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It can be difficult to design a kitchen that's beautiful but also highly functional for everyday use. Here we take a look at some of the best kitchen must-have design features from Houzz's "Pros Share 6 Must-Have Kitchen Design Features" article.

The Right Storage

Your kitchen cabinets make up the bulk of what you see in your kitchen, so your choice of cabinet color and style is a major, consequential decision. But the components inside your cabinets are equally important, if not more.

Your storage solutions determine how functional your kitchen is. When you're at the peak of cooking a large meal, you care less about the look of your cabinets and more about the ease of grabbing the right tools, spices, pots, and other supplies.

A kitchen designer will often take an inventory of all the utensils, dishes, small appliances and pantry items in your kitchen to figure out the right storage components for you. Pullouts, rollouts and swing-outs will efficiently organize your stuff and make things easier to find and grab.

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Hardworking Sink

Designers often recommend giving extra consideration to elements that you interact with the most. In a kitchen, that can be a lot of things, but the kitchen sink is one area that always sees a lot of action. So it makes sense to put a little more effort into designing the sink area and choosing components.

These days, many sink manufacturers offer designs called workstations, which feature add-ons such as cutting boards, strainers, and prep bowls. 

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Layered Lighting

Different tasks in a kitchen call for different kinds of lighting. Cooking at the stove, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, chatting with friends, doing homework, displaying collectibles - these all require a specific light source. 

This might include recessed ceiling lights for ambient light, spotlights to illuminate important work areas like the sink and range, pendant lights to light an island or peninsula, and windows to let in natural light during the day.

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Perhaps no design feature in recent memory has changed kitchen design more than the island. Indeed, it's hard to deny the benefit of a kitchen island. It adds extra countertop surface and storage and creates a spot for conversation, homework, and meals. It can be a location for a cooktop, a dishwasher or a prep sink, and it often provides that crucial touch point that completes an efficient work triangle. 


Quality Cooking Appliances

A kitchen is meant for cooking. And your range - or cooktop and oven - will be the most important component for cooking meals. Think about how often you interact with a range and how its function affects the quality of your meals and the ease with which you create them. That's why many pros suggest you don't skimp on quality when it comes to selecting a range and other cooking appliances.

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Custom Vent Hood

A ventilation hood removes cooking odors, steam and grease from the air in your kitchen. But because the appliance sits at or just above eye level, it's also an important visual element in the space. Many designers take it as an opportunity to create a stylish focal point, and going custom is often the way to go.

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