The owners of this Austin, Texas, home needed a kitchen that would stand up to their hectic social schedule and their two young kids. So they asked architect David Webber for a hard-working yet stylish kitchen where absolutely everything could be out of sight. They also wanted the space to discourage congregating. Webber's design offers ample storage in a galley layout flanked by living spaces, making the kitchen more of a passage than a destination.

Several clever tricks keep things at hand and out of sight. “One thing we do in almost every kitchen is group two 5-inch drawers and two 10-inch drawers in every bank,” he explains. Most utensils and pans fit those dimensions, so no one has to dig to find something. What won't go in a drawer fits inside the walk-in pantry. Where pantry meets island, a small cut-out in the rift-sawn oak disguises a pass-through for quickly stashing stuff. An equally discreet 4 ½-foot-tall door conceals vacuum cleaner and brooms. The storage keeps the kitchen clutter-free and the central location makes it easy to serve four or 40. “But people do still hang out in the kitchen,” the architect admits.

Builder: Stuart Custom Homes, Austin, Texas; Architect: Webber Studio, Austin; Photographer: Thomas McConnell.