Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Final kitchen island plans

Hey there! I’m back with an update for the plan in the kitchen and I am SO EXCITED because I think I finally have the island figured out. It takes me awhile to get the look of certain things nailed down, and I don’t move on them till I have it all figured out. When I do I move forward fast. :)

Right now our island is four by three feet, a standard builder size. I’ve spruced it up over the years, including adding a butcher block top from IKEA. It actually came in a larger size and I had it cut down and a pretty edge added to it:

board and batten kitchen island

When we had the floors patched during our reno last year, I went ahead and had the area under the island patched as well. When we got new floors years ago we had them installed around the island, which I knew right away was a mistake. Trust your gut people!

I had them patch underneath so we could move the island out into the room just a bit. Unfortunately, they had to take all of the pretty trim off in the process. It was a sad day, and our island has looked like an art project gone wrong since. :)

It’s not a big deal – since I knew I wanted to extend it anyway. We’ve hosted friends and parties over the past four months with it looking goofy and it’s not made me twitch too much. But I’m hosting two baby showers in the next month so I really want to get this thing looking good again!

So…the original plan was to double the size from four feet long to eight feet. I also wanted to make it a bit wider too, so the overhang would go over the chairs a little more. The plan included adding a base cabinet for more storage and then building on a bookcase at the end to house a microwave:

microwave at end of island

(source)

The microwave part is still happening. But I realized two things after doing some more research – one, we’d have to order the cabinet since it would need to match the current ones in our kitchen. We upgraded a little bit when we built, not a lot, but they’re still not cheap. And we’d have to wait weeks to get it in.

The other biggie was the countertop – I was planning to do stone on the island and wood countertops everywhere else originally. But after doing some research I decided I didn’t want to worry about the wood counters around our sink and over the dishwasher. I read some reviews from folks who loved the wood but all (that I read) said they would not do wood again, just because of the stress factor.

And the huge slab of stone for the island was going to cost close to what it will just cost to do the countertops – so now…we’re going stone around the room and sticking with wood on the island. I’m used to the wood there and love it.

Problem is – the only island butcher block I can find is six feet long. I found one that is eight feet but is more expensive. We considered adding a wine fridge to add the length (instead of ordering a cabinet), but then when we thought about it and realized we really only drink red wine. I think you can still put those in there but we just wouldn’t use it.

SO…you with me here? I’m trying to think about how we’ll really use this thing and save some money. So the new plan is to do a six foot countertop. No new cabinet, no wine fridge, just a built in at the end.

I also had to adjust how I want it to look a bit. I got these stools last year and then months later found a third one and grabbed it up:

extending kitchen island

My first plan was to build out the sides with skinny bookcases. So out from the current island on each side of the three stools:

extending kitchen island

But as you can see with the six foot island there’s not enough room. (Edited to add that yes, the stools are bar height. I’ll be cutting them down like I did our last set, I just didn’t want to do it until I was positive we were using them.)

I still want that custom look so I am going with even skinnier sides like Jen’s island I’ve shown you before:

It still gives the island a more substantial feel and we’ll have additional storage at the end.

These are little adjustments that I honestly think will look better in the end – simpler and more streamlined. And I think it’s a good thing that the larger island top was going to be too expensive because when I taped things off I realized eight feet was going to be REALLY big:

bay window kitchen

The tape on the floor next to the island (sorry it’s hard to see) is measured at six feet out. The window seat tape shows where that will go. Funny how I thought having that open space where the table used to sit would be too open – now we love it! Many of you mentioned living with it for awhile and it’s so true. We got used to it pretty fast.

So, it’s not the original plan but it will still be super functional, wayyyy cheaper and really beautiful when it’s done!

Now…our final decision is the countertop. I can go with a basic maple, in a similar tone to what we have now. It’s at a local lumber store and the prices is OK, but more than I spent at IKEA for sure. I also found a few options at Lumber Liquidators. When I called they said they had a basic maple for a GREAT price -- $200! But when I got there to check it out this is the maple:

maple butcher block with knots

It’s considered their basic version and it includes the knots which I don’t like. (This is the look with oil on it.)

They also have walnut that’s beautiful but my husband didn’t like it as much:

walnut butcher block

Of course the one we both love, an acacia wood, is the most expensive:

acacia butcher block

But I don’t mind paying a bit more for this considering we’re “saving” by not doing so many of the updates we originally planned.

Here’s the deal though – all this time I thought IKEA didn’t carry the island sizes of their butcher anymore, but they do? Readers have told me for years that they don’t have the one we bought years ago but I looked online and you can get it, but you have to order it online. Odd. It says they can ship to our house, and maybe even the store? (Two hours away.) The thing is, I have used this butcher many times and am really happy with it. The price online is less than $200, crazy good!

Has anyone used the island-sized butcher block from IKEA? I’m going to call them to try to get it figured out because if I can get it there I will – the price can’t be beat! AND the island size comes 40 inches wide – exactly the width I’ve been hoping for. After all this research and driving around the place I wanted to get it at from the start may have exactly what I want! :)

I hope my train of thought in this process makes sense – I know it can hard to keep up with sometimes. (Ask my husband.) But I’m thrilled with the plan and am so excited to get started on this first kitchen reno project!!

51 comments:

  1. It's exciting to be doing an island project, I am sure!! I would love to reconfigure mine into a rectangle shape and have the microwave like the photo you have. As for wood, we did wood around the sink almost two years ago, and we made the countertops from scratch. I could not be happier with how they have held up, but, instead of doing what everyone else did with waterlox or tung oil, I used a floor grade non-yellowing satin finish varathane, and I do not regret it. If I could have afforded quartz, that would be the only other choice I would have made. Yours is going to be great and I can't wait to see it!!

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  2. Love the hidden microwave idea! Awesome!
    athisfeetdaily.blogspot.com

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  3. For us, simpler is always the way to go. The more nooks and crannies, the more dust it catches. Give me drawers and cupboard under an island and I am a happy housewife. Always splurge on the countertops! You'll never be sorry for that upgrade. Xox

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  4. I heard that the IKEA recently changed their butcher block and it's not solid... or something... anymore. I can't remember what exactly was different about it. So I would check that out before ordering because it may not be the same quality anymore!

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    1. The IKEA store in our area (Pittsburgh) is unveiling a whole new kitchen system on February 2nd. That may be affecting countertops as well.

      Betty

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  5. Our island is six feet, and we have plenty of room to do everything we need on it! It's my favorite part of the kitchen.

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  6. Our island is 7' and called for a cook top, which I did not want. Since I knew the blue print said 7', that is what I wanted! We have a small vegetable sink in the middle, one side of the island has a drawer at either end; the other side has a cabinet under the sink. I now would prefer 6'.

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  7. Your stools look bar height rather than counter height. Are you putting a bar height section on the dining room side of the island?

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  8. We just replaced all of our (old, stained, cheap) countertops with IKEA beech butcher block, and added a breakfast bar using the 40" depth. I'm not sure what the commenter above meant about IKEA changing their countertops, but we bought ours (had them delivered, because we don't have a truck and the closest store is a couple hours away, so the steep delivery fee was worth it to us) in August, and they're definitely solid. They might have changed them since then, but we made all kinds of cuts--the breakfast bar needed to be shallower, they all needed to be adjusted for length, and we have an undermount sink, so we had to cut a hole for that. It's butcher block, all the way through.

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  9. Just a thought on the wine fridge: When my bestie bought her new house, there was a wine fridge already installed. They don't drink wine but do have children who drink juice boxes and soda so that's what they use their's for. Saves lots of room in the fridge, too. Just a thought. Can't wait to see the final reveal!

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    1. I did think about that and it would be nice to have a spot just for the kid drinks! Our fridge is so close though, it just feels silly to spend on it you know?

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    2. I love the plan! Can't wait to follow you through it. I don't have room for an island so will enjoy vicariously through yours!

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  10. We just went through this same decision making process for our basement bar countertops, and ended up choosing the Numerar butcherblock from Ikea. I absolutely love the look of the beech version! I saw online that a store about 1 1/2 hours away had what we needed in stock (1 regular width piece and one of the wider ones) so I called to confirm and made the trip that day to pick it up. That nagging feeling that I had to open up the boxes and check before I left...yeah, I should have listened to it, because they gave me the larger piece in the birch finish, not beech, so we ended up with two non-matching sections. Boo! :( I had a very long conversation with the Ikea distribution center and apparently they handle online orders completely separately from in-store orders and purchases. However, they gave me a few tips, and I was able to return the wrong item to a store closer to me, then place the order for the new one to be delivered there. It should be in by the end of this week. :) They did say that the numerar countertop is being discontinued, so if you want to order it I would do so asap. You can place the order in the store and come back to pick it up, or order it online and have it shipped. If Ikea is a far trip for you (which I know it is since I'm a long time reader) it's probably worth paying the shipping costs and saving yourself two round-trips. Though that is two opportunities to get the cinnamon rolls and meatballs... ;)
    Sorry, long story but pretty much exactly what you may have needed to know! :) ~Jenn

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  11. Did you calculate the cost of shipping from Ikea? That might help you make up your mind. I live rurally and have ordered a couple times from Ikea but once I calculated the shipping cost for two bookcases and it was like another $100 so it didn't work out.

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    1. Yes it was $100 -- a lot better than I thought it would be for such a large piece. Since I'd have to rent a truck to go get (four hours round trip) it I may just have it delivered if we use that version.

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  12. We have a 10 year old butcher block table from IKEA. I love, love, love the table. We moved in October and I toyed with getting a nicer table but I could not. I need to use some elbow grease and refresh it as well as fix it. It is not sealed and I sand and oil it as needed. I am toying with trying to seal it with something because I have messy kids. The table is six feet however the table is in two pieces plus the middle leaf. Because we have a huge open kitchen, living room and dining area I keep the leaf in. But the butcher block has held up 10 years despite being battered with paint, markers, spaghetti sauce, etc. I have my trusty sand paper on hand for when it is needed!!

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  13. Aren't those bar stools too tall for the space? They look like they are intended for a bar-height counter, not a regular countertop. People's knees are going to whack the underside of the counter, and they'll have to stoop over to eat. They are cute, but I think they are too tall.

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    1. They are too tall, I just haven't cut them down yet. I had to do that with our last set too.

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  14. Did you check butcher block prices at www.hardwood-lumber.com? They make them up to 120" long in different thicknesses and edge profiles. I had them send me samples and they are very nice. Ended up going with quartz so can't tell you how they hold up. They are located in Ohio.

    Must echo the comments about your bar stools. Need about a foot between the top of the seats and the bottom of the countertop for best comfort. Maybe you can cut down the legs?

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    1. Yes they are too tall -- I'll cut them down but haven't done it yet in case we didn't end up using these. They have worked fine in the meantime though. :)

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  15. I have really enjoyed following along as you've redone your family room and kitchen. And I'm sure the new island will be gorgeous. You are right about the acacia - that is the best looking one! But think about the long-term investment in your kitchen. I'd say go with the one you love as long as you can swing it. It will be worth it in the end. And I'm sure you'll find creative ways to make up for the splurge in other areas.

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  16. Some are really freaked out when it comes to wood counters, and I understand why, but we have had butcher block counters (from a local hardware store) in our cottage kitchen for almost 3 years now, with a bridge style faucet that sits directly on the wood, and we hand wash all our dishes - so water is constantly dripped, splashed, spilled, and inadvertently left on it. Never has it been a problem. We also place hot pans on it, and spilled a fair amount of staining foods, and yet it has never scorched or stained. We use a particular (and amazing) product that is food safe that conditions and seals the wood, so that's probably why. We have had tile counter tops, stone/granite counter tops, and now butcher block....our butcher block out performs them all in ease of care, looks and versatility.
    It's funny you should mention ikea and kitchen islands - I just posted on my Twitter page a photo of a kitchen island I just finished building for our other house, and used IKEA's Numerar beech counter top. It was a great buy and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself ;)

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  17. In our last renovation we added a 5' island with plenty of storage on one side. We ordered 3 Ingolf stools from Ikea and I love serving the kids lunch in this spot. I love how the island makes my whole kitchen uber-functional, but I'm glad we kept it simple, the lines are cleaner than if we had loaded the ends with things. So I say you'll never regret that wine rack! Can't wait to see the final product! Coming from you I know it'll be super!

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  18. This has been one of my favorite posts of yours. I was laughing each time you wanted to know if we were still with you (ha). Looking forward to seeing your finished island because I think it's going to be awesome! And I followed your logic the whole way!!

    Bertie DeWane

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  19. I'm sure whatever you do will be gorgeous. I totally get waiting and thinking things through before pulling the trigger. The times I've been rushed (ahem, spousal unit) I have regretted my decisions. Our house was once owned by a chef and there is a separate beverage refrigerator under the bar. (I'm sure he would be horrified that a non-cook lives in his house.) While not used all the time, when entertaining it has been a lifesaver to provide extra space for drinks and other refrigerated items so that there is room in my main refrigerator for all the extra food that is required. When not needed, we simply flip the breaker and turn it off.

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  20. Do you have any Amish communities in your general area? When we butcher blocked our island, we found an Amish woodmill who made us a custom butcher block counter. It was inexpensive and the quality is amazing. Also, they had lots of different styles and let us choose the wood that it was made from.

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  21. I love the acacia! My husband is exactly 6 ft so I'm imagining him laying on the ground to get an idea of how long the island is. I can't tell you how many times I've done that. Anyway, that's a good sized island! I love the idea of wider walkways. The biggest problem I have in my house is walkway space. I have more broken so may toes and bruised my hips so many times trying to walk around islands and furniture in this house! I am with you on the wine fridge. If you drink red there's no reason for it. There's one expense saved!

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  22. It makes perfect sense to me. We went to Lumber Liquidators and found them to be a complete rip off. I LOVE the way your cats sit on the stools. I have a butcher block from IKEA. It used to be on my island but now it is my work table in my craft room. I am very happy with it. Also buy the solution they sell to protect the top.

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  23. Love your kitchen decorations! especially that big fox & spoon.

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  24. We had the IKEA butcher block counter on our island in our last house and loved it! Wish we would've trimmed ours out like you did. Love your plans!!

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  25. One suggestion: I know you want to put the ends that enclose the stools. Imagine this: You have two adults sitting on the end stools and another wants to get on the center one, but it is crammed between the other two. Normally, without the end pieces that block the legs in, at least one person on the end can simply scoot his stool sideways and/or step off the stool to the side. That's not going to happen if it is "trapped." Have you noticed that people on stools often like to sit sideways to converse with those in front and those behind? Where's the sideways leg room? If the stools aren't trapped, they can spread out a bit more and still have access to the actual island top surface. It just doesn't work in a confined space unless only children are on them - not adults. I knew someone who designed the island for three stools and it wasn't long before it was reduced to two because there just wasn't the space to maneuver, even if they all "fit" there just fine without humans being involved. Add the humans, and they just needed more space between each stool. You might want to put a practice wall up on the ends, scoot your stools in between the space, and have REAL PEOPLE practice using them. Real people often need more elbow and maneuver room. Many "picture perfect" ideas just don't work as well in real life.

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  26. I love your blog and have enjoyed following along with the renovations so far! Have you considered doing an oval shaped island with the ends being built in shelves? It could be 7' but not feel as long, and would allow for deeper (more useful) shelves. I once had one and LOVED having more space and no sharp corners to bump into. Looking forward to seeing out it all turns out!

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  27. haha.... love your kittys hanging out. The black & white one looks like he's just waiting on the orange & white one to move. :)

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  28. I have had an IKEA butcherblock countertop on my island for years and absolutely love it. I have an acquaintance who doesn't live near IKEA and she bought hers at Lumber Liquidators and said it was just as reasonable as IKEA. Don't know if you have one near you but it might be an idea. If they have longer ones you might be able to extend your island after all.

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  29. We've used a huge piece of butcher block from IKEA to create a large half circle desk top for our kids. It's super heavy and indestructable! Also used their butcher block for the base of a large window seat because I wanted it to be strong and have a nice thick edge of wood to show under the cushion.
    Lora

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    1. One more thing... Just to mess you up ;). I agree with the comment about all the stools lined up. I have designed a few kitchens and always try hard to have stools on at least two sides, or at least have the sides open, not boxed in. This allows for comfortable conversation. In our kitchen, our island (which is really a continent ;) ) has stools on three sides at the end and we use it all. of. the. time. Snacks, coffees with adult friends, games, puzzles, meals.... Just a thought.

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  30. Our kitchen island is 87"x36" and last time I checked I didn't think IKEA sold a butcher block that big. I'm so bummed, because I desperately want one. I hope the IKEA one works out for you!

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  31. We have a butcher block island top from Ikea and love it! We bought the oil that they suggest you use with it and treat it with oil every 6 months. Have had it for 2 years and still love it. Actually our island is 8 feet long, so we bought 2 slabs of Ikea butcher block and had to mesh them together, it was definitely not the easiest process, but we were able to achieve a really thin seam. Love the stools you have chosen!

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  32. I've never seen a maple wood countertop with that much variation. Maybe because it's a butcher block style? We love our maple wood island top, but the wood all has the same pattern and it's all stained the same. Makes for a cleaner look. My hairdresser's husband has a custom woodworking shop, and we hired him to make our countertop.

    Of course, if you can get the IKEA top, that will be your best deal for sure!

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  33. Cute cats! Your kitchen was FABULOUS!

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  34. Just an idea.. I've been watching hgtv a lot lately and they do a lot of concrete counters. Loving that.. Has to be cheap!

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  35. I just realized I have the same yellow urn you have on top of your cabinets! I found mine on a local buy/sell group, and originally put it on the mantel around Thanksgiving (http://dustbunniesanddogtoys.com/2014/11/18/thanksgiving-decor/). Now sits in a similar spot to yours! Great minds think alike! :)

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  36. Just a quick question, where did you get the white stools in the top picture? Also, are you from mn? If so I know of a couple of refurbished places you might want to check out!

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    1. I have no idea how I missed all these questions, I apologize for not getting back to you! Those white stools were from Garden Ridge -- I spray painted them white and added the cushion seats. I am in Indiana but thank you!. :)

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  37. Hi, where did you buy your three gray stools. The ones with your cute cats :-)

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    1. Hello April! I got those at HomeGoods but share the details so you can search online here:http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2015/02/the-right-island-stool.html

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  38. where did you get those gorgeous stools?

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    1. Those are from HomeGoods but I share more info here Jenna: http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2015/02/the-right-island-stool.html

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  39. EMERGENCY island crisis! You said you had your original IKEA island cut down? Where did you get it done? I bought a butcher block top and it's too big! I would rather get it cut down than drive back and return it, but I am in a panic now!

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    1. You can have it cut down at any lumber store -- just call ahead and make sure they'll do it!

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