"A lot about what makes people feel happy in their space is based on how we’re hard-wired," says Grey, a champion of the "unfitted kitchen," in which furniture, color, diverse materials, and rounded edges create a sense of ease. "Sharp objects trigger a primitive fear response in the brain. Soft geometry is more comfortable to move through and thus increases usable space. The market is finally catching up." In open kitchens, "the space needs to be managed—people feel better when their backs are covered and they can see what’s coming."
Contributing editor Deborah Bishop approached "Kitchen Design 101" with keen interest, as she is currently plotting her own kitchen renovation. "Having read and been told that this is the most important room in the house- and seeing such an array of aesthetic approaches- I am now effectively paralyzed," confesses Bishop, even though her culinary triumphs tend, at best, toward toast and French-press coffee.