10 Multifunctional Items for Your Kitchen You’ll Still Want Long After 2020 Is Over

updated Dec 18, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Anna Spaller

All of the time many of us have been spending at home has launched a lot of cooking and kitchen trends. First, it was banana bread, followed by sourdough and focaccia loaves. Then olive oil cake was all the rage, thanks to the Kardashian-Jenner sisters on Instagram. Now many are deep in the air fryer phase of the foodie trend trajectory. 

Whatever you might still get into, here’s a hot tip if you’re buying something kitchen-related: Opt for multifunctional items that you can enjoy long after lockdown. Think multi-use appliances, versatile storage vessels, and clever ceramics that can easily transition from butter dish duty to charcuterie board accouterment. To that end, keep scrolling to discover 10 kitchen essentials you’ll still want long after 2020 is over.  

Credit: Crate&Barrel

1. Multi-Use Bowls 

Mixing bowls are a baking necessity, but you’re probably due for an upgrade if you’re still hanging onto the ones from your first apartment or an inherited hand-me-down. This set has lids, so they can double as air-tight food storage containers. You’ll find these especially handy on the heels of whatever holiday dinner you might be cooking, even if it’s just a serving for one or two.

Buy: Rosti Terra Pebble Margrethe Bowls, $44.95/Set of 3 from Crate & Barrel 

2. Wooden Cutting Board

Next to baking sheets, cutting boards are probably one of the most frequently used kitchen items. Upgrade your assortment with this organically-shaped paddle that makes an equally chic serving tray. Even better, it’s eye-catching when hung on a wall off a hook.

Buy: Walnut Curved Paddle Cheese Board, $58.00 from Anthropologie

Credit: Amazon

3. Dash Air Fryer 

Some consider air fryers a kitchen essential, while others are so-so on this somewhat gimmicky method of cooking. Regardless of where you stand, here are the facts on this fan-favorite mini model: This appliance can do more than just fry—it can grill, roast, and bake, too—plus, it boasts a quick cleanup and sub-$50 price tag.

Buy: Dash Tasti Crisp Electric Air Fryer, $59.99 $49.99 from Amazon

Credit: West Elm

4. Storage Basket

This sleek storage basket is great for corralling fresh fruit and produce and for organizing, too! Use it to keep spices and oils at the ready on your countertop or in your pantry for streamlined snack storage.

Buy: Yamazaki Dual Handle Storage Basket, $35.00 from West Elm

Credit: Etsy

5. Floating Shelves

Open shelving is a great way to keep clutter at bay while bringing an airy vibe to your kitchen setup, whether you use yours to hold dishes and glassware or more decoratively for displaying ceramics, cookbooks, and plants. Moreover, shelves can move with you wherever you go, unlike built-in cabinets, making a handmade, artisanal set like this handsome oak bracketed design from Etsy worth the money. 

Buy: Deep Kitchen Oak Hardwood Shelves, Starting at $320.00 from Etsy

Credit: Nordstrom

6. Cute Canisters

Stylishly store grains, coffee beans, salt—even pet treats!— in this trio of recycled bamboo-resin containers, which come with air-sealing beechwood lids. If you get tired of them in your kitchen, rotate them throughout your home. They’re also great for bathroom essentials or desk supplies.

Buy: Hawkins New York Set of 3 Essential Storage Containers, $48.00 from Nordstrom

Credit: Sur la Table

7. Coffee/Espresso Machine

The best part of waking up in quarantine? Knowing you upgraded your coffee machine to one that can brew an Americano or craft an espresso drink as well as your local barista. Sure, it’s a bigger purchase up front, but truthfully, you’d only have to forgo a few months of lattes to make up for it.

Buy: Nespresso Vertuoline By Breville With Aeroccino3 Frother, $298.00 $185.96 from Sur La Table

Credit: Target

8. Glass Bottles 

These glass bottles are as stylish for storing liquids as they are as a finishing touch for floating shelves. Try accenting one of your shelfies with a few sprigs of dried eucalyptus in one of these clear vessels. Not sure if you’ll need all 12, but you can always split the set with a friend or neighbor.

Buy: Clear Glass Bottles with Cork Lids, $103.99 $66.99 for a 12-pack from Target

9. Ceramic Butter Dish

No one likes reaching into the fridge to grab a butter stick with a messy, mangled wrapper. Level up with this ceramic dish, which can work overtime as a ramekin for sauce, salt, salad dressing, and beyond, that is, when it’s not neatly holding your butter.

Buy: Sawyer Ceramics French Ceramic Butter Keeper, $44.00 from Sawyer Ceramics

10. Retro Blender

If staying at home more often has sparked a new breakfast smoothie habit, blenders don’t get cuter than this retro Smeg model. Sure, it’s a little splurgey, but one will provide a pop of color on your kitchen counters and be equally handy for mixing up a batch of spicy margs, seasonal soups, or even crushing ice.

Buy: Smeg Blender, $325.00 $259.95 from Williams Sonoma