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Once preoccupied by layout, storage, and utilitarian function, designers and builders are reimagining the modern kitchen as two separate spaces: one a luxurious extension of the living and dining rooms used for socializing and participatory food preparation and where appliances are often camouflaged as custom furnishings; the other a practical, serviceable space behind closed doors used for actual cooking and cleanup.

Where square footage and practicality prevent such options, companies like Troy Adams DESIGN (pictured above), Clive Christian, Anvil Motion, SieMatic (pictured right), Effeti, Pedini, and Arclinea, among others, are taking a more artistic view of the most overused room in the house, adding geometric or circular surfaces, new materials like exotic veneer cabinetry and fossilized or honed limestone counters, and even building in dining tables that hydraulically raise and lower to create a large island work space.
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All of the major components — cooktops, microwaves, prep sinks, small appliances, wine storage, warming drawers, and refrigerators — can still be found within. However, many are now being retrofitted to fit inside walls and drawers, rest underneath sliding counter surfaces, or hide behind flip-up doors.

Smart technology has also found its way into the kitchen, where it’s being employed for televisions and Internet access while being integrated into cabinet design and appliances, allowing you to open/close or turn off/on appliances at the touch of a wireless device or a simple wave of the hand. Some kitchens are even being synchronized with the rest of the home’s technology — from automated lighting and media to security and even the house’s HVAC system — to streamline the cooking process and make it easy to close up the kitchen and the house at night.