Designer Kitchen Gadgets You Won't Be Embarrassed to Leave on Your Counter

Have a love-hate relationship with your kitchen gadgets? Here are some you can love for life.
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Is your kitchen counter a no-fly zone and completely clutter free, or do you barely have room for a cutting board because you've got wall-to-wall gadgets?

There's a happy medium between the two -- you can have chic kitchen gadgets and appliances that you feel good about leaving on your countertops.

Modern Kitchen with Frosted Cabinets

Modern Kitchen with Frosted Cabinets

Frosted glass cabinets provide a modern look while concealing what's behind. A simple mosaic backsplash and gray concrete countertops offer a neutral backdrop for colorful kitchen accessories.

Photo by: Danny Piassick

Danny Piassick

I've rounded up some of my favorite choices for making your kitchen look more designer-y and less like a gadget wasteland.

Handheld Vacuum

Photo by: Photo credit: Alessi

Photo credit: Alessi

When deciding what to leave out on your counter and what not to leave out, ask yourself this: how many times a week do I use it? For items that you use more than once a week, go ahead and leave them out.

I use my handheld vacuum on the daily, and this one is so beautiful, I almost want to hang it on the wall like it's a piece of art.

Product Pick: Alessi Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, Amazon, $199

Colorful Toaster

Photo by: Photo credit: Oster French Bull

Photo credit: Oster French Bull

If you want to add color and pattern to your kitchen, this toaster is a great choice. It can only handle two slices of toast at once, however, so this is a better option for a single person or couple.

Product Pick: Oster French Bull Two-Slice Toaster, Target, $34.99

Salt and Pepper Cellars

Photo by: Photo credit: Pam Soorenko, Monticello

Photo credit: Pam Soorenko, Monticello

For those of you who cook a lot, a beautiful set of salt and pepper cellars would look lovely sitting out on your countertop. You could even add a glass olive oil cruet to the mix, which would look great and be super handy as you're whipping up delicious meals.

Product Pick: Marble Salt and Pepper Cellars, Monticello, $48

Teak Cutting Board

Photo by: Photo credit: Sur la Table

Photo credit: Sur la Table

While I don't cook very often, one of my favorite items to leave out on my counter is a beautiful teak cutting board. In fact, when I need a cutting board for dinner prep, I tend to grab a not-as-pretty, but easy-to-clean board and keep the teak board out mostly for decoration.

Product Pick: Madeira End-Grain Teak Cutting Board, Sur la Table, $19.95

Glass Knife Block

Photo by: Photo credit: Mercer Culinary

Photo credit: Mercer Culinary

Another beautiful, somewhat universal choice for a sleek kitchen counter setup is a great knife block. Sharp knives are a chef's most important tool (from what I hear!), so a chic block is a necessity if you want to add some glam to your countertop.

Product Pick: Six-Piece Tempered Glass Knife Block, Amazon, $133

Sleek Blender

Photo by: Photo credit: JC Penney

Photo credit: JC Penney

For those of you that are smoothie obsessed, a blender might be on your daily kitchen appliance checklist. In that case, you might want to go with a retro option like this pretty silver blender. It has a 50's diner vibe, which kind of makes me want to use it for milkshakes instead of smoothies. #oops

Product Pick: Oster Beehive Blender, Target, $59.99

Sexy Kitchen Utensils

Photo by: Photo credit: Now Designs

Photo credit: Now Designs

There are generally strong opinions when it comes to the choice of leaving out kitchen utensils or not. I tend to prefer to keep utensils in a drawer, however, for those with limited space (or those who like to keep their utensils handy), a good way of keeping things looking pulled together and sleek is to purchase uniform utensils that all have one style or color. This will go a long way in avoiding the "utensil mosh pit" that can result when you are leaving a bunch of mismatched pieces together on your countertop.

Product Pick: Five Bamboo Utensils, Amazon, $14.95

Coffee Maker

Photo by: Photo credit: Williams-Sonoma

Photo credit: Williams-Sonoma

For many of us, our coffee maker is often the one appliance that gets used the most. If you're ready to up your at-home coffee game, you might want to consider a Nespresso. This pod-based espresso/cappuccino maker is easy to use, makes delicious coffee, and looks pretty snazzy sitting out on your counter. If there's anything that can break a daily Starbucks habit, this might be it.

Product Pick: Nespresso Espresso Maker, Williams-Sonoma, $104

Cook Healthier With These 9 Kitchen Gadgets

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Breville Avance Steamer

Breville’s steamer can simultaneously steam three dishes on three tiers, and comes to temperature in just 30 seconds. Unlike boiling, which washes away vitamins, steaming keeps them intact. Plus it makes rice!

KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender

With “Intelli-Speed Motor Control,” this blender can sense what’s inside it and run at the optimum speed to process it thoroughly. Equally nice is the fact that it comes in 14 colors, from metallic chrome to wild “crystal blue,” both of which make smoothies that much more enticing.

Bite Food Scale

This Bluetooth-enabled scale communicates with your smart devices so you can get precise nutritional info on nearly anything you place on it. Quarter-pound of turkey? Half a wheel of cheese? Bam! You can find out how many calories are in it. Bite also has recipes, and can log your calorie intake down to the exact number.

Cuisinart TEA-100

Tea is full of antioxidants, lower in caffeine than most coffee, and can be a great way to avoid caloric beverages. But brewing at the wrong temperature can destroy tea’s best qualities. This little teapot not only looks good with its stainless-and-glass carafe, but comes with six presets to brew each variety at its optimum temp.

Smart Stick Hand Blender

If you’ve ever put off making a smoothie or a soup because you didn’t want to clean a blender, meet the immersion blender. Cuisinart’s Smart Stick is a favorite not only because it can easily purée with very little clean-up, but also because it comes in fabulous colors.

Breville Juice Fountain

No one wants to sit down and chew through six pounds of kale, spinach or collard greens (unless you’re a bunny). But you can easily down more greens by juicing them. Breville’s machine can handle most fruits and veggies whole, leaving no excuse for not getting your greens.


Most of us would drink more water if we always had the fizzy kind on hand, but stocking up on Perrier is expensive. Sodastream can keep you bubbly for just a few dollars a month, and you can flavor it with the natural fruit of your choice — making sugary sodas a thing of the past.

Yonanas Ice Cream Maker

If you’re the type who can sit down and polish off a pint before you realize what happened (and who isn’t?), here’s an alternative. Yonanas squashes frozen bananas into soft serve, and you can even flavor it with fresh fruit or chocolate.

Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer

Pasta is great, but too much is not a good thing. A spiralizer can turn veggies into a curly “noodles,” ready for sauce. Though there are cheaper versions, Paderno’s spiral slicer with its interchangeable blades has consistently been a top pick among cooks, who say it’s unmatched for control and precision.

8 Handy, High-Tech Kitchen Gadgets

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A Wi-Fi-equipped food scale, Drop works with a recipe app to make baking simpler. If you’re short on an ingredient, it can adjust measurements, offer substitutions and give you screen-by-screen, illustrated instructions as you cook.

Photo By: Drop


The ultimate fridge magnet, this smart device creates your grocery lists. Just use it to scan barcodes, or speak into it for things that don’t have them. It adds items to an app that’s at the ready when you’re hitting the grocery store.

Photo By: Hiku


Not sure when you opened that jar of marinara, or how long those leftovers have been in the fridge? DaysAgo is a digital tracker with a suction cup; attach it to an item when you first open it, start the timer, and it will record how many days have passed. Simple. Helpful.

Photo By: DaysAgo

Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker With WeMo

Late night at the office? Set this Crock-Pot in the morning, then check the temperature throughout the day on your phone, or turn it off from your desk. Dinner will be ready as soon as you are.

Photo By: Belkin

Range Thermometer

The Range aims to make roasting less intimidating: Insert into the deepest part of your cut of meat, set the ideal doneness temperature, and its app will notify you when dinner is ready (and cooked perfectly).

Photo By: Supermechanical

Taylor Digital Measuring Cup

Precision is critical when you’re baking. This precise measuring cup goes by weight instead of volume, and can automatically convert from ounces to grams.

Photo By:


Jazz up your latte with this “spice pen,” that lets you write, cake frosting-style, using a thin line of ground spices.

Photo By: CinniBird

Smarter Kettle

If you boil a lot of tea, this Wi-Fi-enabled kettle claims to be able to save you up to two days a year in boiling time by allowing you to pre-boil your kettle via app. Pick your temperature, then heat things up your tea time from wherever you are.

Photo By: Smarter

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