In today’s world of busy families, the kitchen has often been reimagined as the household’s control center. In many cases, the kitchen’s former primary function, meal preparation and cooking, is less important or has taken a back seat to purposes relating to working or gathering as a family or with friends. This shift in function has naturally evolved with the space itself, as the modern family has redefined their priorities and how they choose to live.

As the classic kitchen has taken on so many proverbial hats in the family home, organizing and allocating space for each of its functions will both simplify and maximize its utility. When designing or re-imagining what the ideal kitchen would look like, for your family and lifestyle, the following questions are good starting points:

How do you use your kitchen now?

Starting with the basics, how much cooking is actually done in the home is the first question. Is there more warming up or quick meal preparation performed? If the major cooking is actually performed irregularly and there is no danger of that changing, then the priority should be aesthetics of the space.

What are its current limitations?

The following are all key considerations for the ideal kitchen: counters or work space, storage space, lighting, seating and sheer size. When designing the dream kitchen, prioritize such features based on actual experience in the current situation. Ponder the dislikes, limitations and frustrations in the current space, whether it is superficial or structural, and solve those issues first in the redesign.

How do you want to use your kitchen?

Will that change in 5-10 years? A common priority today, for families with young children, is to have workspace for homework and crafts. Families desiring this functionality would be better served making that space versatile and not too specific, as those needs will change as the functional needs will evolve along with the children. If actual cooking is a priority, then carefully consider the layout to maximize utility for cooking.

Do you want the option of privacy when cooking?

Many are eager to embrace open concept living and that open flow between main living spaces, often minimizing or even eliminating barriers in the form of walls. However, couples that frequently entertain may desire options for separating the meal preparation area from main gathering spaces.

A modern, spacious kitchen has become the top priority for custom home owners and home seekers. Today, more time (during waking hours) is spent in the kitchen over any other living space in the house. Clearly cooking only consumes a fraction of this time, as just about any other activity is now enjoyed in fresh, modern spaces. A bright, open kitchen is synonymous with the modern family lifestyle and is an investment that adds greatly to the home’s resale value.