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Kitchen Living, published by Gestalten, $67. 

Of course no one’s suggesting you should actually live in your kitchen, but if it kind of feels as if you do, this book will give you ways to make it more than just a room in which you slave away preparing meals. Somewhere to gather, host, toast, potter and learn was British food writer Mina Holland’s fantasy, which she shares in the foreword before telling how she made it her reality. On the pages that follow, you’ll visit spaces little and large, owned and rented, loved by those living solo and big families. What they all have in common is their originality. Envy the Tokyo kitchen with a swing in it, realise you didn’t know you needed green cabinetry until now thanks to an 1890 home in Sydney, and consider the possibilities of the eco-minded Copenhagen kitchen made using corn and cork. If you don’t want to go quite that far, you’ll also find ideas for tweaks that’ll help you create a hub you’re happy to hang out in without spending heaps.

MAIN IMAGE A chic Barcelona kitchen that’s a compilation of curves. TOP Kitchen meets workshop in this durable, Austrian-made, powder-coated steel design. ABOVE This California kitchen/photography studio has electrical outlets in the ceiling that allow the hanging lightbulbs to be moved around as needed.

Words Philippa Prentice 
Photography (from top) Roberto Ruiz, Jan Kulke and Nicola Parisi