Anyone watching a master chef in action soon realizes that cooking is a dance and a kitchen is the stage. Counter space, considered prime real estate even more so than stoves or appliances, is expanding exponentially and also allowing a household’s multiple cooks to create in tandem. Precision, efficiency of movement, command of space defines a chef— which so many of us now aspire to be.

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When entertaining, guests want to watch their hosts in action. As a result, they tend to congregate in the kitchen, which then grows in stature with “spectator” seating and elegant design.

Kitchens are further evolving into the hearth and hub of the family. A great kitchen is said to fuel a healthier lifestyle with more sit-down dinners, conversation opportunities and healthier dining choices than food on the fly. Elaborate indoor herb gardens continue to crop up, so to speak. More elaborate “farm-to-table” garden options in luxury households are taking root, as well.

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The 2017 season of Top Chef, the long-running foodie television show, recently wrapped up in Charleston, South Carolina. Helen Geer of local area Affiliate William Means Real Estate explains the importance of a kitchen in selling a home: “The kitchen has become a major entertaining space. Instead of a utilitarian area for someone other than the owner to prepare food, buyers today like to cook and take enormous pride in the meals they prepare themselves. Even if they don’t cook, people still like to entertain in the kitchen with hors d’oeuvres or small plates. It is more intimate and welcoming.”