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The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s where you do the important work of feeding your family and entertaining your friends—and you want it to look great and feel comfortable. Beautiful cabinets, matching appliances and hardware, simple decor, and more can offer convenience while you cook and set the tone for your kitchen and your entire home.

Are you looking to renovate or build your dream kitchen? There are numberless features to choose from, ranging from the essential, to the intriguing, to the frivolous. To help you navigate the options, we’ve selected 7 must-have design elements for your beautiful, modern kitchen.

1. Layers of Lighting

Whether you’re mincing tiny garlic cloves or showing off an elaborate birthday cake, ample kitchen lighting is your best friend. Natural light is best, so plan for plenty of window space. Ensure light throughout the kitchen with recessed lighting fixtures in the ceiling to brighten the room and hanging pendants over the island or bar for style. Don’t forget under-cabinet lighting—it will make your kitchen pop and give you greater visibility.

2. Single-Basin Sink

Unless you wash most dishes by hand regularly, a large sink with one basin is the way to go. A trendy yet timeless look to consider is the farmhouse sink, a vintage piece that harkens to the frontier days while offering modern charm and function. The farmhouse and other single-basin options are generally roomy enough to soak your biggest pots and pans and bring a look of simplicity

3. Ample Working Space

If you spend a lot of time entertaining or cooking, you’ll want as much counter space as possible. A large island can maximize your working space, offering a home to your stovetop or oven, an additional prep sink, and a spot to prep, serve, and entertain.

4. A Place for Everything

Fill your kitchen with beautiful cabinets to get the look you want—cabinetry is the most dominant feature in the room, and you want it to be quality, look great, and offer functional features. Creative cabinet features like a pullout pantry, rotating corner storage, and appliance garages will keep your tools organized and accessible.

5. Counter-Depth Refrigerator

A sleek, stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator sits flush with standard-sized cabinets, offering a clean, built-in look to your modern kitchen. Based on your needs, consider a separate fridge and freezer to maximize storage.

6. Warming Drawer

Great for both entertaining and a busy family, a warming drawer offers functionality to the busy home cook. If your centerpiece casserole is ready to come out of the oven but you still need to toss the green salad, slip the main course into your warming drawer to it keep nice and warm until you’re ready to serve.

7. Trash and Recycling Center

There’s nothing more unsightly in a kitchen than a giant, crusty trash can and overflowing recycling bin out in the open. Tuck your trash (and accompanying smells) away with a pullout drawer fitted with waste and recycling cans, along with refill can liners. Instead of an eyesore, your trash will simply blend in with your beautiful cabinets.

Your kitchen is one of the busiest places in your home. With a bit of help and some thought to the design, it can also become one of the most beautiful spaces. Take some time to see where your kitchen style could use an upgrade and have fun recreating your kitchen. Consider incorporating beautiful cabinets, storage, and lighting to get the space you’ve always dreamed of.