Modern Italian kitchens share a few basic design elements. First, the kitchen designs are inviting, creating a space where hard-working families can gather together to cook a meal after a long day at work or school. Second, they are practical and utilize time- and space-saving technology. Most Italian kitchen designs are also quite minimalistic, favoring simple and smooth surfaces (few nooks and crannies here!) as well as stainless steel and marble. Third, the kitchen usually is laid out with an island, often including storage and either a seating area or cooking preparation tools - a pot rack hanging overhead, a cooktop, and/or the oven - and additional workspace laid out on long sleek countertops. Ultimately, what all modern Italian kitchens have in common is a space in which the average family can gather together to cook a meal without too much fuss.