Whether it’s a Saturday afternoon cup of coffee, Tuesday evening homework, or Thursday night pot luck with the softball league, the kitchen is where everyone wants to be. As for why this room is such a draw, everyone has their theories. It could be anthropological (we humanoids like to be near fire). Maybe it’s instinctual (our nose leads us to where the good aromas are coming from). Or, it could be social (the party’s getting underway, and watching your friend debone a chicken is more interesting than pictures of your neighbors’ trip to The Finger Lakes). In the end, it doesn’t matter why. The kitchen is the hotspot, and no matter how big a room we’re talking about, a hub of activity poses a special design challenge: Where to put the people? Where can they sit so they’re a part of the fun but not underfoot? For some inspiration, check out the slideshow.