3 Low-Key Brilliant Things Restaurant Kitchens Have That We Want in Our Own Kitchens

published Aug 3, 2020
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Credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom

The gap between home kitchens and restaurant kitchens is vast, like the contrast between house cats and lions. They may share a lot of the same DNA, but your home kitchen will never see the kind of intense cooking that happens day after day in a busy restaurant. 

While you don’t have to whip up hundreds of flawless dinners and cocktails every night, that doesn’t mean you can’t make home life more manageable by borrowing a few restaurant-style tools. (Witness the popularity of the restaurant-style range with eight powerful burners!) Here are three ideas borrowed from restaurant kitchens that can upgrade your cook space and make working around the sink a lot easier.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

1. A pull-down faucet

These days, it’s almost hard to imagine not having a faucet with a pull-down head. They make so many kitchen sink tasks more convenient, says interior designer Mandy Cheng

“If you think of the pull-down faucet as the equivalent to the hand-held shower, it gives you more flexibility, and you have more control over what you’re spraying,” says Cheng, who is based in Los Angeles. That flexibility extends from washing large pots and pans to hosing down a cutting board. And since the kitchen sink is usually the largest in the house, Cheng said the pull-down faucet makes it a perfect place to rinse out hair color salon-style and bathe your baby (or Boston terrier). 

Pull-down faucets range from affordable to luxurious, and they come in every finish imaginable from matte black to brushed gold to classic chrome. Whichever style you choose, Cheng says it simplifies cleaning the sink and getting bits of food into the drain where you want them. 

Credit: Delta

2. A glass rinser

The last time you were at a bar, you may have noticed the bartender placing glasses upside down over a starburst built into the bar, then pushing the glass down to release a jet of water. 

Interior designer Shannon Ggem says finding the Delta Faucet Glass Rinser at the 2020 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in February gave her a flashback. “It transported me back to my waitressing days,” says Ggem, who is based in Malibu, California. “I think it’s a great idea for the home.” In bars and restaurants, glassware is spray-rinsed before going to the dishwasher. 

If you’ve ever struggled to rinse out a smoothie cup or a bottle of formula, you may want to consider installing a glass rinser. The home version drops into the sink surround in one of the slots that might be used for hand soap. The rinser comes in chrome and spot shield stainless and works with bottles that are at least one inch in diameter.

Even when you’re not ready to wash dishes, the rinser might be an excellent way to keep your family from dirtying up 27 glasses in one day. “To cut down on dishwashing, in my house, we have one glass per person per day,” Ggem says. “You want a good rinse between refills, and this is the tool for that!”

3. A foot pedal faucet controller

A foot pedal faucet controller is one of those under-the-radar kitchen innovations that interior designer Sarah Robertson of Studio Dearborn says has transformed how she uses her kitchen. “It’s like having a third hand at the kitchen sink,” says Robertson, who’s based in New York’s Westchester County. “I love having my hands freed up for tasks at the sink, with on-off capability under complete control at my feet.”  

Here’s how it works: Install the system, like this one from Tapmaster Euro Foot Activator, to the hot and cold water lines under your sink so that the hidden valve can operate the lines hands-free. Then, tap a lever with your foot and watch your faucet turn on and off as needed. That’s a real bonus right now, while everyone is regularly washing their hands to avoid spreading germs from outside around the kitchen. But it’s just as useful in more mundane circumstances, like washing your greasy hands up after making hamburger patties or massaging olive oil into kale.

Robertson says, as a bonus, the faucet foot control is easy to install and lasts a long time. “The valve is totally mechanical, meaning there are no batteries, wires, or electrical glitches to worry about,” she says. Best part: it’s rental-friendly, so you can take it with you when you move.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 3 Low-Key Genius Things Restaurant Kitchens Have that You Might Want in Your Own Kitchen