One of the main requirements for my dream house kitchen is a little command centre. This will be a place where I can store my cookbooks, sort my mail, pin up little notes, and set up my laptop for TV watching while cooking. I think a little command centre is a perfect addition to any kitchen, even if all you can spare is a nook of counter space. You’ll be able to keep your kitchen-related items nearby, but safely stored!
A clean surface
No one wants to look at piles of junk when they’re in the kitchen. Leaving even a small mess on your surface can lead to turning it into a dumping ground. Keep everything organised and tidy, and you’ll feel a lot calmer.
Whether you opt for closed cupboards or open shelving, you’ll need a place to store things. Cookbooks, photographs, and more decorative serveware can be kept here for decor and ease of access.
A good view (if possible)
If you’re lucky enough to have space in front of a window, take full advantage of it by setting your desk up here. You’ll get the natural light, be able to see outside while you work, and even have a window open for a fresh breeze.
A solid chair
This is the image that’s floated around my ‘dream house’ folders for years now. I love how comfy the chair looks! I’d want something less office-y for my kitchen, and something sturdy and strong means that I’d be able to stand on it to reach high cabinets.
A chalk- or pinboard
A command centre always needs a place for keeping notes, schedules, phone numbers, and menus. A chalkboard is great for writing lists and meal plans, and a pinboard is versatile. Both are great options, it just depends on your requirements.
Putting lights under your cabinet means that you have a light source that will shine down directly onto your desk. While lamps are just as functional, undermount lights means that you can keep your surface cleaner, and you won’t have to worry about plugging things in.
Slots for sorting mail
Everybody gets mail. For adults, it’s usually bills. Having slots means that you can quickly sort your mail into categories: bills, school notices, junk mail and mailers, newspapers, pen pal letters for kids, and a place to store your own letter writing supplies. It keeps things from getting mixed up, and the cubbies always look cute.
The proper kind of outlets
For spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries, you have to take certain precautions with your outlets. Specially made outlets called GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) or RCD (residual current device) are required for areas that are at risk of wetness. These automatically stop power when they get wet, so that there are no risks of electrocution.
A charging station
Keep your cords out of sight by hiding them in a drawer. Whenever you need to charge something, you can pop your device into the drawer and let it charge without being distracted by you. This is a good option for kids, because you can check to see that nothing has disappeared into bedrooms at night.
The infamous junk drawer
Have a drawer for junk. No, I’m serious. Having a drawer dedicated to things like stray pens, batteries, hair ties, and notepads is an essential. You can pop some plastic containers into the drawer to keep everything organised, but everyone needs a drawer for all the random clutter that needs to be stored.
A paper shredder
In the modern day and age, a paper shredder is an essential for making documents unreadable before you throw them out. This can save you from credit card fraud and identity theft. Most paper shredders are small enough to tuck neatly inside of a cupboard, and you can pull it out whenever you need it.
I’m a big fan of matching hardware in kitchens. If you can’t find the same piece as your other cabinets or drawers, get something that goes nicely and is in the same finish. If you like mixed metals, you can give it a go, but I find that matching your hardware makes everything look harmonious and gives it a sense of coherency.
Maybe not an essential for everybody, but I think keeping fresh flowers on your command centre is a lovely touch. Your flowers will be safe from kitchen heat, and you can still admire them from wherever you’re standing. Bonus if they’re fragrant and can block out any not-so-lovely kitchen smells!
Counter top organisation
Place a utensil holder or small box on your surface to corral your pens, pencils, and other items that you want at hand. Boxes are a good option for storing stamps, notecards, important documents, and spare change.
Just because this is a functional space doesn’t mean you should skimp on dressing it up. Keep to your kitchens theme and use an array of items. Baskets can be doubled for hidden storage, and it’s a good way to store your set of cute vases so that you can have them on display.
A bit of personality
This kitchen has a huge space for the desk and shelves, and it’s perfect for styling according to your personality. Add in a pop of colour, things you’ve collected on holiday, products that have cool jars. This is a place where you can bring life to your kitchen, so don’t hold back.
If you have a landline phone, keep it here. You’ll be able to find it easily, sit down if you’re having a long conversation, and have access to paper for writing down notes. A lot of people don’t have a landline anymore, so maybe keep your phone dock here instead.
A place to file important papers
If you can, turn a drawer or two into a little filing drawer to keep all your important documents. It’s a handy spot for doing your bills and tucking them away securely. This may take a little planning, but metal filing cabinets are clunky and unappealing, so a sort-of hidden solution is great.
A box to store receipts in
Keep a container or box in one of your drawers for storing your receipts in. Personally, I like greeting card organisers so I can sort my receipts by type. This way, if I need to return something, I don’t have to dig through piles of clothing receipts to find one from the hardware store.
Your household binder or planner
Not many people keep a household binder, but it’s a great way to keep your home organised. You can add in things like meal plans, recipes, cleaning schedules, sports schedules, homework due dates, bill due dates, business card holders – the list is endless! Tuck it away in your kitchen command centre so that it’s in the perfect spot for referring to.
A kitchen command centre is more than just a desk in your kitchen. It’s a place where organisation and neatness stems, where you can sit to check Facebook while you’re drinking morning coffee, and a perfect spot for kids to do homework while you supervise. If you have the space or can create it, I definitely recommend thinking about putting in a command centre!
Header image is via AJM Architectural Designs Inc.