01/14/2015 08:54 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

4 Absolute Kitchen Necessities to Consider

When you're looking to renovate or redesign your home, it's important to look at the kitchen. You spend a lot of time in this room. So if it's worn down, cramped or in need of repairs, consider what investments will fit your lifestyle when planning your kitchen remodeling budget.

Here are some absolute kitchen necessities to keep in mind if you're designing or renovating a kitchen:

#1 Ample Space

Photo courtesy of DesignMine Private Gallery
Photo courtesy of The Original Mr. Cabinet Care in Anaheim, CA

The number one requirement in a kitchen is cooking space -- room to move around so you can cook, clean and easily prepare meals. If your kitchen is too small, it may be hard getting from one counter to another without bumping into something; a spacious kitchen makes it easier for one or more cooks to prepare food without a problem.

Not everyone will be able to expand a kitchen into another room. If you're strapped for space, you can reorganize a small kitchen by removing clutter. Or, if your countertops are particularly bulky, their width can be shortened to make more room. An irregularly shaped kitchen can be redesigned to better match the work triangle design in which cooking is easily done between the cooktop, sink and fridge.

#2 High-End Appliances

Photo courtesy of DesignMine Private Gallery
Photo courtesy of DesignMine Private Gallery

Appliances directly impact how long it takes to prepare food. If you're renovating your kitchen, invest in lasting, high-end, energy-efficient appliances. If your kitchen is small and space is limited, you should at least have an oven, a stovetop and a refrigerator. These are the basics required to cook delicious meals at home. If you aren't keen on kitchen clean-up, consider getting a flat surface cooktop so you can avoid cleaning up a mess underneath the surface elements.

#3 Plenty of Storage

Photo courtesy of Renowow! in Toronto, ON
Photo courtesy of Koehler Construction in Lancaster, PA

Pots, pans, spices, dishes, silverware -- you never know how much storage you're going to need in the kitchen, and it's a hassle when there isn't enough. Then, you have to cram everything into tight spaces, making it hard to find the appliance you need to make that special meal. So when it's time to renovate your kitchen, make sure you have ample storage space for everything. Maybe make your pantry a walk-in closet, or invest in new cabinets that can hold more items. You should be left with extra storage space, rather than fighting to fit everything in.

#4 Bright Lighting

Photo courtesy of Matt DeWitt Photography in Westminster, CO
Photo courtesy of Elkabetz, Inc. in San Jose, CA

Install plenty of lighting in your renovated kitchen to avoid bumping into counters or dropping dishes. Also consider replacing any hanging lamps with recessed lighting, so you can maximize kitchen space and avoid bumping your head unnecessarily. Installing LED lighting will increase the energy efficiency of your kitchen, whether it's installed in the ceiling or under cabinets to add extra ambience to the room. You want the kitchen to be bright and warm as you prepare meals, especially if it's adjoining the dining area. That way everyone feels at home.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine