As a residential architect and working mom, I make it my mission to find ways for our houses to be more user-friendly.  My next design solution is what I call the “Messy Kitchen”.  You may be saying right now – “how is a messy kitchen a design solution? I already have that...” 

 The idea is to facilitate keeping your actual kitchen less messy. The modern kitchen is full of wonderful time-saving and specialty devices. Our kitchens are also more open to the casual dining area and family room. The challenge is finding a place for these must-have gadgets without cluttering up our counter tops. In the 1960’s, we had “appliance garages” in our kitchens for the toaster; a small cabinet with a roll up door to conceal our single gadget.

Fast-forward to today... We have a lot more than a simple toaster. We have blenders, food processors, mixers, meat slicers, coffee pots, coffee grinders, bread or pasta makers, etc. – you get the idea. What if we created a full size appliance garage – one that you can walk into with a door that you can close off to isolate the clutter and the sound? This 6' by 6' room features plenty of cabinet and counter space to put some things away and leave room for our stuff. Don’t forget to include lots of outlets for electric gadgets!

I like the room adjacent to the pantry but not too far removed from the kitchen - that way you can still keep an eye on the stove or the kids. Speaking of the kids, make sure they have easy access to the gadgets they use – like the toaster for pop tarts or a second microwave for popcorn. Chances are the type of gadget will change as your family grows and ages. Keep flexibility in mind.

 After the kids go off to college and you have time to enjoy cooking, you can make this your gourmet kitchen with the pasta or bread maker or other “must have” foodie accessories. Head over to our active adult blog "Living it Up While Moving Down" for that!