Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Kitchen Island

My kitchen has a big island in the middle of it. I designed it with multiple work zones: an antique butcher block forms one corner conveniently near the stove; a marble slab covers the other end for working dough and making candy; a long run of open space provides room to mix ingredients and stage stuff; in the middle are my stand mixer and food processor.  
The end by the stove
The end nearest the table
Supporting part of the worktop is an antique cabinet that used to be in an optometrists office - it was full of old lenses and blanks for making eye glasses when we got it. Chris had to do some woodworking repairs and I had to scrub the heck out of it (it had been stored in a garage for years) but it wasn't in bad shape overall. It had originally been constructed in sections and I chose to utilize only the ones that had stacked drawers (I'm sure we'll find good use for the others, probably in the studio).
The unit with large, deep drawers supports the side nearest the sink and has baking pans and food processor supplies. 
Wow, do I need to paint that kick board!
The other drawers hold similar stuff
The unit with shallow drawers sits on the side nearest the refrigerator and is full of baking tools and supplies.  
Yup, that kick board needs paint too.
Before anyone says there is no way those drawers will stay that organized, yes, they will. I've had them like this for well over a year. You just need the luxury of space. An overriding goal in this kitchen design was to have enough space to not stack or jumble things. These drawers (and many of the other drawers in the kitchen) are shallow (3" or so) so I can fit more of them into a standard cupboard space. More drawers = less jumbled mess.
I can always find my measuring spoons
Chris made the worktop by joining some ash boards that we picked up at auction. Originally I was going to use maple from the property but the grain on these was just too good to pass up.
Custom fitting the new top 
One corner of the worktop was supported by shelving that had consisted of 2x4s and plywood for the last few years. I wanted something much prettier so got some old sewing table legs. These things were nasty - rusted, pitted, and no table attached at all. Just two legs left outside for who knows how long. I scrubbed them, scraped them, sanded them, and painted them. And they look awesome!
The restored antique sewing table legs
What it's replacing (and look at that grain!)
In place and ready to fill
Love the pop of red 
Four shelves of wonderful: shallow top shelf for electronic scale and a cutting board; next shelf for sugars, choc chip jar; then mixing bowls; bottom for flour (yes, I have five bins of different flours down there - don't judge). Everything is easy to grab as I'm mixing and just as easy to put away despite messy fingers. 
Probably should have pushed back the dog food bucket...
Chris didn't care for the simple maple blocks that we had supporting the worktop so he carved some new ones.
Chris getting cute with the worktop supports
So now the island is finished and it's functioning beautifully. I can easily move the mixer and food processor to a side counter (or even to my workroom) when we host dinners so that space is available for a buffet. And it creates a nice gathering area in the kitchen - plenty of room to move around it while still providing access to food, drink, and tools. 

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