The "bigger is better" ethos that led to the great room has also helped put the kitchen on steroids. I also blame the popularity of celebrity chefs and their arena-size cooking spaces. While it's true that many post-W.W. II suburban kitchens were cramped and drab, the response has been wildly disproportionate:
The "Dream Kitchen" Problem People think they need enough space to cook banquets for 16. But what's more useful is a layout that lets them pivot from the chicken in the oven to the peas in the fridge to the tomatoes on the counter for a Monday-night dinner.
Industrial Relations Oversize commercial appliances force the scale of everything in a kitchen to be ratcheted up to a preposterous degree. Countertops and cabinets swell to accommodate Nimitz-class equipment.
A Counter Too Far Countertops never have to be more than four feet apart. And it's crazy to think that a kitchen longer than 20 feet is easy to use--you'd need Rollerblades to get from one end to the other.