My personal recommendations on the top kitchen must haves is finally a thing.

I put this series together 4 years after we finally moved into our custom build.

Our kitchen is my favorite room in our home.

It needs to be since I spend a considerable amount of time there…….sometimes all day every day.

No Joke 🙂

So, over this next series of posts, I will walk you through ALL my favorites.

These are the ” I would not change it” EVER elements we included in our kitchen.

I will also outline some things I wish I had never done.

Throughout this series of posts, I will cover the things I forgot about………

And, seriously regret that I overlooked these must haves.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on certain links and purchase a product I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The Trash Can Kitchen Must Have

First up on the top kitchen must haves is our trash can.

The trash can was David’s idea. He talked about it for months and months.

Maybe years…..

It drove me insane the amount of thought he put into the trash.

David is a genius.

Who knew that a trash can would be the first element I want y’all to know about?

This trash can is life changing amd is definitely a MUST HAVE.


It is HUGE!

It is hidden.

The best part…….it is on a removable dolly.

Except when I want to roll it out on those magical wheels and take it anywhere in the house.

…..the fridge to get rid of week old leftovers.

…….my baking station to wipe all the spilled flour and sugar straight into the glorious trash.

…..the sink where I water and hack on my houseplants.

…….all of it goes into the giant magical hidden rolling gem.


The Appliance Garages

If you are an avid baker, coffee drinker, microwave user, and/or kid owner…….appliance garages are a must have.

We incorporated appliance garages to hide our Kitchenaid mixer, the toaster, the microwave, and our coffee station.

I can’t stand kitchen appliance clutter.

I would much rather clutter the counters with all my beloved house plants I keep hauling home from HEB grocery.

The Stand Mixer

To be serious, having the mixer hidden in a cabinet right next to my baking station is so handy.

I just pull it out when I am ready to mix together all my ingredients.

Then, I just push it back into hiding until I am ready to use it again.

Kitchenaid stand mixer in cabinet - J Dub By Design™

The Toaster

The kids love the toaster and panini maker.

I despise the crumbs everywhere.

We keep the toaster and panini maker hidden behind a door with their very own hidden plug on a crumb catching pull out shelf.

When the kids are not using these appliances, the door stays shut, until I am ready to vacuum the crumbs off the shelf with my handheld vacuum.

The Microwave

The kids also love the microwave.

We keep it hidden behind a set of cabinet doors.

That cabinet also has built in pull out shelving to coral all the disposable product essentials……paper plates, napkins, and utensils.

The Coffee Maker

Our Miel coffee maker is hidden behind two large cabinet doors on the opposite side of the microwave.

The cabinet also contains all the cups, coffee beans, and extras one needs to make coffee.

I love it because once I am done with coffee for the day, I shut the doors, and BAM.

No clutter.

Guests also love it.

Everything they need to make their own special cup of joe or tea is housed in that cabinet beneath the coffee maker.

The mugs, spoons, beans, tea bags, sugar……

They can help themselves whatever time they roll out of bed without depending on me.

The Copper Sinks

If you follow me on Instagram, I like to brag about the fact that I have moved 17 times in my adult life.

I have lived in many houses. Some I have built from scratch….some I have gutted.

None have I stayed long.

In two of those houses, I used a copper apron front sink.

So, obviously, next up on the top kitchen must haves is a copper sink.

two copper kitchen sinks under windows - J Dub By Design™

I love copper for so many reasons.

First…..copper has personality plus.

You can not NOT notice a copper sink.

Second, they are extremely durable.

No chips EVER.

Third, they are natural germ repellers.

Fourth, a copper sink is unbelievably easy to maintain.

We have two of these sinks installed in the countertops under our back bay of windows.

These two sinks are my workhorses.

One of them…..I use exclusively for the dishes.

The other one…..I use exclusively to water our houseplants.

I would like to say that I planned it that way.

However, I did not.

But, including two sinks in the kitchen sure does come in handy if you are a plant lover like me.

And, two sinks really come in handy when you have over 50 houseplants to water each week.

Spice Storage Must Have

David and I both LOVE to cook.

9 times out of 10, if we have to choose going out for dinner or eating in……we go with eating in.

In the interest of full transparency, David and I also live in the middle of nowhere.

“It’s just not worth the drive” comes out of our mouths alot.

Back to the spice storage…..

Because we live in the middle of nowhere and both love to cook, we need lots of spices.

We buy in bulk whenever we can.

We included a built-in pull out spice storage cabinet next to our range to hold those containers.

And, I LOVE it.

It is so easy to pull out the spices I need, and then slide the cabinet back in place.

Please take note – I do not keep my spices in alphabetical order…..that would be weird.

Have you not seen Sleeping with the Enemy???

Anyway, we keep the ones we use the most on the bottom shelf and then work our way up from there.

Open Shelving

open shelving in kitchen - J Dub By Design™

Between the two of us, David and I have a fabulous collection of white dishes.

If I am being honest, David brought way more to our union than I did.

So, we installed open shelving around our built in refrigerator.

During the design process, we decided to display the plethora of white dishes all out in open view.

We made the shelving adjustable in height so that we could also display the the big serving pieces.

This way, instead of wondering where a certain piece might be stored, I can see all of them quickly and easily.

The best part…….nothing gets lost or forgotten behind a cabinet door.

A Don’t Do It

In the list of top kitchen must haves, the following review would be my top “don’t do it”.

Years ago, I owned a custom bedding and drapery business in the North Dallas area.

Because of this, I was constantly in my customers’ homes measuring and installing window treatments and bedding.

I saw many beautiful kitchens with many glorious must haves.

Several of these homeowners had included a Scotsman “Sonic” ice maker in their kitchen.

This quiet high end ice maker made the perfect crushed ice. It also never seemed to run out of ice.

So, we made the decision to include this appliance in our kitchen.

Awesome is not even an adequate description – the kids and their friends flocked to it.

They would patiently wait in line for a scoop of their very own “Sonic” ice.

That overpriced piece of crap died after 2 years.

Thankfully, we were able to get our money back.

We thought it was a fluke, and were about to use our refund to purchase a replacement.

Then, David just happened to look at some of the reviews he found buried on-line.

Everyone LOVES the ice.

MANY, MANY people complained about the short life span of this very expensive unit.

So, even if we bought a new one, the same thing would likely happen.

We did not re-purchase.

Now I have a dead ice maker and custom built unusable space in my kitchen.

My advice…..

If you are looking into the Scotsman Brilliant Series nugget ice maker, do your research and consider going a different route.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s a wrap on my “Top Kitchen Must Haves Series” Part 1.

Obviously, anyone and everyone will have different needs when building the kitchen of their dreams.

I hope you found my recommendations helpful in your exciting new build journey.

Stay tuned next week, when I talk about the next round of my personal must haves……… baking, seating, hardwood floors, and another splurge I will never regret!

Looking for More?

Have you seen the old leather top bow front desk I just refreshed? It is amazing and I can’t believe how easy the transformation went!

If you are looking for a unique way to add flair to a piece of furniture, check out my Anthro nightstand dupe!

Did you see the DIY Topiary I made for Valentine’s Day? You can make this for any occasion……Mother’s Day anyone?

Are you looking for a way to incorporate some easy real greenery into your home? Check out my post on all the ways you can style air plants. I also give you some helpful tips on how to care for them.

My before and after Bedroom Refresh takes my college kiddos bedroom up a few notches.

I created a Footed Stool using materials I already had laying around my workroom. You won’t believe what I used for the legs of the stool.

Did you see my Pampas Grass Christmas Tree?

Instead of a tree, you can also use a round sphere and create a totally different shape for any season of the year.

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