In my own kitchen I have cereal boxes, a microwave, juicer, banana stand, a plant, and a container with fruit and snacks on my countertop. Some of the items serve more utilitarian purposes, while the fruit and plant adds color and texture. The kitchen can really give insight into someone's personal style or lifestyle. The kitchen is where I look first for warmth in the home. You can also almost immediately identify people who cook vs. those who mainly eat out.
Images: Bethany Nauert, Annie Werbler, Jenika Kurtz