Friday, September 25, 2009

On an Island in the Sun

I wish. But, we do have an island! And, technically, it is in the sun.

Mike never ceases to amaze. He's about 2/3 done with our kitchen island. The pictures really don't do it justice. For one, those are just our old, beat up chairs in the pic - placed there so we could get a feel for the size of whatever stools we end up buying. And, the butcher block is just for temporary effect. It's not cut to it's proper size yet.

Now, for the specifics: Mike built the base, which will house our Asko dishwasher and GE Advantium convection oven, all by himself. What a man. I've been waiting about three years to test-drive these appliances. We snagged the Asko from the same place we bought our cabinets - a kitchen design center that was closing some of its showrooms. We got our shiny, Swedish dishwasher for about a third of the retail price.

Our Advantium convection oven was a craigslist find. No kidding. It was brand new, in the box - just happened to be a few years old. A contractor's client had decided not to use it, and we ended up buying it for almost a fifth less than what they're going for today. Sure, it is a few years old, but I'd call that a pretty decent trade-off.

Our butcher block countertops came from IKEA (best prices on butcher block e-v-e-r!). We will be joining two pieces of the butcher block together to get the size we need. Then, Mike will put a nice Roman ogee edge on it, using his new router bit. I've seen his practice pieces and they look really beautiful. Finally, we ordered four turned legs online to dress the island up a bit. Hopefully we'll have pics of the finished island soon. Mike is literally obsessed with this project, so I don't think that's a very long shot.

So far, the island project has been smooth sailing. There's only one little detail that's been worrying us (me): the trim work inside the panels. We're considering NOT staining the trim to match the rest of the island, but rather painting it to match the cabinet color. I was (am) worried it'll look too circus-y (that's a technical term, btw). At the moment, the wood trim is not painted at all, it's just wood color (another technical term). The wood color is pretty close to the color of our cabinetry, so it's not a stretch to envision the finished product this way. I'm sure the trim will look better once it's painted the actual cabinet color, with a nice brown-ish glaze to tone it down a bit. Mike is firmly in the circus camp. Me, I just don't know. Any thoughts, one way or the other?

As an aside, after repeatedly changing our minds as to the final shape and size of the island, it looks like we'll be taking down the two pendant lights that are currently hanging in the kitchen and replacing them with one pendant light similar in shape to this one:

We've given ourselves a deadline of October 10th for this project, as we're hosting a family party the next day. Fingers crossed.

P.S. We're in the market for four counter height stools if anyone has seen any good deals out there.