an illustration of a full kitchen island
Illustration: Rodica Prato
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The Multitasking Island

Joe and Becky's renovation makes perfect sense in light of recent trends. In the past few years, more Americans have been cooking at home out of economic necessity, the number of people who grow some of their own food and buy produce at farmers' markets has increased, and food shoppers have been saving by buying groceries in bulk. As we return to traditional habits for cooking and eating, kitchen design is changing too, albeit more slowly.

Other designers have noticed that old-school kitchen elements sell well these days. "I'm seeing a lot more demand for things like ventilated storage drawers for vegetables, separate pantries, and built-in bread boxes," says Cynthia Bennett, a designer based in South Pasadena, California. She has also noted a transition away from double sinks to larger, more functional farmhouse-style basins.

In their makeover, the Titlows plan to incorporate many of those features . Among their wish-list items for Marshall was having space for storing veggies from their garden, along with places to keep groceries and pantry staples. They also wanted a dedicated collection spot for food scraps for their compost heap.
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