As any good cook knows, having good workspace in a kitchen is vital. Solid surface countertops are very popular right now, mostly because they provide beauty, function and minimal maintenance - and for the cooks out there, it means a wonderful work surface free of grout lines (have you tried to roll out pastry over a countertop covered in grout lines every 4"?). If you are not lucky enough to have solid surface countertops yet but have the room for a free-standing piece, this island by Crate and Barrel furniture stores is amazing. It provides traditional French styling and the always-welcome marble work surface for the real baker in the family. Marble is a porous surface though, which does require some diligence and care (especially when it comes to acidic foods which can damage it), but just imagine how this could conjure up images of a French bakery right in your own home when it is stacked with copper cookware on the bottom shelf and topped with a vase of fresh lavender stems and a domed plate filled with homemade croissants!