The kitchen continues to define itself through the years.  A kitchen used to be a simple space: a utilitarian, straightforward room.  Now it can be a work of art from the glamorous appliances to the lush hardware, it is anything but just a room.  The trend over the past 15 years is to reconfigure the space for entertaining. This trend started when architects removed the wall between the kitchen and den, creating an open floor plan.  As we continue to define the space, designers have tried to make the kitchen similar to a formal living space so friends and family can enjoy the space with the homeowner.  Today the idea continues but it has been taken up a notch.  Still a primary space for entertaining for family and friends, but now you might do a quick double take to make sure you are in the kitchen.  Hiding the prep area to a side room and turning the islands into beautiful spots for cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, the kitchen is a masterpiece.

One of my favorite kitchens that captures this trend was published in House Beautiful in February 2010.  The home, located in Montgomery, Alabama, resembles a dining room more than a kitchen. In my opinion, it is a perfect balance between utilitarian and glamorous.  In fact, the kitchen now stands in the old dining room.

The marble topped oval island sits underneath an antique chandelier.  The gas range sits beneath a beautiful antique Napoleon III gilt mirror.

The sink console resembles a sideboard, and the wall faucet seamlessly blends in with the set of prints.  The sconces finish the space as they flank the sink.

This last view shows the functional space where they have cabinet storage and the stainless steel refrigerator.  I love how they used a thick molding to finish off the cabinets.  This photo also reveals the dishwasher perfectly hidden in the island and the leather bongo stools are a fantastic choice.

My favorite part of the renovation story is the owner, Mark Leslie, a chef who personally tested all the recipes for his new cookbook in this space.  This kitchen has mixed reviews and if interested read the owners response here to comments critiquing the kitchen.  Obviously, I think it is wonderful, but tell me how you feel…love it or leave it?

Cheers, Missy