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The impressive 10-foot-long center island serves as the kitchen’s social hub. “I love that it’s big and we can fit a lot of people there,” Thorjia says. In addition to the double-bowl stainless steel sink, the island contains a stainless steel dishwasher, a pullout trash center and space for a future microwave. The Silestone countertop gives the couple lots of prep space and offers a spot for groceries when they come in from the garage entrance, seen to the right of the refrigerator. Translucent yellow-green, white and opalescent glass tiles used with a white grout make the gleaming backsplash one of the stars in the room. Brandwein says it was a splurge used in a limited way, and good installation was key. “You need a qualified, custom installer who knows what they’re doing to make sure the transitional areas are done correctly,” she says.Pendants above island: Moravian Star, Circa Lighting; island stools: Crate & Barrel; wine storage unit: KitchenAidContractor Tips: Countertop Installation From Start to Finish The materials have been selected to work together while offering contrast. “It’s really a study of color and bridging,” says Brandwein.