Matt Adema/LivCo

So central to family life, the kitchen, of all the rooms in the house, took the brunt of the pandemic’s heightened demands, which made clear which design features were working—and which were not. Versatility became critical, with islands being used for home offices and countertops for home-school desks. A cluttered kitchen became a hindrance to productivity and exacerbated existing problems of insufficient appliances and a lack of good design for cooking. More recently designed kitchens were better equipped for these challenges, but older kitchens brought all these issues front and center. So although the pandemic did not inspire any radical shifts in kitchen design, it magnified the importance and desirability of many trends and improvements introduced in the last several decades.

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