Byline: Deborah Donovan Daily Herald Homes Writer
The kitchen is the most important room in the house - and it's the center of home entertainment.
That's true for new homes in the starter price range and the multimillion-dollar manses on the North Shore.
Today, the layout and style of a kitchen and the variety of appliances available make a big difference in the kind of entertaining that's possible.
It was either the expanse of the kitchen and adjacent family room or the sink in the large island that convinced Chris Pantaleo and Mike Dulek to buy the 2,108-square-foot Willow model at Hampton Glen in the Plainfield/Joliet area.
Both of these features are important to the way the two entertain.
"The kitchen had to be open to the rest of the area," Pantaleo said. "As you know, everyone congregates in the kitchen."
Dulek particularly likes being able to prepare the meal, clean up and wash dishes without turning his back on his guests.
Builders Julie and Keith Jacobs could put almost anything they …