Kitchen before the island

Before we even moved in and had contractors coming and going for remodel work, they all commented that our kitchen really needed an island. After we moved in we realized more counter space and more storage for large items that wouldn’t fit in our cabinets would really be nice. Whenever we had large groups over, we struggled for places to put things and needed more surfaces to serve food from. Not to mention the fact that my kids were eating at my antique dining room table and it was starting to show the wear and tear.

I knew I didn’t want a cookie-cutter island that I could order online. I also wanted something rustic, heavy and open. The top surface was also very important since my husband does a large amount of barbecuing, meat prep would be happening on it and whatever surface we chose needed to be easy to clean and sanitary. So when we hosted our friends and started talking about all of this after they were the 100th (not really, but possibly) person to say, “You know, you really need an island!”, we began to brainstorm how it could be built. Lucky for us we have a really talented friend Brian, who has a talented friend Greg and the two of them just started up a furniture and decor business called Sawdust & Solder with his business partner Greg. So when Brian suggested he and Greg build an island for us, I immediately started looking through Pinterest and discussing design. Over a few discussions and texts back and forth with ideas, I narrowed it down to this one island for inspiration:

I fell in love with the legs on this island. They aren’t cheap, but I think they are worth it. Since this project, Brian has a lathe and can make legs himself.
so expensive, but so worth it

The most difficult part of the project for me was choosing the stain color. As you can see in that first picture of our kitchen, we have floors with a lot of grain and color variation and I didn’t want the island to compete or add to the amount of wood grain in the room. I wanted something dark since our cabinets and counter top add a lot of white to the room. The original plan was to stain the island the top right color in the stain samples photo above. But, at the last minute (carpenter’s nightmare) I decided it needed to be different. So, after numerous texts and time viewing the samples in the kitchen at all different times of day; I finally settled on the darkest stain. I am so happy I did. The black stain compliments our black hardware, doesn’t compete with the flooring and grounds an otherwise very lightly colored room.

The one thing I knew I wanted to change about the inspiration island we found on Pinterest, was the top. Wood wasn’t going to work for me because I didn’t feel I could get it clean enough and be able to wipe down the top surface like I would need to. So Brian agreed to do a concrete top, and I love the way it turned out. From what I understand, it wasn’t the easiest part of the project. The cement was left uncolored and raw for a more rustic look. It was also sealed to make it easy to clean. It will get resealed every year or so to keep it looking great.

After a few weeks of drying time the island was ready to arrive to Smith Farms West. I’d love to show you pictures of the burly men who helped get it up steps, through doors and perfectly positioned in the kitchen; I can’t because I wasn’t there. The guys thought it would be fun to surprise me, so I wasn’t there when it was delivered. I was surprised to say the least since the last I had heard from Brian, the island was going to need to cure for a couple more weeks.

The island makes our kitchen complete. Rustic and simplistic, it provides for more storage and more work surface. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. I also couldn’t believe how Solder & Sawdust made my vision come to life! It turned out exactly how I had pictured it because they took the time to discuss design and execute ideas flawlessly.

For your furniture and decor (awesome metal signs) needs, check out Brian and his partner Greg’s business:

Sawdust & Solder

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