Our kitchen is one of the main reasons we bought our home. The previous owners did an amazing job totally renovating it and adding some really great custom elements like the shelving. Aside from the fact that it was painted all different colors, we didn't have to do a lot of work on it when we moved in. We painted all the walls grey (surprise, surprise), and I made my own chalkboard paint for one whole wall in our kitchen (2 tablespoons unsanded grout to every 1 cup of paint).
Even though our kitchen is probably one of the smallest areas of our house, it tends to be where everyone hangs out, and I'm not complaining one bit. The idea of the kitchen being the heart of the home is something that's really special to me because that's how it was when I was growing up. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter watching my mom cook (and I still do that today!) or having friends over and we would all end up around the kitchen table. So much life and love happens in our kitchen and I wouldn't have it any other way.