They are for anyone who sees the true value of the kitchen as the heart of every home.

Whether you’re Jamie Oliver or Joe Blow, planning and creating a beatiful and efficient designer kitchen is not as difficult as you think.

The first step toward creating your dream designer kitchen is to take stock of what you do have. What do you love about your current kitchen? What do you absolutely hate? Are you leaning towards function or fashion? Substance or style?

Following are a few categories to keep in mind:

Storage: What type of food would you like to store, and how much? If always being prepared to entertain is your first priority, make sure to load up on storage space, and make sure it’s easily accessible. Cabinets, shelving, the pantry as well as the fridge and freezer should always have enough space to store your favorite ingredients. You never know when a dinner party might occur.

Preparation: Do you cook alone? Is cooking a team sport for you? Depending on your answer, you should consider designing ample space into your kitchen. No one wants to bump elbows while chopping the garlic. Even if you intend to work alone, multiple work stations would still allow you to prepare different ingredients at the same time. And don’t forget about cleanup: You definitely don’t want to be left wishing you had a dishwasher when the party’s over.

Cooking: Are you the type that reheats everything? Do you fashion yourself a gourmet cook with a six-burner stove and a matching number of aprons? Your cooking habits should determine how much you should invest in your cooking appliances. While top of the line toaster ovens and microwaves may be more appropriate to busy working families, those with more time to dedicate to their craft may choose to do away with such time-saving fare and focus their time (and money) on a commercial stove.

Dining: Anyone who’s ever hosted a dinner party and had friends show up before the food is served knows that it doesn’t matter if there’s a separate dining room, people love to congregate in the kitchen. Keep the dining room ready for formal gatherings but make sure to leave ample space when you’re designing your kitchen for more informal gatherings. Kitchen islands are great for conversation over hors d’oeuvres but there’s nothing wrong with including a dining table or pub table in your kitchen plans.