Can we stop a moment and give our hardworking kitchens their due? These multi-functional warriors have been the home design heroes these past fifteen months. From meal prep and snack time to remote working and schooling, they’ve taken on more tasks than a Swiss Army knife. They’ve become the de facto family hangout spot throughout the day and even a makeshift Zoom room for some. Is there a method to this madness, and can it be done with style? Of course! But it will take some intentional planning, which is why we can’t stress enough the importance of an experienced designer to synergize function and style in the kitchen. To help in your planning, designate activity zones in the kitchen and design around them. Center islands make great multi-taskers, and the bigger the better to accommodate more than one person and task. Built-in desks keep you close to the action (and snacks), as do pocket offices off the kitchen. Keep surfaces clear by making the most of your cabinet real estate with pull-out drawers, lazy susans, and out-of-sight device charging stations. Maximize pantries with good storage and organization. Larders and butler’s pantries are also coming back in both new homes and remodels. And don’t forget some original art in the kitchen for an unexpected pop of personality—it makes a great Zoom background too!