In this paper, we argue that in order to create spaces and technologies that people will want to use you need to disarticulate the domestic from the digital. One way to do this involves complicating our understanding of the kitchen, moving beyond seeing it as a collection of wires, appliances and internet points to thinking about it as a space in which people really live. To accomplish this end, we unpack the imagining of the smart house, thereby creating a context and genealogy within which current and past research can be rendered intelligible. The trajectory from the display houses of tomorrow to the current narratives about smart houses is one that ultimately conflates the domestic with the industrial, and leaves little room to imagine real lives within those engineered confines. The "smart kitchen" is, in turn, embedded within the smart house and also presupposes a digital lifestyle. Throughout this paper, we draw on research conducted by researchers at MIT's Media Lab and Intel's Corporate Technology Group.