The way designers plan kitchens for clients will be different moving forward. Everyone is spending more time at home. Restaurants are not as accessible as they were, and everyone seems to have had at least one Zoom cocktail party. A blend of generations living under one roof, children learning virtually and work-from-home situations have changed everything. While we will no doubt adapt to a new normal, making the most of our home will remain a high priority.

What does that mean for kitchen design beyond 2020? Let’s explore some ideas for better storage options, multifunctional spaces, better organization, additional food storage and preparation ideas.

Go Hands-Free with Touchless Faucets

With additional handwashing, the whole family may be touching faucets and faucet handles much more often. Touch-free faucets are an easy install and are good looking. The older, institutional look has given way to higher design style and, of course, eliminates the transfer of germs.

Portable Sanitation Stations

When I first started bringing groceries into the house at the beginning of the pandemic, I was washing everything in the garage before bringing it into the house. All my cleaning items were kept together in my favorite accessory: a removable caddy for cleaning products under the sink. Everything you need is in one portable container. Whether you are cleaning items in a nearby bathroom, in the garage, on the porch or in the kitchen, having everything in one place is a real time saver.

Food Preservation

Extra refrigerator and freezer space are a true luxury. If you can find the space for a small beverage refrigerator for grabbing a quick drink for work-at-home folks or the kids, it takes stress off cold food storage. Just as bulk buying and its benefits (savings, organic options, convenience) bring with them additional storage needs, extra refrigeration and freezer space should be considered. Smart planning puts this essential storage out of sight but not inconveniently out of the way.

Home Grown

Growing herbs at home has taken off. More than a trend (home-grown herbs are as old as cooking itself), this simple enhancement provides multiple benefits: fabulously fresh ingredients (you really do taste the difference), bringing the outdoors into your space and the wonderful environmental karma of live plants in your kitchen. Open shelves or dedicated counter space for at-home hydroponic gardens are growing, pardon the pun.

The Café Kitchen

If you are working from home, you will want a spot to sit with your computer during your coffee break. If this is not currently part of your set up, trust me, you’ll love the flexibility. Additional outlets with USB ports – strategically located – are a must especially if you want to eat lunch away from your desk but need to stay connected. Strong broadband connections will be needed, too, if you like to wander while you work.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

While the full ramifications of the worldwide health crisis are still unfolding, one aspect of its impact is clear: We have an increased focus and new perspective on our homes and the way we live in them. Although lifestyles are changing, some things are constant. Take the time and effort to plan your clients’ critical spaces wisely – especially in the kitchen. The payoff in terms of daily comfort, simple joys and a home suited to serve your client well goes beyond measure.