Compared to the apartments I've lived in, the kitchen in my home is wide open. And it gives me the willies. It's a L-shaped configuration, so when standing at the counter, there is just open space behind you. That's why I'm considering ways to enclose the space a bit with an island or extra leg of countertop.
For me, an aisle of no more than 36 inches with a countertop on either side is optimum. Prepping a meal in a kitchen where you can turn one way to the oven, another way to the fridge, and a half turn to the prep area is ideal. This business of taking six paces between appliances, prep space, and the sink is just plain tiring! And all of the cabinet space just awakens my lazy tendencies, beckoning me to cram things away instead of ridding the kitchen of the non-essentials.
What about you? Is your kitchen too small, too big, or just right? Tell us about your reality and your ideal in the comments below!