If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, it’s a good idea to make it fun and functional. Our kitchen is a place I love, largely because of some useful tools and amusing decor. These often useful and sometimes unusual additions make our kitchen a room we enjoy, and hopefully highlight our personalities as well. Some of these items may make unique gifts for a person in your life who spends a large amount of time in the kitchen and already seems to have everything. (If you make a purchase using the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission, but it won’t affect your price and I have not accepted any money for mentioning these products. Thanks for your support!)
I use aprons all the time, and my favorite is my cobbler’s apron. This is the best type you could wear, hands down. For many years I never bothered with an apron, until one day while trying to get yet another stain out of a shirt, I finally saw the light. The one I’m wearing here was a gift and now I LOVE aprons. Sometimes I even wear them when I’m eating, again to save aggravation in the laundry room. This particular type of apron has snaps down the front, so it’s very easy to put on and take off, plus it has pockets. It makes me look like an old lady and adds about 30 pounds to my appearance, but it’s worth it for the convenience and the performance! Cobbler apron
Swim goggles are a necessity when chopping onions! I learned this trick from a movie a few years ago – wear swim goggles when you chop onions and no tears. It absolutely works and I’ll never cut an onion again without them. Also not the most attractive look, but neither is running mascara and a red, drippy nose and burning eyes. Plus my husband and kids laugh whenever they see me wearing these in the kitchen, so I’m bringing joy to others! Swim goggles
I also depend on our splash guard or “fry wall.” We just got this and my husband loves it even more than I do, because he’s the one who usually cleans the stovetop. It’s very handy and keeps all the splatter at bay. Fry wall
Our garlic peeler is used daily and makes me laugh every time I see it because of its back story. Garlic is a staple in our house and my husband once bought me a peeler just like this one. He was super excited to give it to me. You could see in his eyes he thought he found the most thoughtful and perfect gift for me…I thought it was dumb. I didn’t say that, of course. I’m not a cruel person! I thanked him and threw it in a drawer and it sat there unused for YEARS. One day I decided to clean out the overflowing drawer and the peeler was the first thing to go. The very next weekend my husband and I are cooking a meal together and he decides he wants to use the never-once-used-for-years garlic peeler! I had to confess that I got rid of it. He was crushed (more than the garlic I was slapping with the side of my knife.) So this past Christmas I found a two pack of garlic peelers online and put them in his stocking. As a result of my guilt, I made the effort to actually use the peeler, and low and behold, I love it! It is a wonderful and simple little tool and it makes me laugh that I spent all this time resisting a good thing. Garlic peeler
My salt bowl makes me feel like a Food Channel chef. It looks so sleek and professional sitting on the counter ready for me to grab a pinch of salt. It gives me confidence in the kitchen! Here’s a similar one on Amazon: Salt bowl
You must have a fun cookie jar in your kitchen! Not only does it serve the purpose of holding yummy treats, but it also makes your home seem warm and inviting, because it makes people think of cookies. We call ours “Joan.” We found her at a local, artsy home goods store, but Amazon also has some cute options: Owl cookie jar
This stovetop coffee maker was in every Airbnb we stayed in on a dream trip to Italy a few years ago. I love having one at home, because it not only makes great coffee, but also reminds me of our magnificent vacation. You can have one too: Bialetti
A cool fruit bowl on the counter top not only looks good, but also encourages the kids to grab a piece of fruit. I also LOVE my old fashioned butter dish. I leave my butter out on the counter so it’s always soft, therefore I MUST have a pretty covered dish.
Amazon has a ton of good fruit bowl selections. Here’s a nice one: Cherry Serving Bowl
Amazon also has some really cute butter dishes. Here’s one that would look great left out on a counter: Rooster butter dish
These crying baby heads are so weird, but they make me laugh. Not surprisingly, I have no link for purchasing these. I bought them from a local artist at an “odd mall,” which was a pop-up arts and craft festival geared towards odd and unusual merchandise. I encourage you to have something unusual and unexpected in your home to make you giggle. They are quite the conversation starters! You can find something similar on Etsy, if you’re interested in crying babies.
This is my newest addition – a woman living my dream, lounging on a bed of pasta. I got this print from Etsy and it was worth every cent, because I crack up whenever I see it. I am laughing right now as I write this. Just look at her! So happy cuddling her pasta!
My veggie people sit on the windowsill and smile at me. They watch me do dishes, making the seemingly endless task slightly more tolerable. You can find these on eBay and Etsy.
My microwave popcorn maker was a gift and I use it several times a week. In the past, I would cook popcorn on the stovetop, which is also delicious, because I once read that microwave popcorn has a lot of chemicals in it. This microwave popper is even better than stovetop popcorn. It is so easy, requires no oil, and is done in 2 minutes. Drizzle a little truffle oil and salt and I’m in heaven. The perfect snack. Micro-pop
If you’re going to make popcorn, you must have chopsticks! I once read about a study (where the researchers obviously had too much time on their hands!) that found eating popcorn with chopsticks makes people happier. That sounds crazy, but it was such an easy thing to try and we already had some nice chopsticks, so why not? I passed them out to my family one movie night and now we do not eat popcorn in the house without chopsticks! They definitely slow you down, which is probably a good thing, and they honestly make me feel happier. Natural Wood Chopsticks
This hangs above my kitchen sink and used to be in my grandmother’s kitchen before she passed away. I love it because it makes me think of her. You can find something similar on EBay or Amazon: Kitchen Madonna
These items help make our kitchen functional and unique. They all serve a purpose and they all make my life just a little easier and more joyful as well. What items do you consider must-haves in your kitchen?