Starting from scratch is always a challenge, especially if we’re talking about setting up your first kitchen. It’s one of the most important rooms in the house, a place where you’ll be spending a lot of time preparing delicious meals for yourself, your friends, and family, and it’s natural that you want it to be well-equipped and functional. Because this is your first kitchen, you want it to be perfect, but you’re still not sure what’s important and what can be lower on your priority list. We’re here to help you out by putting together a list of the most important things a kitchen should have.
The space for everything
First things first: you need to see how big your future kitchen is so you know how much space you have to work with. It’s pointless to go out and buy a huge fridge, freezer, and a stove only to discover that there’s no way they could fit into your kitchen. Check to see if there’s a kitchen aisle or a breakfast counter, see if there’s a pantry, whether there’s enough room for cabinets and whether or not you can bring in all the appliances you need. If you’re used to using a dishwasher, getting a kitchen that can’t accommodate one will mean that you’ll have to spend more time doing the dishes than you thought at first.
Let’s be honest, the three most commonly used items in every kitchen are the stove, the sink, and the fridge, but even though you’ll be using them all frequently, it doesn’t mean you should place them one next to another. On the other hand, if your kitchen is small, grouping these three elements together is a great way to save space and keep everything within reach. Many appliance brands such as Maytag have a good offer of appliances with different dimensions so you can find something that would be perfect for your kitchen no matter the size. If you have enough space, you might want to add a dishwasher too, as it’s useful and it will help you save time and money in the long run.
In addition to having a functioning stove and a fridge, you’ll need something to prepare your food in. There’s no need to buy bargain sets of pots and non-stick frying pans; instead, you could only use a deep sauté pan with a lid and a baking pan for your casserole. You’ll also need some knives, a cutting board, and some measuring cups and spoons. No kitchen is complete without a good old spatula and a can opener, but it’s also good to have tongs and a wooden spoon. You don’t need a huge set of knives, pots, and pans; after a while you’ll know what you use the most and what else you need, so there’s no need to spend a fortune in the beginning.
You already know that a dish without seasoning is boring and tasteless, no matter how much effort you put into preparing it. Herbs and spices are great to have in your kitchen, but going out and buying them every time you’re planning to cook can be a drag, so why not go ahead and grow your own right there in your kitchen? All you need are small flower pots or even mason jars and a nice sunny space on your counter or window sill and you’ll be able to grow your own mint, basil, coriander, and rosemary. Not only will your kitchen look more inviting, but every dish you prepare will also be more delicious because your herbs and spices will be freshly picked.
We’ve left kitchen linens for the end because people either forget about them or they go out and buy more than they need. Towels are the best; they’re great for drying dishes but they can be used for so much more: sweeping the countertop after cutting the bread, covering a bowl of freshly cut vegetables, and they make wonderful makeshift hot pads and trivets. Potholders are also important, especially if you’re a new cook, as you might need to practice more before you’re able to pull a sheet pan out of the oven using your kitchen towel.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to set up your first kitchen because you’re leaving for college or you’re just moved into your first apartment or a house, knowing what things you need to have around is always useful. It might take you a while to figure them out on your own, but when you have a useful list things get a lot easier. You might start from scratch, without a single knife or even a spatula to call your own, but by the time you finish, you’ll have all your essential equipment and you’ll know your way around your kitchen.