A good party depends on good equipment. All the basics are in my kitchen: an electric mixer with all the requisite attachments, a toaster oven, a wine fridge, a no-stick automatic icemaker and a flexible neck instant hot water faucet. It must be sleek and modern in polished chrome. It must not be too low to prevent rinsing of pots and pans. It makes prepping so much easier to have everything you need close at hand. It also doesn’t hurt to have a well-designed kitchen with enough cabinets for all your gear. If they are too high, you won’t use them. Separate drawers for utensils and small items are mandatory—and more than a few. After all, this room is the heart of the home. I wanted a classic, cozy space that is warm and friendly while also featuring state-of-the-art appliances and fixtures. Volumes have been written on kitchen style. A designer kitchen is a real coup. Technology has brought everyday tasks like cooking far into the future. Most kitchen layouts depend upon available footage, but even when it is sparing, you can follow some basic rules.

First and foremost, the sink must be below a window, so you can look out in the yard and watch your kinds at play. It simply looks strange if this rule is not followed. No one wants a claustrophobic kitchen, especially if you spend a lot of time in the space, prepping or eating. Even a single cup of coffee needs a pleasant environment. Next, it is vital to be able to reach your stove from the sink if at all possible. It makes cleanup spill free. At most, it should be a step or two away. The fridge should be in the same room and not in the pantry or laundry area. It is so time consuming to retrieve ingredients while you are cooking. A real plus is the space to have an island to house a bar sink, an extra oven or even a set of knives on top.

The kitchen should be designed for prepping and also socializing, and I don’t mean on Facebook. At parties, it is where the guest love to congregate and watch you at work. Everyone loves the warmth of an oven and the fabulous aromas. Families also enjoy their time together in the happiest place in the house. Builders do not go the extra mile in spec houses and it is the first thing buyers notice. Realtors are said to sell houses based on the kitchen and the bathrooms. They must be up to par for the price point or a big discount is expected for remodeling. While I would love to design my next chef’s kitchen, I know that it is a very big job. Meanwhile I enjoy what I have and admire the care that has gone into the layout. Designers know the importance of placement, convenience and style.