Kitchens. They’re amazing spaces. They can be visually stunning. They must be total workhorses. They’re quite often the heart of the home. But they can also accumulate a lot of CRAP.
As I work to not only design but also fully outfit the kitchen for the Hood Canal Cottage, I’m starting completely from scratch. No hand-me-down casserole dishes, no knives I’ve carted around since college, no random herb scissors that I’ve never ever used. For once, I get to hand-select every tool and every object that comes into the space.
With that total blank slate, I find myself often thinking (ok, obsessing) about what I want this kitchen to have. As an avid cook, as we probably all are coming through Covid, I want kitchen tools that are really pretty, but also highly functional. And nothing else.
This kitchen, designed by Our Food Stories out of a refurbished old schoolhouse in the middle of the German countryside, is a total mood. Featuring deVol kitchen cupboards, tiles, shelves, light fixtures, hardware and more. This kitchen is certainly a showcase for the many of the pieces on my list of must-have kitchen tools – and of course, it does so beautifully.
This space immediately transports you to an idyllic rural retreat. I imagine walking through overgrown gardens, picking fresh roses and making multi-course Sunday lunches here.
I love how this kitchen keeps so many key kitchen tools close at hand. While I might not be doing quite as many open shelves at Hood Canal, there is a lot to be said for having key tools within arms reach.
There’s nothing that drives me crazier than a poorly outfitted kitchen. But an overcrowded kitchen can be equally crazy-making. You have to strike that balance.
For me, the key kitchen tools I turn to time and again include one good set of pots and pans, a cast iron skillet, a good set of wooden spoons and spatulas, a top notch cutting board (or several) and then all those little tools that you need when you’re in the middle of pulling together a recipe – measuring cups, knives, peelers, strainers, graters, zesters – all the speciality things that let you add the finer components of a dish.
Those speciality tools are the kinds of things that far too many kitchens lack. Or they’re the big bulky OXOX ones you get at a grocery store that feel chunky in my hand and will just clog up my limited drawer space in the new kitchen. She gonna be cute, but she’s not going to be big.
As the weeks have progressed, I’ve been slowly but surely amassing my ultimate kitchen wish-list. Each kitchen tool, appliance, or serving piece needs to have a very critical purpose and look damn good while doing it.
I thought I’d share my wishlist with you. It’s certainly not comprehensive. As I cook every evening some other thing in my San Francisco kitchen makes me think oh yes, I have to find the beautiful version of this for Hood Canal. But all the extraneous stuff I have in my SF kitchen also makes me want to pull my hair out. I’m constantly digging for my one favorite knife or pan or bowl.
I hope you find something below you’ve been searching for. If you spot a key kitchen tool that I’m still missing, please tell me in comments! I consider my ultimate quest to outfit the ideal kitchen.
I’m also regularly adding favorites for the kitchen in the Apartment 34 SHOP so be sure to check it out too!
SHOP KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
all images by Our Food Stories