatever you need immediately.
Popular Lazy Susan-style mechanisms can make a corner carousel to bring items from the back to the front. No more crouching down and peering into the dark depths of the corner cupboard for the blender that you’re sure you stored back there.
Similarly, pull-out shelves prevent the need to bend down or reach blindly into your base units. Simply open the door and the mechanism ensures that the shelves will extend smoothly. Take what you need, close it again, and the shelves tuck themselves away.
Pull-out larders are also extremely useful storage features. These tend to be made of wirework sections attached to the back of the door, which slide or swing out along with it to reveal your hidden pantry. This also helps to spot when you’re running low on something.
Whether you live with housemates, a partner, or a full family, the noise of slamming cupboard doors can be a constant source of irritation. This can even be dangerous if there are small children around, who may be prone to getting their fingers trapped.
Soft-closing hinges for kitchen doors and drawers are a crucial addition to prevent injuries and keep the peace and quiet. No matter how much force you use to try to close them, the specially designed hinges will stop them from slamming shut.
For example, the German-manufactured Hettich hinges that we supply at Kitchen Warehouse use an innovative and compact piston design to ensure that doors and drawers slide closed softly and slowly, rather than swinging forcefully.
This means everyone in the home can prepare food calmly, without the stressful sounds of banging doors disturbing anyone else. It also reduces accidental damage to the kitchen units, so you can get the most out of them for many years.
Integrated waste bins
An important element of every kitchen that people often overlook is waste disposal. Whether you have one big waste bin or prefer separate bins to organise your recycling, these bulky containers can be an eyesore (not to mention a potential source of bad smells).
Along with pull-out storage, it’s also possible to install pull-out kitchen waste bins. This allows you to hide your bins out of sight behind a panel that seamlessly matches your units. It also helps to contain smells – though you shouldn’t leave pungent waste in there for too long, anyway!
Keeping the area clean and tidy is one of the most difficult parts of running a functional kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Drawer-style pull-out bins can make a massive difference to the way you manage your household rubbish and recycling systems.
Regardless of the style or size of kitchen, it’s straightforward to install slide-out bins in a cupboard or recess. You can say goodbye to that unsightly overflowing pedal bin taking up valuable floor space thanks to the many benefits of integrated kitchen bins.
We’re all trying to limit our consumption of single-use bottles these days, but many households do build up a collection of bottles and cans. Whether you bulk-buy or just like to have your favourite drinks on hand at any given time, a drinks cooler could be just what you need.
This doesn’t have to be a wine cooler – though you would definitely benefit from one if you’re a bit of a connoisseur, or even just enjoy a frequent glass with dinner or adding flavour to your dishes. It’s definitely more appealing than a simple wine rack that doesn’t even keep it chilled.
If you have bottles that don’t need to be chilled, whether they’re room temperature drinks or your collection of food dressings, our aforementioned pull-out bottle storage could be the key to a more organised kitchen. This nifty invention reduces visual clutter while keeping your bottles in line.
Additionally, though it’s not the main purpose of the feature, having integrated bottle storage in your kitchen can increase the value of your property. This is great news if you plan to sell up in the future. It doesn’t hurt that it’s likely to impress your family, friends, and visiting guests, either.
Airtight food containers
When you’re organising your drawers, cupboards, and pull-out shelves with the devices listed above, you should make sure that all consumables are stored safely. The same goes for anything perishable in unsealed packaging that you keep inside your fridge.
The secret to keeping produce fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible is simple – airtight food storage containers. These regulate the food’s exposure to the oxygen and carbon dioxide that causes it to degrade, and protects them against excess moisture.
Forget finding soggy vegetables at the back of your fridge, or grabbing staple baking ingredients just to discover mould in the flour. The airtight seals should keep your food in prime condition for far longer than if you left it in the packaging it came in.
They’re also excellent for prepping meals in advance, whether that’s marinating meat or portioning lunches for the week ahead. With these versatile containers, you won’t have to worry about food going rotten before you get the chance to cook and eat it.
Unless your kitchen walls are tiled, you’re probably familiar with the nightmare of stained wallpaper or paint behind your counters and cooktop. No matter how careful you are, splashing liquids and spilling powders is an inevitable part of cooking for most of us.
The easiest way to avoid staining your kitchen walls is to install a wipe-clean material wherever you prepare food. Whether you opt for ceramic tiles, PVC, or glass, a kitchen splashback is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your cooking area clean.
This is especially true for families with younger children, where having to mop up messes is even more likely. Stain-resistant kitchen splashbacks take some of the stress out of things, and make it much easier to maintain good hygiene in your kitchen.
Another great thing about splashbacks is that they’re available in a practically endless variety of styles and sizes. You can buy a standard size in a mass-produced design or order a custom-cut piece featuring an image of your choice – whatever brightens up your décor.
Speaking of brightening things up, kitchen lighting also counts as an accessory. While task spotlights are practical and there’s usually a ‘big light’ to illuminate the entire room, sometimes you just want soothing ambient lighting instead.
One way to achieve this is to use LED strips or recessed bulbs as kitchen downlights. This type of lighting is cheaper and easier to install than you might think, and extremely cost-effective, as energy-efficient LEDs last for much longer than traditional bulbs.
You can place these lights underneath your wall units to make working at your counters clear as day, or line the base units with recessed LEDs either along the kickboards or underneath the worktop overhang. This type of lighting can also be applied to kitchen islands.
When you turn these gentle lights on as an alternative to harsh overhead ones, you’re sure to find the kitchen much more peaceful. Ideal if you’ve had a hard day and just want to relax while you get ready for dinner, or need a softer start on dark winter mornings.
What’s better than a big Belfast sink when you need to wash ingredients for a big meal, or clean a load of plates and cutlery? Unless you have a dishwasher to do the second part for you, the answer is a second sink. This could be a separate sink, or a smaller one adjoining the main sink.
Kitchen sinks are part of the essential kitchen triangle. This necessary design for an efficient kitchen includes the sink, fridge, and cooker. Without sufficient space to practice proper cooking hygiene, you risk problems like food contamination and illness.
Whether it’s a ceramic sink split into two parts, a granite sink with a built-in draining board, or an industrial-size stainless steel sink, having enough space to perform multiple water-source-related activities at the same time will certainly speed things up.
Another way to get the most out of your kitchen sink is to install kitchen mixer taps. These can be single-control or dual-control taps, with features like built-in water filters or pull-out hoses for maximum efficiency. You can even co-ordinate them with the colour of your sink, from basic white or silver to trendy gold and copper sinks.
Even if you don’t use it often, it’s impossible to have a kitchen without an oven. However, not everyone likes to use them – sometimes preferring the faster pace of the microwave, or simply ordering a ready-to-eat takeaway for delivery.
One of the reasons people may dislike cooking with their oven is that it’s cumbersome. Not only does it take longer, but you have to keep bending down to slide things in and out, juggling hot trays of food with your awkward oven mitts.
The solution to this problem is the integrated wall oven. Most modern kitchens feature a seamless run of units with everything built right in, including the oven and microwave. It’s also common to make cooking even quicker by adding a double oven.
Housing your oven at a more manageable height is truly a game-changer, especially for those with limited mobility. As a modern appliance, wall ovens and double ovens are also likely to come with the latest technology, making cooking a breeze.
Order kitchen organisers from Kitchen Warehouse
While most people know Kitchen Warehouse as a supplier of wallet-friendly yet high-quality kitchen units and replacement kitchen doors, we also stock a wide range of kitchen accessories on our website. All specially designed to improve the organisation and longevity of your kitchen.
If you would like to learn more about our useful products and how they can make your kitchen a stress-free place to be, feel free to call our team on 01765 640 000. You can also reach us by email at [email protected] with any written enquiries, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
We also have a Kitchen Warehouse showroom in North Yorkshire, which is open six days a week. If you’re in the Ripon area, why not stop by to see our accessories in action in our display kitchens?
This blog was updated in May 2022.