As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, November 15, 2013

An Island Story

We have been thinking about a kitchen island for a long time. That's kind of how we operate. L-o-n-g thinking-it-over/mulling/considering/planning time...and then we get it done. So you may have forgotten that we were planning a kitchen island. I shared a few of my ponderings in ~this post~, and then I left you hanging.  

Before and after that post, we were planning. Many, many discussions. 

What design?  An "open" look? Totally closed in with storage cabinets? A mixture: one part cabinet, one part open shelving? Do we want a drawer? 

Should the island have natural or stained wood? Or should we paint it? If we paint it, what color? We already have grayish green cabinets and barn red wainscoting in the kitchen. 

What height should it be? We don't want to block the view of the farmhouse sink, but it must be high enough for tall cooks. If we make a shelf, there must be room for the antique crock (a family piece from Ron's family).

I had a file of magazine clippings, a bunch of islands on my Kitchen Inspiration board on Pinterest, and a computer file of pictures found before Pinterest. (Yes, we have been planning this for quite a few years.)

Finally, Ron had caught up on other projects, the island was the next one on the list (yay!), and so we decided to just do it!  We put together all of our ideas, forced ourselves to make decisions on all those little details, and off Ron went to the shop.

And this is what he came back with...

Okay...maybe it wasn't that fast. But here it is in my kitchen. Yay!

I absolutely love the top. One of my island wishes was for a big chunky wood top. Ron delivered! He used wood from a beam that was part of his parent's demolished chicken house (the same chicken house that provided the wood for our COFFEE sign). It is chunky and imperfect...which is perfect to me!

The legs were also cut from an old beam, this one from a basement remodel that Ron did many years ago.

The remainder of the wood for the island was formerly the siding on the same chicken house.  (Maybe we should call this the "chicken house island"?)

The old crock fits perfectly too.

We thought that a drawer would give us some storage, so Ron designed a deep drawer in our island. I am still deciding exactly what to keep there. My extensive supply of paper napkins? (A few packages have found their way there already.) My not-quite-as-extensive collection of linen napkins?  Kitchen tools?

Ron also wanted to include a slide-out cutting board. It is one of Bekah's favorite features.

Our island was close to completion before our trip to Lancaster County in October. The night before we left, I was looking for an online source for Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.  And what was the first to come up in my search engine? An Etsy shop based in Lancaster County!  The Etsy shop also had a store. I immediately emailed Deanna to see if she knew of the store. "That's the store we want to show you!," she replied. Come to find out, Fresh Vintage by Amy is the charming shop of Deanna's friend...and it is fabulous!  (If you ever go to Lancaster County, be sure to visit Fresh Vintage by Amy! Be prepared to ooh and aah over the many one-of-a-kind handcrafted items and wonderful antiques and collectibles. Our group of seven explored every nook and cranny of the store. At least a couple of times! And we all found treasures to take home with us. (See Deanna's photo of Sarah and Bekah with their vintage aprons...cute!)

Back to the island...
At Fresh Vintage, we purchased a bag of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, the color "Typewriter." (Am I the only one who loves the names of Miss Mustard Seed's colors? Probably not.)

We applied one coat of Typewriter...

...did some light distressing...

...and finished off with a coat of Briwax.

In the month that we've had it, the island has served many functions.

It has been a prep area. Here Bekah is decorating cookies for Kati's birthday party.
(Excuse the pot lid on the crock. Reality shot. ~smile~)

It has been a hangout. Here, Kati and I were checking recipes while we waited for something on the stove, but we also find ourselves gathering there...while someone else is cooking...on Sunday afternoons when lunch is about to be served...while waiting for evening coffee...

The island has been a holding place. A place to set dishes that are ready and waiting. Or a place to photograph.

(You may also have noticed that the island has been a candle burning place. On autumn days, I have a pumpkin candle burning for hours on end. I think it must run in the family!)

It has been a serving station. This may be my favorite function. (Although I really love the hangout function too!) For Sunday afternoon desserts or for party food, it is helpful to have another place to set the food or the dishes/paper goods.

We have been thrilled with the results of this project! It was worth all the planning and gathering of ideas and pondering and choosing. And the work...although a good part of the work was Ron's, but I think I can speak for him anyway.

If you stayed with me this long, then you must love house-y things as much as I do! Thanks for reading about our long-awaited kitchen island!

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday...

Also linking to Joanne's very first Make it New Monday link-up at her delightful blog
My Not-So-Empty Nest...

My Not-so-Empty Nest


  1. Every step of the way. It looks great, sounds as if it is functioning beautifully on a number of levels...what does Kristin think about it now? She was a little concerned. If you won her over, it must really be a wonderful addition. Ron did a fantastic job!

  2. I just love it, and it would work really well in my kitchen! Wish they sold them like this. Enjoy, and I can't wait to see what happens on it for Christmas! xo

  3. I absolutely love your reclaimed wood island! The long decision-making process was well worth it. You two make such a great team!

  4. Your new kitchen island looks fantastic, Cheryl! Great job! You have a beautiful kitchen and home.

    Have a happy weekend.

  5. It looks great! Ron is so talented. We got lucky with our men, didn't we?

    I think it is perfect in that space and the paint color is great too. I'll send Amy a link to this post.


  6. Vee, I don't want to put words in Kristin's mouth, but, although she likes the island, I suspect she still would not choose to sacrifice her open spaces at her own house. Maybe I'll ask her to weigh in...

  7. Ido!! Absolutely Love it!! That photo of the two lap tops made me smile too. Looks so homey and companionable.

  8. I love it! I have always wanted an island too...though it has never happened. Yours looks perfect, and I imagine it will be put to lots of good use. I am impressed with your hubby's work!

  9. What a lovely post Cheryl! Your kitchen is beautiful! And your new addition to your kitchen is simply great!

  10. I love it, Cheryl! Ron did a great job with it! Just the right size, and the design fits perfectly!

  11. If you had a meter to see how long readers spent on this post, you would see I was here awhile absorbing all the details. You did an amazing job presenting this, as did your hubby in building it, and all your family in getting acclimated to it quickly! Actually I've wanted something like this in my kitchen and the size of yours is so perfect. It really is a work of art! I love how you showed all the ways it's used! Have a nice weekend!

  12. It is beautiful!!! Love the story that you told about how it came about and how you are using it!

  13. I'm still reading. Love the island and its functionality in your kitchen. The end product seems to be well worth the effort spent on thinking things through.

  14. Mulling is what I do too (for years). I'm a "scared-y cat" about decisions. Your project was worth the wait of the planning stage. You still have the open look while also having a defined kitchen work space. And what a handsome compliment it is to your soft-sage-green cabinets and charming country white sink. It's darling --- so cute. Thanks for the photos. I feel like I've stopped by.

    I will have to check out "Fresh Vintage" here in Lancaster. My daughter wishes to paint her island.

  15. I think it suits your kitchen perfectly! If only we could all come over and hang out around it:)


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