To have a light and airy cooking space is great, but to have one that also suits a busy family's needs--that's icing on the cake.

Ask a cook what he or she wants in a kitchen, and the answer might be top-notch appliances and a prep area that rivals the set of Iron Chef. Ask a mom with a jam-packed schedule and you'll hear about storage and easy maintenance. Ask the youngsters in the house and they seem happy as long as there's room to do homework with snacks in close reach. Well, ta-da! This remodeled kitchen strives to please the entire family--how smart is that?

Everybody Loves an Island
Fix your eyes on the island in this kitchen; it's the superstar of the space. Tampa designers Marty Sears and Carrie Lister DeJose helped create a prep area that's perfect for sitting down to a quick breakfast, chopping veggies, doing crafts projects, or hosting predinner cocktail parties. "It's so easy to have people over with this kitchen," says homeowner Debbie Abdoney. "And, of course, the kids love the little fridge loaded with drinks." Tucked into one end of the island, the glass-front fridge makes it easy for the parents to quickly chill a bottle of Chardonnay or the kids to grab juice boxes. (Neighborhood parents, take note: Because dad is an orthodontist, most of the drinks and snacks in this household are healthful.)

Enviously Smart Storage
We'd like to give an award to the message center here, located on bare wallspace behind the island. Cabinet doors open to reveal a bulletin board where the family keeps track of school project due dates, birthday invites, and appointments. Below the panels, one deep drawer holds heavier kitchen items that can be hard to get if kept up high. Another stores games and art supplies, which get used as much as anything in this kitchen.

"This Kitchen Has It All" is from the June 2007 issue of Southern Living.