Bespoke or ready-made?
Ready-made isn’t always cheaper. I had sheet metal crafters make this custom cover for my exhaust flue for just $60. A prefab flue from an appliance store would run for $300 and wouldn’t have fit the range hood as seamlessly. Flue cover, Burlington Metal Supply. Threshold copper barware, target.ca.
Freestanding or built-in island?
At eight-by-15, I figured my kitchen was too small for a built-in island. What I’d envisioned at the heart of my kitchen’s new layout was a huge, worn butcher table. What I found instead was an antique store counter. Not only was it the perfect size, but it was loaded with more storage than a butcher table and topped with marble—the perfect work surface for pie dough. Antique store counter, clappisonantiques.ca.
Butcher Block or Carrara marble countertops?
Butcher block and Carrara marble are both notorious for staining and discolouration—a turnoff for most, but absolutely perfect for me. I love materials that age and develop a patina over time, and I wanted a countertop that I could read memories on years later. I ultimately chose butcher block because it provides a warm contrast to the marble top of the island, and is perfect for working pasta. I cut on it, bang on it and roll on it, then sweep all the mess into the scrap hole that empties into a compost bucket below. The scrap hole—which was cut into the countertop—is an idea I’d seen years ago on a cooking show, and I’d never, ever forgotten about it. Maple butcher block countertop, chrisstorefixtures.com. Matte black flatware, flatware caddy, indigo.ca.