Tour My Kitchen with Ross and Julie Smithe

With a big family who likes to help in the kitchen, functionality is key

Tour My Kitchen with Ross and Julie Smithe

Tour My Kitchen with Ross and Julie Smithe

A spacious kitchen is a luxury for many people, but for the Smithe family of Comfort, TX, it's a necessity. Ross and Julie Smithe are the proud parents of eight children—and they all like to help with meals.

The family also loves to entertain, so in addition to being roomy, this bright, open kitchen is also functional and beautiful. That combination earned them a $500 runner-up prize in our Dream Kitchen contest.

The Smithes built their home 2 years ago on 4 acres of rolling Texas hill country. "The kitchen's crown molding, 12-foot ceilings and farmhouse sink are reminiscent of the historic homes that grace this area," Julie says.

"We designed it not only to accommodate our large family, but also to host large gatherings comfortably. The kitchen is always the popular gathering spot, and the large island makes serving food a breeze."

Julie home-schools their children, and each one has a role in the kitchen, from cooking and cleanup to meal planning and preparing shopping lists. The family includes Sophia, Joshua, Christianna, Josiah, Jonathan, Abigail Rose, Justin and Jeremiah Honor, who range in age from 16 to 8 months. Dad Ross works as a territory manager for a floor-covering company and leads the family's music ministry.

Even with a family of 10, the Smithe kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine. With plenty of cabinet space, there's a place for everything. The built-in pantry stores small appliances, serving dishes and bread-making gear.

"While we love the historic feel of the home, we also wanted all of the modern conveniences," says Julie, "including a pot-filler over the stove, an eight-burner cooktop, double convection oven, two sinks and a side-by-side refrigerator and freezer."

Their kitchen seems to have it all. So what will they do with their $500 prize? "Buy groceries," Julie says with a grin.

Download the Floor Plan of Ross & Julie Smithe's Kitchen »

Photo Gallery of Ross and Julie Smithe's Kitchen »

Julie's Favorite Recipe: Tomato Basil Soup »