Oprah's chef, Art Smith, turned his tiny, outdated kitchen into a sleek, spacious sensation. "This was the first kitchen I'd ever designed in my 20 years of professional work," Art says. "I wanted it to be right."
One of his major creative inspirations: Oprah. "In all her homes, Oprah has a big island in the kitchen, which is a wonderful workspace for food preparation and a great serving space for buffets," Art notes.
He and his partner, Jesús Salgueiro, a Venezuelan-born artist, made their own island by placing a large slab of marble atop two tables they had bought years earlier in a Chicago antiques store. "I loved finding a new use for something we already owned," Art says.