The kitchen of your secret dreams may have a double oven Wolf range -- or just a cook to do the honors. It may be one of those brick and exposed-wooden-beam affairs with wrought iron pot racks and its own fireplace. Maybe it's so stainless steel streamlined that dirt and spills are ashamed to do their worst.
If you crave a porcelain pot sink or lust after a hideaway recycling station, be bold the next time your tax refund hits the mail box, and do something about it. Think of a kitchen renovation as an investment that will transform the look and feel of your home's hearth -- the place where everyone seems to gravitate whether dinner smells enticing or not.
More on Kitchens
Dream kitchens don't just happen, they're designed. A dedicated baker with a hankering for the best will choose different equipment (and a different layout) from a couple of weekend gourmets who want to stay current with the latest food fad. If you're a sommelier, your requirements may run to temperature-controlled wine chillers, or your inner mountain man might long for smoked meats and plenty of them. If you prefer prepping a platter of elegantly designed appetizers or cupcakes, you'll definitely need enough countertop space to work your decorative wizardry.
Here are some helpful tips for crafting a luscious kitchen worth spending a weekend afternoon in. Luxury is in the eye of the beholder -- and the chef responsible for transforming a sack of groceries into a memorable meal.