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5 Kitchen design must-haves for busy families

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Family kitchen design ideas

The kitchen is the heart of your home, but it is also the busiest place in your household. Check out these kitchen design must-haves for busy families and build the sleek, functional and gorgeous kitchen of your dreams.

Busy family in kitchen

1Multi-functional workspaces

From the moment you get up in the morning, you hit the ground running, which is why you need your living space to be as convenient and functional as possible. Your kitchen needs to reflect your lifestyle and accommodate your family's daily needs. Recent design trends are reflecting the need to have multi-functional workspaces in the kitchen.

Amenities like a large center island with a cozy breakfast bar on one side, generous counter space, dual prep areas, multiple sinks and additional under-counter refrigerators can make your kitchen a warm and inviting place for the family to gather, without taking away from its functionality.

2Smart storage

There's nothing worse than a cluttered kitchen, which is why customizable cabinetry is trending like wildfire. Choose custom cabinets specific to your kitchen's design so that all the items you need are within arm's reach. Store pots and pans next to the range. Create vertical cabinets for baking sheets and cooling racks next to your double-wall ovens. Choose stepped shelves in your pantry to make finding food a snap. Add recycling and trash stations inside cabinetry to save space and create a cleaner look.

When assessing your storage options, make sure to choose a design that makes the most of all your available space. Extras, like roll-out shelves, tilt-out bins, tiered storage, swing-outs and lazy susans, add functionality and make your life so much easier.

3Customizable appliances

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all appliances. New developments in technology have made kitchen appliances completely customizable. Refrigerators, freezers, ovens, ranges, cooktops and dishwashers are now designed as mix-and-match modules with an infinite array of options for both style and function.

Check out these innovative appliances for your home >>

4Artistic appeal

You want your kitchen to have a warm and inviting feel, but you also want to make use of all that modern technology has to offer. Gratefully, new design trends in kitchen décor are bringing together beauty and functionality. You can now choose refrigerator doors that are stainless steel for a sleek, modern look or wood paneling for a timeless feel. Color is making a comeback with gas ranges being sold in vibrant hues like terracotta, blue water and slate green. Creative cabinetry can meet all your specific storage needs while serving as a gorgeous backdrop. Decorative range hoods can be camouflaged to blend right into the kitchen décor.

5Eco-friendly ease

You want to teach your kids good eco-friendly habits, so why not design your kitchen with this in mind? Choose cabinets with pull-outs for recycling and an indoor composter. Pick flooring and countertops that are made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Make sure you purchase appliances that are energy efficient. Some new models use up to 50% less water and energy, which is a great reprieve for our planet, as well as your pocketbook. Faucet filters are easy to install and a great way to cut down on unnecessary bottled water waste. Skylights will add gorgeous natural light to your room, as well as cut down on energy needs.

Don't miss these eco-friendly kitchen appliances >>

More kitchen design tips

Understanding the latest kitchen technologies
How to build the custom kitchen of your dreams
5 Multi-functional appliances you'll love

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