The kitchen the epicentre of activity, social gathering, and a place where large amounts of time are spent. Its fundamental purpose for the home needs to be well-met, while incorporating an aesthetically pleasing space for your eye - and visitors - to rest and linger. Ergonomics are crucial - as anyone without enough counter space, or a dishwasher too far from the sink will tell you.
With this in mind, and with the demise of the traditional, set-apart dining room, kitchens have become a place of entertainment areas for your guests.. meaning a demand for a presentable - and now often open-plan - workspace. Counter space, storage, appliances and layout are all mainstays, with an increasing rise in the inclusion of seating. Kitchen islands are a perfect multi-functional addition for these uses. Soft furnishings like runners and comfortable chairs allow for social company while you spend time creating cuisine, prepping or returning this space to its full shine and glory.
Layered lighting is vital - such as under-counter strip lighting for ambience, interesting pendant lights to vertically fill in the room, and of course task lighting such as down-lights - all come in to play in this multi-purpose space. Use of dimmer switches allow for easy transition between busy activity and the quiet moments after of reflection and slow down.
A modern kitchen is one that combines function and appeal. Open shelving; clutter-free counters; beautiful subway tile back-splashes; creative storage options like wall hanging pot racks, cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling for those less-used items, jars for your most-used ingredients; and of course always a place for a bit of greenery - a windowsill herb, fresh blooms from the garden or market, or a bowl of big beautiful apples!
Elements one could find in a modern kitchen don't depend on the style of the home entirely. Wood, metals, tile, marble and textiles are still the age-old ingredients to this space - that is to many, the heart of the home.