A new kitchen can be one of the most dramatic changes to a home and a homeowner’s lifestyle.  When my wife and I renovated our kitchen, we went from wincing every time we cooked a meal to really loving to spend time there.  The new kitchen is the heart of our home.  It is where our family eats breakfast, does homework, gathers with friends and of course cooks.
The layout of a kitchen is critical to its function.  I apply the chicken rule to all of our kitchen designs.  That is I imagine taking a chicken out of the refrigerator, washing it, preparing it to be cooked, then putting it in the oven to bake.  Since I like vegetables with my baked chicken, that includes preparing them too.   If that process in plan is inconvenient or requires walking all over the kitchen to accomplish, then a redesign is required.  A kitchen should be bright and beautiful and inviting, but it must also be efficient to be successful.

The kitchen should also be integrated into the house.  It should be designed to take advantage of views, light and flow of the house.  If the kitchen is awkward to approach from the rest of the house, the homeowner will pay for that mistake every day.  Ideally the kitchen should be designed so that it is convenient to bring in groceries, serve a dinner, or organize a summer barbeque.  Of course there will be compromises based on the layout of the home or landscape, but those can be minimized with thoughtful design.