Ahhhh.  Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than a warm and inviting kitchen (that’s right…I said cockles…moving on). I recently stumbled across a review from HGTV covering some of the most amazing kitchens in the good old U.S. of A. While they all range in appearance, they are without a doubt each cool and inventive in their own way, and extremely out of my budget, which makes them all the more alluring and drool-worthy to me.  Someday Kristen, someday. Ok, so before I lapse into a disturbing inner monologue not fit for public consumption, I will practice my inside thoughts while you peruse some of the featured, and impressive, cooking nooks. (Note, I said “nooks” not “snooks.” You will not see any short, overpaid, jersey-ites sporting bumpits and a bag of chips in any of these fine establishments.) Here is a look at some of my favorites:

The futurist
Vrrrooooooom! Strap on your seat belts as we take a closer look at a kitchen with some horsepower to kick things off. This modern and futuristic concept was designed by the same firm that designs Ferraris, and features an aviation-inspired workspace made from recycled aircraft aluminum and stainless steel. How cool is that? This is what I imagine John Travolta’s kitchen to look like. You know, Kelly Preston pushing a beverage cart around while John cooks up some eggs and bacon in his full pilot’s uniform. In addition to busting out some serious dance moves in pants that are far too tight, that guy just can’t get enough of his fever for flight!

In the conversation area adjacent to the kitchen, or the galley if you will, the high-tech look is repeated with a stainless steel fireplace, complete with a flue that resembles some sort of shoot that would launch you into outer-space. It looks to me much like those little air chambers that you use at the bank to catapult your deposit slips at completely unreasonable speeds when you pull into the distant drive through lane that gets avoided by the snooty teller until you press the button and start yelling at ear piercing decibels. You know, that thing. A little cold for my liking, but definitely a sexy little kitchen sitting area combo, and a great division of space if you are used to entertaining a boisterous, cocktail fueled crowd such as is my experience with my own parties, but maybe that is just me and my degenerate pals. Sorry pals!

The minimalist
Ok…moving on to the next is the sleek and sinewy minimalist kitchen. Here, designer Amy Finley created her own kitchen around common sense functionality, making the most of this space which ultimately serves as a gathering place for her children and for dinners with extended family.

One reason that Miss Finley wanted such a spacious kitchen was to have plenty of counter-top space available for friends and family to pitch in with meal preparation. What a great idea! Lack of space is all too often an excuse for getting out of the dirty work.  With all this open counter, you are sure to be ready for any Griswold-like extended family situation that may arise. It also creates an atmosphere for fun activities, such as pizza making parties or teaching young children how to cook, while having fun at the same time! And with the attention to beautiful detail in the bold elements of this kitchen it is hard not to imagine enjoying the clean slate of you surroundings.

The showoffs
Nobody likes a showoff…well, except in this case that is. The tricked-out abilities of these kitchens really wowed me. The first is sort of like a grown up version of a children’s tree house, only more fun because in this tree house, you can drink wine, and you don’t have to climb up any pesky ropes to get to your destination. How very Swiss Family Robinson. Its combination of earthy natural stones and warm hand tapped copper almost give this kitchen the feel of an outdoor picnic.  But this kitchen isn’t just for looks; it’s functional too! The apple tree holds lighting fixtures between the upper branches and combines with electrical outlets and an exhaust panel hidden in the granite that pop up with the push of a button. And don’t you just love that gorgeous viking stove with the pop of color from the bright red fixtures. Tres magnifique! Also, you can’t see it too well here, but this house looks out to a killer view of a mountain range. All in all, one cozy little lodge space!

The second space with super wow factor is a little more on the austere side, but has some of the coolest features I have heard of in a kitchen. This kitchen, in all of its high sheen glory reminds me of my favorite flavor of lip gloss.  It sorta looks like it would be cherry flavored with its delicious appearance. Or, maybe I am just easily impressed, which is of course a valid possibility, but dog owners and techies take heed of this super modern space with its super modern amenities. Why, pray tell, you ask? Well, conveniences are at the center of this super modern kitchen, which is complete with an elaborate docking station for electronics and a built-in dog-feeding station, not to mention two, count ’em, two dishwashers. Um, hello.  The dog-feeding station sounds so upper west side, and the electronics adaptability…just genius. Additionally, the Caesar Stone countertop is used as a bar area for guests. Oh, and don’t worry about missing out on the movie in the entertainment room: the kitchen is wired so that someone in the kitchen can watch and listen in while they get their chef on. Holla!

So there you have it. This installment of ‘Kitchens I Covet’ was brought to you by the letter “A” for awesome. Stay tuned for more to come, because there is definitely not a shortage of amazing abodes out there just waiting to be discovered!

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