If kitchens are the heart of the home, the ones we shortlisted for best of the year in 2016 have a lot of love to give. We may be living in a rental apartment or a fixer-upper pre-renovation, but that doesn't mean we can't take a moment to daydream about our ideal kitchen—one that features floor-to-ceiling storage, designer lighting, and Carrara marble backsplashes. While we saw a lot of great kitchens this year, these ones have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them stand above the rest—an intricate detail, a showstopping counter stool, or a clever color scheme.
If you're planning a renovation in 2017, even better. We rounded up all of our favorite editor-approved kitchens in one place to make your inspiration sourcing that much easier. Ahead, visions of brass pot-fillers, waterfall islands, and wood fire ovens await. Look no further, these are the only spaces you'll need to inspire your own dream kitchen.
What we wouldn't give to wake up to breakfast in this sleek Melbourne kitchen by Robson Rak Architects. Apparently, we're not the only ones—the house was shortlisted for the Australian Interior Design Awards and Houses Awards. The entire wall across from the kitchen island opens up to the backyard and dreamy lap pool—perfect for a morning dip.
What we love: The long edgy pendant light and the bookcase tucked into the kitchen island.
Across the pond in New York City, this sprawling kitchen by Gachot Studios defies the laws of Manhattan small spaces. Featuring a four-seat kitchen island and an entire backsplash wall of white marble, it is both a chef's dream and an entertainer's delight.
What we love: The Lambert & Fils suspension light and floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets.
In Brooklyn Decker's Texas kitchen, marble is king. The rustic style kitchen also features bright blue cabinets, a brass sink, and rustic beams. The layered vintage oil paintings above the cabinets add a sense of history and personality. It's farmhouse at its best.
What we love: The marble covered range hood and the suspended open shelving in front of the windows.
This elegant tone-on-tone kitchen by Los Angeles–based design firm DISC Interiors is stunning in its subtlety. It's the home of Carly de Castro of Pressed Juicery—also a friend of Jenni Kayne. The blond wood and cream tones feel beachy and appropriate for its coveted Santa Monica location.
What we love: The La Scala glass pendant and the repetition of blonde and cream tones.
The Manhattan home of Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber may have been our favorite for the entire year—and the kitchen is no exception. Designed by Ashe + Leandro, the space features checkered black and white floors, duck egg lacquered cabinets, and globe pendant lights symmetrical to the three bar stools below.
What we love: The vintage breakfast banquette and the built-in refrigerator doors.
This Park Slope townhouse in Brooklyn designed by Elizabeth Roberts is a chef's dream. Featuring plenty of storage, both open and closed, the space also has a wood fire oven and vistas from every cooking station.
What we love: The rolling ladder and the wood fire oven.
This dark and moody kitchen by DeVol is everything we imagine English country kitchens to be. Painted from floor to ceiling in a deep forest green, it features shaker cabinets, open shelving, and a classic farmhouse sink.
What we love: The white marble against dark green paint and the oven nook.
Entirely unique and showstopping, this kitchen in a London townhouse is also home to many photo shoots through JJ Locations. It seamlessly blends past and present with its contrasting lighting, herringbone floors, and waterfall island.
What we love: The repetitive green accents and the contrast between the modern pendants and classic chandelier.
In another dreamy kitchen by DISC Interiors, the stark black cabinets and kitchen island are offset by light whitewashed floors and white and brass accents. To finish off the look, a patterned ceramic tile backsplash packs a punch.
What we love: The Lawson-Fenning barstools and the ceramic tile backsplash.
While we always have a soft spot for a Scandinavian eat-in kitchen, this one takes the cake. The cool muddy gray shaker style cabinets with marble backsplash and brass accents are complemented by a warm wood dining table and copper pendant—creating a separation between cooking and dining spaces.
What we love: The enclosed marble backsplash and brass ceiling flush mounts.
In this Manhattan kitchen overlooking the Highline, the lighting steals the show. Designed by Workshop APD, the seamless cabinets and marble backsplash blend in the background, letting the island and vistas shine.
What we love: The unique pendant light and textured dark gray walls.