In the last few decades, the kitchen has reemerged as the heart of the home and the hub of household activity in modern decor. Depending on whom you talk to, dining rooms are going, gone, popular again, or popular only with those who entertain formally.
One thing's certain: Large eat-in kitchens, dining rooms adjacent to kitchens, and open-plan rooms with an area devoted to food preparation and enjoyment are big draws.
Industrial loft conversions need kitchens installed from scratch, but their open layout is a step ahead of the game. If your older city apartment or house hasn't been updated yet, the kitchen is key. A kitchen renovation isn't simple, especially in elevator and walk-up buildings, but it's almost always worthwhile.
Keep appealing architectural elements if they work (skimpy doorways, no; tiny hexagonal tiles, yes), but upgrade appliances for performance and energy savings.
Define a new dining area with a fabulous table, or update your old dining room by widening or removing doorways. Whatever your style, consider painting or glazing a wall in cardinal orange-red: This glowing hue has been a dining room favorite since the Renaissance.
A big kitchen is a perfect spot to showcase your modern decor. On the next page, get design ideas for large and luxurious kitchen spaces.