Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kitchen Island DIY

Our Great Kitchen Island( If I do say so myself)
The top layer of paint was beige, but we found yellow and green underneath too that accounted for the many hours of stripping

The layer underneath was yellow with green insets.  I guess to match the lovely top
                                           This Diamond in the Rough is probably my favourite project so far.   We were told that this painted cabinet had come from a Convent in the Eastern Townships in Quebec, and likely dated back to the late 1800s.  When I spied it at Christies Antique Show and Sale in May 2009 (where by the way I did see my decorating idol Sarah Richardson shopping too) I knew that it would make a perfect kitchen island.  I just needed to see past the many layers of paint and that lovely linoleum top and the stainless steel band which went around the perimeter.  This was not a quick project.  Lots of sand paper, Furniture Stripper, the heat gun and a ton of elbow grease and many months of labour brought this piece back to life.  Because it has 2 doors on one side and 1 that was cut into the other it has  tons of storage and makes a great Island in our large eat in kitchen.  Because we don't have a pantry cupboard, this is a great place for the boxes of cereal and those awkward countertop appliances. 
We weren't too sure what we would find under that linoleum, and even contemplated a granite top, but I was so pleased with the way the pine cleaned up that we have just stained it with Butcher Block stain and left it au naturel.
We stained it with Walnut Stain to complement our Antique White Kitchen cabinets, a look I have long admired, and I love the contrast with our Hickory  Handsculpted floors.  I did all of the work in the garage, and we had to take the top off so it would fit through the door when it was finally done,  but Handy Husband did a great job with that, and putting it back together too.  It would have been a real shame if it hadn't fit.  We would have had to buy a new house, after all of the time and energy that I had put into refinishing this piece!
The saddle stools were a great find at our local Zehrs store, and provide a great spot for a snack or even to do a big jigsaw puzzle. I love my Kitchen Island, and know that when and if we move again, it will definitely have to move with us.
  We paid just over $1000 for this great antique at Christies.  We had looked at building an island with kitchen cabinets and it would have been close to the same price, but the story is so much better with this old piece.  If it could only talk, what stories it could tell!

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