Meg, who loves to entertain, will tell you straight up that everything starts and stops at the massive 10 × 7–foot island (shown on the previous page). Meg wanted the kitchen to be smack in the middle of the house, and the island is its heart. Congregation, connection, preparation, and celebration all happen around this polished, finely honed concrete work of a Denver craftsman. ("He had to create a special template because he had never done anything this large," says Meg.)From her cook's perch at the stove, it's a step or a turn to the sink, dishwasher, and plates. All manner of stovetop necessities—pots, pans, utensils, spices—are in surrounding drawers. Inlaid iridescent glass tiles serve as inset trivets for anything hot. There are more cabinets underneath the front of the island for baskets and larger pieces that aren't in the regular dining rotation.
When there's a crowd, which is often, counter stools are moved to the living area, and the island serves as the perfect buffet area. Thanksgiving, birthdays, Super Bowl parties, the family's annual Bubble Bread Brunch—there's no meal that can't be accommodated by this massive counter space.