12 Kitchen Design Ideas that Make Cooking Easier

These chef-friendly features will give you the kitchen of your dreams.

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pot filler
Instagram / Delta Faucet

Pot filler

Sick of lugging giant pots of water from the sink to the stove? Consider a wall-mounted pot filler. This upscale kitchen accessory sits above the range and connects directly to your home’s water line. Installation requires opening up the walls, so save this splurge for your next kitchen remodel.

Put that pot filler to work and try one of our 5-star pasta recipes. 

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Kitchen Island wood butcher block top with stove, sink and counter in background
Shutterstock / Derek Brumby

Butcher block countertops

Meal prepping  just got a lot easier, thanks to butcher block countertops. This stylish material matches almost every kitchen design and doubles as a giant cutting board. Before you rush to the hardware store, keep in mind that butcher block can require substantial upkeep and will likely need to be treated once a year. Considering butcher block? You need to know these 5 things before you buy.

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magnetic knife rack

Magnetic knife rack

Knives are a kitchen essential, but they can be tricky to store. Knife blocks are bulky and take up counter space while tossing your sharp tools in a drawer is an accident waiting to happen. Enter the magnetic knife rack. This handy (and budget-friendly!)  gadget attaches to your wall or backsplash for safe, easy access.

You can buy this knife rack here.

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Picture of elegant kitchen furniture with solid wooden worktops
Shutterstock / Photographee.eu

Double sink

If your kitchen sink makes cooking a chore, consider a double sink. This handy feature makes it easy to multitask. You can rinse fresh produce, wash dirty dishes and fill pots without any interference.

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Dining room with chalkboard wall, wooden chest and kitchen cart
Shutterstock / Photographee.eu

Chalkboard wall

We love design ideas that blend fun with function—and a chalkboard wall is the perfect mix. You’ll be able to write down a grocery list, meal plan (like this easy 5-ingredient meal plan!) or recipe right where you can see it. And if the kids are in the kitchen before dinner? Distract them with a piece of chalk so you can continue cooking.

You can buy chalk paint here.

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kitchen island

Kitchen island

A portable island is an easy way to add additional storage and counter space to your kitchen. You’ll reap the same rewards as a remodel but without the high price tag. Islands come in a variety of sizes with various features, so it’s easy to find a piece that fits your kitchen’s style. Here are some kitchen island carts that will give you a ton of working space. Also check out these stylish and functional bar stools for kitchen islands.

Buy this cute (and functional!) island here.

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Modern new light interior of kitchen with white furniture and dining table
Shutterstock / Undrey

Floating storage

There’s nothing more frustrating than endlessly searching for a specific kitchen tool, only to find it hiding in the back of a cupboard. Make any cooking task a little easier by storing bakeware, dishware and more in plain sight. A set of floating shelves is a simple and stylish fix.

Up for the task of installing floating shelves? Buy a set here.

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Modern electric stainless steel kettle on a granite counter top against a ceramic background
Shutterstock / DD Images

Outlets where you need ’em

Most kitchen appliances require outlets to function, so keep electrical needs in mind when designing your dream kitchen. We recommend placing an outlet near all of your prep spaces—such as along the countertop or on an island—but local electrical code will dictate exact requirements. Consult an electrician before reaching for the toolbox.  

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Opened kitchen drawer with plates inside, a smart solution for kitchen storage and organizing.
Shutterstock / Raisa Suprun

Soft-close drawers

Avoid the dreaded sound of slamming drawers by adding soft-close hinges to your cabinets. The hardware is simple to install, and can make your kitchen a much friendlier place to work. Plus, you’ll protect your delicate dishes from shifting around the drawer as it closes.

You can find a set of soft close drawer slides here.

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bakers rack

Bakers rack

This smart storage idea keeps all of your necessities in one place, and can be tailored to fit any cooking needs. Avid canner? Use the rack to store mason jars, utensils, bulky pots and other canning supplies. Big baker? Stash cookie sheets, pie plates, specialty pans and more. No matter what you use it for,  your kitchen will benefit from a bakers rack.

Buy this bakers rack here.

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Luxury kitchen with the counter and stoves under lights near chimney
Shutterstock / JR-stock

Lots of lighting

Quality kitchen lighting is important for many reasons: it helps you read recipes on dreary days, it easily sets the mood for a party or cocktail hour and it makes your kitchen a more enjoyable place to be. When planning your kitchen, consider a blend of natural and artificial lighting. Natural light is determined by what Cardinal direction your kitchen faces, while artificial light comes in the form of fixtures.

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Baking ingredients placed on wooden table, ready for cooking. Concept of food preparation, white kitchen on background.
Shutterstock / Switlana Symonenko

Easy-to-clean surfaces

Every chef knows that cleanup is an essential part of the cooking process. Make the task a little easier by installing easy-to-clean kitchen surfaces, such as tile, stainless steel or laminate. When designing a space, pay attention to the materials you choose. After all, a material that looks Pinterest-worthy may end up being really difficult to maintain.

Up Next: This $250 Kitchen Cart Saved Me from Splurging on Cabinets

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.