A wonderful thing happens to your kitchen when you become an empty nester. This former chore room transforms into an entertainment space. When you have kids at home, you’re constantly trying to keep up with their insatiable appetites. Too bad they’re not as easy to feed as the cat who eats the same thing at the same time every day. With multiple children, the feeding comes to a frenzied height when they become teenagers with insatiable appetites – especially teenage boys. On the other end of the spectrum, odds are one of them is pickier than they have any right to be. Sure, we can hardball them into eating what is put in front of them, but their specific palette certainly influences (limits) our cooking options.

Suddenly they’re off to college or married or in the military. After the shock wears off, it occurs to you that you now have time to enjoy cooking. You discover your inner gourmet. You start watching cooking shows and shopping at gourmet foodie shops. Without having to worry about whether or not the kids are going to like a new dish, you can be more daring.

Once you’re new found cooking skills are mastered, you can’t wait to share them with friends and family. You start up a dinner club with your neighbors and suddenly an entirely new social network evolves around your new found hobby. You might even find that those “busy” kids of yours will start finding excuses to visit more often!

How can the kitchen facilitate this change in lifestyle? Let’s start out with an entertaining island where folks can converse or help out while you create a masterpiece (or at least try, right?).

The new found gourmets need all the latest kitchen gadgets and appliances. How about the perfect wine pairing with your fabulous creations? A wine refrigerator is now a must! Dedicated cooking means you’re using the microwave less while the oven and cooktop are being used more. The pantry just has to get bigger. Now, where do you put all of the cool gadgets? The solution to all of this is found in a fully redesigned kitchen complete with a messy kitchen, power pantry, and a second refrigerator.

Appealing to the empty nester’s inner gourmet is a sure way to increase sales and make for very happy homeowners.