A kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking. While the process can be lengthy, expensive, and inconvenient, the most stressful part is all the decisions you must make on everything from color to budget. It can be nerve-racking. Unless you have money to burn, you will have to live with those decisions for at least a decade, if not longer. If you include the features below, however, you are sure to love your remodel until the end of time.
1. Hands-Free Kitchen Faucet: This foot-operated faucet is most often used in commercial kitchens but can be easily installed in a home setting as well. The purpose of this hands-free unit is to give cooks a way to turn on the water and wash their hands without spreading germs. Cutting raw chicken can be a messy task, and no one want that bacteria inadvertently left on the faucet handle. Simply step on a floor-mounted lever and -- presto! -- the water turns on. This is one of those gadgets that people can't remember how they ever lived without.
2. Toe Kick Central Vac: Whether you have kids, pets, or a messy spouse, kitchen floors always get dirty. However, it can be a pain to have to drag out a broom/dust pan combo or a vacuum every time something falls on the floor. Enter your toe kick -- the little-used, recessed space between your lower kitchen cabinets and the floor. A central vac system can be installed during your remodel with a vent placed strategically in your kitchen's toe kick. To use, simply tap the vent with your toe to open the unit and then sweep crumbs directly in. Any debris will be instantly sucked up. Genius, right?
3. Pan Drawers: Face it. Lower kitchen cabinets are not exactly convenient. With only two standard shelves, it can be frustrating to keep things organized or to find them after said organization. Some manufacturers have a roll out tray system to improve the efficiency of lower cabinets, but the trays can also be a nuisance. You are often required to open both doors all the way in order to slide the tray out completely. While it is an improvement, you can do better. Order pan drawers for your new kitchen. These handy units eschew the doors and are composed of three drawers instead, a standard, cutlery drawer and two deeper ones. They are big enough to hold everything from your biggest stock pots to family-size boxes of cereal.
4. Pot Filler: Speaking of stock pots, when you fill one with water and try to carry it over to the stove, it can be heavy -- really heavy! Instead, make life a little easier and have your remodeling contractor install a pot filler faucet above the stove. This type of faucet has a swing arm that can be positioned right over the burner for easy filling. Starting to love this kitchen remodel yet?
5. Tray Divider: Cookie sheets, cutting boards, 12-cup muffin tins, and pizza stones—these are all large items that do not fit in standard cabinetry without cluttering up the space. Conversely, they can be left on the counter top, stored above the refrigerator, or even leaned up against the back wall of the pantry, but it always looks messy and disorganized. Your remodel needs a tray divider. This base cabinet is narrow, usually 18 inches wide or less, and comes with wood dividers that partition the space in two inch increments. It's the perfect size for sliding all those items neatly in.
If you want to love -- really, really love -- your kitchen remodel, install the above features. None are expensive options, but all are truly priceless.