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Let’s say you cooked in three to five different kitchens every week, and you did that for a period of several years? Well you’d probably be pretty good at designing a kitchen.

Personal chef Monica Thomas has that background, plus several years catering experience, not to mention a big family that expects some plate-filling from time to time. She bought her house in Hyattsville in 2001. Kitchen renovation came steadily. First, there were the counters and appliances, plus the corner sink (not pictured).

“I didn’t want to commit to the island until I’d lived with the kitchen for a while,” she says.

But after a few years, Thomas said “I do” to a special, custom-made stainless steel number. One night, she, her husband, and some guests broke out a duct tape role and started laying out the palatial island’s boundaries on the floor.

Here’s the rest of what Chef Thomas came up with:

To allow for more walk-through space between the counter and the island, the back of the island dips in.

Foot pedals for the sink allow you to watch your hands and not muck up the sink faucet handles with your germy, chicken-fat-covered hands.

And that would be the caffeine drawer—-for coffee and coffee accoutrement.