People with eat-in kitchens always describe them as the heart of the house. It's easy to see why. So much of daily life can—and does—take place in these hubs. And the more people that pack in the merrier. It's no wonder so many childhood memories take place in eat-in kitchens. Have a look at some of our favorite designs, including Julianne Moore's glamorous living room-style kitchen.
Above: Cape Cod architect Sheila Narusawa, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, is a firm believer in putting rooms to multiple uses. In the Cape Cod house she designed for herself and her husband, she incorporated the kitchen and dining room into one lofty setup, that, as she says, "works equally well for morning oatmeal and for dinner parties." The trestle table was a wedding gift from her husband's siblings and was built to Narusawa's exact specifications: it's 8 feet long and 30 inches wide, which, she says, are the "magic numbers if you want a design that has room for people and tableware, but still allows for intimate conversations." See more of the kitchen an tour the whole house in the Remodelista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: A mirrored ball and Cararra marble backsplash (that runs the full length of the wall) add hints of luxury and glamour to Scandinavian stylist and writer Emma Persson Lagerberg's informal eat-in kitchen. Learn how to recreate the look in A Mint Green Kitchen by a Scandinavian Stylist.
Above: In a bright Sonoma, California, kitchen with a polished concrete floor, a farmhouse dining table is mixed with midcentury-inspired bentwood chairs. The house is a recent construction and its basic plan is available for $2,500; see Sonoma Farmhouse by Houseplans to learn more.
Above: The dining table in the eat-in kitchen of the Heerlijheid van Marrem guesthouse in West Flander, Belgium, is well placed to take in views of the surrounding orchards and fields. The guesthouse accommodates 20-23 people, and is perfect for family gatherings. See Glamorous Farm for Rent, Belgian Edition for a full tour.
Above: The ultimage eat-in kitchen is large enough to fit a sofa—as seen in this New England kitchen by Sage Design. Photograph via Sage Design.
Above: An early sixties vibe pervades the eat-in kitchen of this renovation by Bfs Design of a 1957 house in Berlin built for the International Building Exhibition. To recreate the look, see Muted Color in a Mod German Kitchen. )
Above: London architect and designer Ben Pentreath's eat-in kitchen in his Dorset parsonage speaks of utility as evidenced by the Sheila Maid laundry airer hanging above the AGA range. Pentreath uses the house's original cupboards for storage and display. See the whole kitchen in A Work in Progress: Ben Pentreath's Parsonage in Dorset.
Above: A modern crisp white kitchen inserted into the rear parlor of a 19th century townhouse. Photograph via Home Shopping Spy.
Above: Actress Julianne Moore's newly finished eat-in kitchen in New York occupies the former back parlor of her historic townhouse. And with its freestanding, furniture-like cabinetry and large-scale art, the design gracefully straddles the line between kitchen and living room. It's the work of Oliver Freundlich, who happens to have designed another standout New York kitchen we're spotlighting later today: watch for Rehab Diary. For a full tour and dissection of Julianne Moore's kitchen, see the Remodelista book and our post Behind the Scenes: 5 Design Lessons from Julianne Moore. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Thinking about doing away with your dining room in favor of a formal eat-in kitchen? Read Michelle's Gardenista Domestic Dispatch: The Death of the Dining Room. We're examining kitchen layouts all week. So far we've looked at The L-Shaped Kitchen, The U-Shaped Kitchen, and Kitchen Islands Gone Glamorous. Tomorrow: the galley kitchen. For advice on all sorts of remodeling issues, dip into our Remodeling 101 archive.