“When I design, I’m always thinking about balance,” says Ariana Fischer. In this kitchen, that meant toning down a palette of whites that risked overbrightness, especially on sunny days. To temper some of the shine, Ariana turned to Bench Dogs in Washington for the fabrication of a stunning nine-foot island. “I had the surface done with quarter-inch strips of walnut and cherry,” says Ariana, “so it’s a striped wood countertop. It really is a work of art.” She also added recycled, reclaimed shelving and a unique Calacatta gold tiling with pale brow and warm yellow veining rather than traditional gray. “I love a space where the cooks get the good view,” Ariana says.