The kitchen is perhaps the most functional room of any home, but often it doesn’t feel large enough or flexible enough. And great cooking starts with a comfortable kitchen.

While renovating your kitchen may not always be practical, there are steps you can take to improve it without breaking the bank or your kitchen walls.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your kitchen:

• Evaluate it.

It’s time to weed out the good, the bad, and the ugly. When is the last time you did a thorough inventory of your kitchen gadgets? After several years without an assessment, it’s possible you’ve acquired a substantial collection of electric openers, dicers, slicers, and spinners.

If all these tools help you cook, that’s fabulous. If not, they are simply taking up valuable cabinet, cupboard, and countertop space. Take a look at what you have and eliminate anything that’s duplicative, broken or somehow unnecessary.

• Improve functionality.

Re-think your appliances. These days, you don’t need to settle for antiquated appliances that perform just one function. Innovations are making cooktops and ovens more functional and versatile, providing greater opportunities for spatial kitchen layout.

For example, you could pair a gas cooktop with an electric oven or install electric ovens side by side.

Flexibility is also being built into today’s appliances. For example, ILVE cooktops come equipped with an exclusive, one-of-a-kind removable griddle that allows for numerous food preparation options on an all-in-one cooking surface. You can steam, grill, and warm with the included griddle, thus eliminating the need for additional space-hogging appliances like steam ovens and warming drawers.

This is a great way to be a more flexible cook in a small amount of space. More information on flexible cooktops is available at

• Maximize storage.

Creative storage solutions will increase your work area and cabinets, while affording more space to move around. For example, an over-the-door spice rack can give you more room to prep food. A wall-mounted wine rack that holds both bottles and glasses can free up cabinet space and reduce the furniture footprint of your kitchen. Magnetic panels on the wall can be used to store pots, pans, knives and metal utensils.

When it comes to your kitchen, don’t settle for anything less than top-notch, flexible appliances and an ideal use of the space you have. Whether you’re a serious chef or a casual cook, your kitchen can benefit from key upgrades and a thorough organizational sweep.