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Fewer Fights through Better Kitchens (Yes, Seriously!)

When it comes to wedded bliss, couples aren’t likely to find it in the kitchen. That’s where dishes pile up by day’s end. It’s where hurried morning routines intersect. It’s where discoveries of empty coffee bags—put away instead of thrown away—are made by groggy spouses. No wonder it’s one of a home’s most fertile grounds for fighting.

Men and women may not agree in the kitchen, but they certainly agree on it. That’s according to one informal survey of 500 folks recently revealed at the International Builders’ Show last month. The survey, conducted by a handful of builders and architects, showed that both sexes rate the kitchen as their top priority in a home. That’s pretty telling about why a kitchen remodel is considered one of the wisest investments you can make in a home.

We knew that. You probably did, too.

Kitchen Remodel, Madison - Before
Kitchen Remodel, Madison – Before

Guess what, though? Men and women also agreed on their number two priority in a home: function. That turns on its ear the old “wisdom” that women go for form over function while their men roll their eyes over the impracticality. Both give the more serious hoot about making the house as livable as possible. They’d agree: Forget that gorgeous countertop if it’s going to be hard to clean. Don’t situate a guest bathroom within earshot of where you’ll be entertaining.

Of course, one of the most critical places for functionality is—you guessed it—the kitchen. If you take the survey to heart, you’ll realize an investment in your kitchen is a two-for-one deal. Got a corner where all of the activity (and bickering) seem to converge? A remodel can help you spread out the hubbub in way that’s still efficient but also improves traffic flow in the room. Are you a serious chef your own right? Build a room that puts all your cooking needs within easy reach—from stovetops that have integrated faucets to kitchen islands with built-in prep sinks. In other words, go for a kitchen layout that minimizes run-ins between spouses.

Kitchen Remodel, Madison - After
Kitchen Remodel, Madison – After

No joke: Something as simple as a properly situated sink could result in fewer fightin’ words!