If you spend a lot of time cooking at home, you really want your kitchen to work with you rather than against you. Countertop design is one of the key elements that determines a kitchen's functionality. In addition to including plenty of counter space in your design, here is a look at three useful design options to consider including.
A Built-In Cutting Board
Instead of having to reach for a cutting board every time you want to slice or dice something, why not build a cutting board into your counter top design? Built-in cutting boards are simply portions of the counter that are made from wood rather than from the material you choose for the rest of the counter top. Although you can place your cutting board anywhere you prefer, many people choose to put it next to the sink. This way, you can wash your veggies, slice them, and toss the scraps down the disposal without having to walk across the kitchen even once.
A Trash Hole
If you hate having to open the cupboard or walk across the room every time you want to throw something away, consider having a trash hole built into your counter top. This is simply a hole in the counter, centered over a lower-level cabinet into which you place a trash can. When you have something to throw away, just drop it down the hole and it's out of your way.
A Built-In Hot Pad
Have you every wished you had a place to set dishes to keep them warm while you're waiting to serve dinner? A built-in counter top hot pad may be just the thing for you. This snazzy feature is almost like a burner, but it does not get quite that hot. Flip a switch, and it warms up just enough to keep the dish you set on top of it from cooling down. While this may not be the ideal feature if you have young children who could burn their hands on the hot pad, it certainly does come in handy when cooking for large groups and trying to juggle multiple dishes.
Before you settle on a counter top design for your home, make sure you spend plenty of time considering your options. These days, you don't just have to choose between laminate and granite -- there are so many additional features, such as the ones above, that can turn an ordinary counter top into a truly impressive masterpiece.