Open kitchen concept

An architect shares the pros of various kitchens and their designs

To keep modern kitchens from becoming too stiff and generic, designers recommend personalizing your space. Transform your area so that it works for you and your family, whether that means adding durable surfaces and accessories or playing up a unique lighting fixture.

Now that kitchens are becoming the center of home entertainment, homeowners want to make them inviting, without overwhelming guests with appliances and other necessities. To combat this, many manufacturers are now offering hidden appliances and gadgets that keep a kitchen functioning and welcoming.

To keep an open kitchen design, but still have "separate" spaces, one architect recommends varying ceiling heights so that one can perceive that each space is different without closing it off.

An open kitchen design reflects the homeowners' modern taste and eases the burden of cooking by connecting the chef of the day with others who are sitting just feet away, either on bar stools or some other casual seating area.

When remodeling your space or creating a new kitchen design, keep your needs in mind. Consider personalizing the standard design by adding things that you will use regularly, like extra shelving or wine storage.

One architect recommends keeping a kitchen island small, no larger than 4x7 feet so it is easily manageable, and to keep it clear of a cooktop and sink, as they are generally more of a nuisance in that location than anything.

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