Shopping for a New Kitchen: What's Most Important?

We've been on the hunt for a new place to live. The kitchen is obviously of chief importance, but we've seen a lot of uninspiring rental kitchens over the past week. Too small, too cramped, odd configurations of stove and refrigerator, stained walls, bad floors, too little counter space. It's helped us refine what we want in our kitchen, however, because nearly every rental kitchen will bring some degree of compromise. It helps to know what the non-negotiables are first.

Read on for our essentials, and then we're curious to know yours.

Beyond the obvious basics (a working set of appliances, for instance) here are our non-negotiables:

• Good amount of counter space, or room to put an extra butcher block
• Natural light
• A lot of storage
• Clean! A kitchen that has been taken care of.

Not necessary, but would be nice...
• Dishwasher - we cook for big parties a lot, and the cleanup gets tiresome.
• Gas stove - we've been cooking on electric for a long time
• Electric oven - really prefer the electric oven over gas!

More than any of those things, it has to feel good, like we know intuitively that we'll enjoy cooking there.

OK - our list is pretty general and basic - what are your non-negotiables when looking for a new kitchen?

Related: On Moving Kitchens

(Image: Jill Slater for House Tour: Giulia's 'Fantasy Girl' Formula at AT:NY)