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The Real Importance of a Functional Kitchen

Spoiler alert: when I talk about kitchens, I’m talking about more than sinks and stoves. Same thing is true when I use the word functional in relation to a kitchen.

Sure, there are certain elements a kitchen needs to function as intended: a water source (sink), a heat source (stove), a storage source (cabinets and refrigerator and freezer), and a stable space at which to work. Other things that make a kitchen nice might include a place to sit and dishes and utensils. That’s all you really need to have a great kitchen, right?

Yeah, we didn’t think so either. Here’s the thing: when you think about those individual elements, you don’t get the warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when you think about a home, do you?

That’s the difference between a kitchen that works and a kitchen that’s truly functional. A kitchen that works checks the boxes. It gives you a structure.

But for a kitchen to be functional, it needs more than just bare bones: it needs your imprint. It needs to reflect your personality and your lifestyle. Making your kitchen functional means adding a heart and lungs to the skeleton (sorry for the body metaphor here, but you see it, don’t you?). It means making it a space that your family is drawn to. It means the space nurtures as well as feeds. It means that this space doesn’t just sustain you. It supports you.

What are the elements of making a truly functional kitchen? We can’t answer that until we know how your family functions. But we do know this: a kitchen table is more than a dining surface. It’s the hub of your home, the space everyone shares. It needs to suit your lifestyle, your interests. And cabinets are more than cabinets and a backsplash isn’t just a backsplash. When you create a fully functional kitchen, each choice you make reflects your lifestyle and your design style.

This might mean that if you love to cook big meals, you have a kick-ass stove and oven combo—or if you’d rather pick up take-out but have super busy mornings, you have an island that makes everything super easy to access. Or it might mean if you’re a wanna-be sommelier, you have a personal wine cellar in your kitchen island. Or maybe it just means that you build a space that is open and airy but cozy and welcoming at the same time, so that everyone in your family loves sitting together to talk about their day, share big milestones, or make future plans.

The point is that very few kitchens are perfect from go, especially if your kitchen hasn’t been remodeled since you bought your home. It takes some planning and some thought about what matters most to your family—and a contractor with a killer team who can make those plans a reality.

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