A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation in a dwelling or in a commercial establishment. In the West, a modern residential is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, counters and cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a microwave oven, a dishwasher and other electric appliances. The main function of a kitchen is serving as a location for storing, cooking and preparing food (and doing related tasks such as dishwashing), but it may also be used for dining, entertaining and laundry.
Commercial ones are found in restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, hospitals, educational and workplace facilities, army barracks, and similar establishments. These are generally larger and equipped with bigger and more heavy-duty equipment than a residential one. For example, a large restaurant may have a huge walk-in refrigerator and a large commercial dishwasher machine. Commercial kitchens are generally (in developed countries) subject to public health laws. They are inspected periodically by public-health officials, and forced to close if they do not meet hygienic requirements mandated by law.
In the 1980s, there was a backlash against industrial planning and cabinets with people installing a mix of work surfaces and free standing furniture, led by designer Johnny Grey and his concept of the "unfitted kitchen". Modern kitchens often have enough informal space to allow for people to eat in it without having to use the formal dining room. Such areas are called "breakfast areas", "breakfast nooks" or "breakfast bars" if the space is integrated into a counter. Kitchens with enough space to eat in are sometimes called "eat-in" During the 2000s, flat pack kitchens were popular for people doing DIY renovating on a budget. The flat pack kitchens industry makes it easy to put together and mix and matching doors, bench tops and cabinets. In flat pack systems, many components can be interchanged.
Starting in the 1980s, the perfection of the extractor hood allowed an open kitchen again, integrated more or less with the living room without causing the whole apartment or house to smell. Before that, only a few earlier experiments, typically in newly built upper-middle-class family homes, had open kitchens. Both had open ones, with high ceilings (up to the roof) and were aired by skylights. The extractor hood made it possible to build open kitchens in apartments, too, where both high ceilings and skylights were not possible.