These days there are loads of kitchen accessories and mechanisms you can get for your kitchen that make life that little bit easier. This can be more accessible storage solutions or simply fun gadgets to show off to your family and friends.
These items can be planned in with a designer at the start of your kitchen renovation or retrofitted to an existing kitchen at any time to give your space an upgrade.
Here are some of my favourite kitchen accessories I think you’ll love, whether you’re renovating or just upgrading your space.
We all know you can never have too many plug sockets in a kitchen. It’s always a good idea to add an extra one or two on the wall around your countertops, but what happens if you have an island and don’t have a wall to plug anything into?
This is where the pop-up socket is the perfect solutions. In my opinion, it’s an absolute must – you have to have somewhere to plug items into on a kitchen island. You’ll most likely be using your island to prep meals and will need to plug in mixers, blenders or other small appliances.
Most kitchen islands are also used as a social space with seating around them. This could be for a friend to chat while you cook, children doing homework or just you sat in the morning with your coffee. Whatever the use, you’re going to need some power points to plug in phone chargers, laptops and every other bit of tech you have.
When it comes to pop up sockets there are two types that I always recommend. The first is the most common looking and more cost-effective pop-up socket. This type rises from the worktop surface when you need it, and then is pushed back down to hide when not in use. This Pop-up Socket is a great choice as it comes with USB ports and is available in a few different finishes.
The other type (and my personal favourite) is the Evoline BackFlip. This pop-up socket sits much shallower in your work surface and therefore doesn’t take up space in the cupboard below. You simply push the top of the socket and it will flip over, revealing the sockets and USB point. It does cost a little more, but I think it’s a lot more stylish.
2. Corner storage solution – Le-mans (Kidney bean)
Corner storage solutions, such as this Le Mans Corner System, are perfect for those difficult to reach corners in the kitchen. If you’ve ever had one of those corner cabinets that are basically dead space and you don’t know what’s back there, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Having a corner storage solution can make far better use of every bit of space you have. This makes it ideal for small kitchens where storage space is at a premium. The mechanisms pull all the way out, making it very accessible and easy to use.
Gone are the days of blindly reaching into the corner trying to feel your way around which can is the one you need.
Just remember, there are different types of Le Mans Corner Systems. You’ll need to know if you require a left or right-hand version as well as the size of your door opening and the size of the corner cupboard itself.
Top tip: check your cabinets against the description to make sure you are buying the correct one for your kitchen. Not sure how to do this? Ask your fitter or designer.
3. Cutlery tray
Many kitchens these days come with a plastic cutlery tray as a complementary addition to the unit you purchased. However, this extendable Bamboo Cutlery Tray is a much nicer addition to your new kitchen. It’s a must-have if you didn’t get anything included or don’t already have a cutlery tray or if you want to complete the stylish look of your new kitchen.
I particularly like this cutlery tray as not only does the bamboo look great but the tray is extendable to fit all types of drawer size up to 600mm wide cabinets.
If your drawer is wider than 600mm, consider getting two and adjusting them to fit, or you could fill any empty space with some accessories such as this knife block.
Integrated bins are becoming much more requested when I’m designing a new kitchen. This is especially true for simple, clean contemporary kitchens and customers don’t want anything out on show.
There are lots of integrated bins on the market in all different shapes and sizes. From small bins that fix onto the back of a door or slide under your kitchen sink to much larger full-size bins fitted into their own cabinet, there’s a bin out there for you.
This Wesco 2x 32L bin is probably one of the most popular choices. It fits in a 400mm wide cabinet or larger.
There is a wide choice of sizes and combinations of bins available, so think about how many bins and what sizes you need and plan them in accordingly.
While integrated bins offer a clean looking solution, they will usually be smaller in size than your average freestanding bin. If you’re a large family generating a fair amount of waste, you still may be better off with some good-sized free standing bins.
Top tip: remember to consider your bins when designing the layout of your kitchen. You don’t want to forget and end up plonking them on the end of your beautiful new cabinets, spoiling the overall look of your kitchen.
If you’ve spent any time shopping around for kitchens, you may have heard the phrase ‘drawers are more useful than doors’. This simply refers to the fact that you can pull out drawers to see everything inside the cupboard. You don’t need to get down on the floor and rummage around looking to see what is in the back of a cupboard.
With these KuKoo Slide-Out Wire Storage Drawers, you can upgrade any of your existing cupboards into a far more useful pull out storage system. Each drawer can hold between 15-20kg so you can load them up with all your cans and larder goods. That means you can have 2 kg flour, 2 kg rice, 2 kg sugar, and lots of canned goods, and still have plenty of room for your kids (or your!) treats.
These slide out drawers are perfect if you want to upgrade an existing kitchen and may even work out cheaper than a standard drawer cabinet. This is a good idea if you are getting a new kitchen but want to keep costs down.
Storage drawers are available in different widths to suit 300 – 600mm wide cabinets. Remember to check your dimensions before ordering!
This pull-down storage rack is a great addition for those cupboards that are a little bit too high to reach or to help out the shorter chefs among us. They also make the best use of the high shelves in your wall cabinets.
Perfect for small tins or spices, this rack simply pulls out and down towards you giving you access to items and storage you may otherwise have needed a stool to reach.
Non-slip mats might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but trust me – you’ll soon realise how great they are. It may only be a small purchase, but it will make a big difference to your day-to-day kitchen life and user experience. They stop plates, bowls and pans sliding and smashing into each other every time you open and close the drawer.
The mats also serve to protect the bottom of your drawers and can be taken out and cleaned or replaced when getting a little worn or dirty.
These non-slip mats are a great little addition if you don’t already have anything, or your new kitchen drawers don’t include them. You can cut the rolls of matting to suit the size of any drawer.
Having dedicated under cabinet lights is fantastic and a must have for dark kitchens. However, buying factory fitted lights can be quite expensive.
If you want to save a little money, or just want to add some lights to an existing kitchen, these slim profile LEDs are a perfect solution. At only 6mm thick, these lights sit very discreetly underneath your wall cabinet and are barely noticeable.
The lights are LEDs meaning they will outlast any halogen light with a 30,000-hour lifespan and will cost far less in energy to run.
Top tip: make sure you choose the right colour for your LED lights. Warm, white or cool will change the mood of your lighting.
9. Trivet (Pot stand)
Trivets, or pot stands, are another small accessory, but one that will certainly help you out day after day.
I love anything Joseph Joseph and this foldable pot stand is no exception. This stretch silicone pot stand pulls out to be able to fit multiple pans or large dishes and can withstand temperatures up to 340C / 640F. It neatly folds away so you can store in a drawer when you don’t need it.
After spending lots of money on your lovely new worktop you’ll want to protect it.
Whether its gorgeous quartz or natural timber, you should never put a hot pan directly down onto the work surface. This can cause thermal shock and cracking (quartz) or burning and marking (timber).
The only surface you can put a hot pan down on is Dekton or Neolith. If you’re unfamiliar with these, have a quick read of my post What Are Dekton & Neolith?
You may also like my post:
Should You Buy a Food Waste Disposal Unit? – The Pros and Cons
A food waste disposal unit is a must-have appliance for the modern kitchen. A waste disposal unit doesn’t just offer practical, contemporary convenience; it provides an environmentally responsible answer to the growing problem of food waste.
The machine effortlessly grinds food waste into tiny particles that are automatically flushed away down a standard kitchen drain into the local waste treatment system or a septic tank. You save time dealing with messy food waste that would otherwise encourage smells and germs.
InSinkErator is a fantastic brand for waste disposal units and the InSinkErator 46AS is the unit I recommend the most. It has more than enough power to deal with your average day-to-day waste and comes with an air switch to install into your worktop to switch the unit on and off.
It has a great balance of power and performance for the price, all in a compact unit easily installed underneath your sink.
If you have a bigger household and need a bit more power to tackle your food waste, then the InSinkErator Evolution 200 is a perfect choice. With a larger grinding chamber and 60% quieter than standard units, the Evolution 200 sits towards the top of InSinkErator’s range.
Having a boiling water tap in your kitchen is a bit of a luxury as they don’t come cheap. However, the time saved and ease of use once you have one is incredible. I can’t think of a single client that doesn’t absolutely love their boiling water tap.
Gone are the days of waiting around for the kettle to boil. It’s now hello instant cups of tea and coffee! It’s also great for speeding up pasta prep, sanitising baby products, and heating bottles.
All boiling water taps will have some form of a water tank that you place under the sink cabinet, so remember you will need space for this. They also all come with some form of child safety mechanism, so you can’t simply turn the boiling water straight on.
My favourite brand of boiling water tap (and the original) is the Quooker. They have fantastic build quality and are the only tap on the market that can guarantee 100C boiling water.
If the Quooker is a little bit too expensive, this boiling water tap from InSinkErator is a great alternative.
These are just some of my favourite accessories you might not have thought about. They also make simple but effective upgrades to your current or new kitchen.
It’s a cliche, but we all say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. As such, it’s the perfect space to invest in – be that emotionally or financially. Take care of your kitchen, buy the extra little additions, and fall in love every time you walk in the room.
If you are about to undergo a new kitchen renovation then check out my post on a temporary kitchen set up. This will (hopefully) make the process a lot smoother!
If you’re just starting out on your new kitchen journey and are in the early planning stages, then why not read my top tips from a kitchen designer?