Kitchens are generally the focal point of the home. Everyone likes to hang out in the kitchen, especially when it is a beautiful room. The bigger the room, the more people will congregate there. I have designed many kitchens and what I know is that function and form are in equal competition.
The materials that are chosen set the tone. They should integrate smoothly with the rest of the house. I just redesigned a kitchen in a home where the walls are cinder block and the main floor is terrazzo. We used limestone for the kitchen floor and matched it to the cinder block and a chip in the terrazzo. It blended the with the existing materials beautifully.
A comfortable traffic pattern is key. You want to be able to walk around the island and sit on stools opposite the sink. I love as big an island as possible. Somehow, all the counter surface always gets used….especially if there is more than one cook. I love redesigning kitchens because they have the biggest bang for the buck. A new kitchen truly changes the whole house.