This weekend, we finally paid some much needed attention to our island. Up to this point, it has been mostly covered with tools and supplies in photos bearing its bad, fake brown wood interior for all of you to see.
We had always planned to cover those sides with the coordinating Laxarby cover panels that match the drawers and doors, but we also wanted our island to have seating. Instead of having the typical right or left side dedicated to barstools (right in our former kitchen), we opted to extend the end of the island, opposite the range, 27 inches out to house some casual seating. We did this for a couple reasons; 1. With the fridge being on the right side, it seemed incredibly inconvenient for seating to be there, as well. 2. It allowed us to have drawers/storage on both sides of the island. 3. It allowed for workspace on 3 of 4 sides of the island, which is nice when you get something out or are working with the fridge/sink/range and you can put it right on the counter.
The first step to customizing our island was adding legs. We used 4x4s as our base and Chris screwed hanger bolts into both.
Because we have tile floors, he used a diamond drill bit (specifically for tile) to drill pilot holes and screwed the 4x4s into place until they were tight.
For our island top, we ordered a chunky 2 1/4″ slab of plank style Black Walnut from Craft Art. It arrived last Friday and it is breathtaking! It is also extremely heavy. My parents came over and helped us haul it into the kitchen.
To secure it, we drove screws through pocket holes in the 4×4 legs and Ikea base cabinets actually come equipped with support brackets for countertops that let us know exactly where the screws go.
At this point, we had our basic island shape, but it was looking very…rough.
In the morning, we started making the island shine by (finally!) adding the cover panels to the sides but also to the legs! We purchased a few extra panels in anticipation for this project.
We planned on adding trim, so we saved a little money by getting the shorter cover panels and dividing up the width on the legs, attaching each section with a nail gun (where we were also adding trim pieces).
We were inspired by this island when picking out the trim for our legs and found this slim pencil trim pictured above at Home Depot for a couple bucks for 48 inches. Chris cut each to size, mitering the edges, and I painted them before attaching each with Liquid Nails. If you’ve ever seen the Laxarby Ikea cabinets in person, you know they are a multi-tonal black, but I just took a whole door to the paint counter and had them color match it and it worked great for all the trim, including a chunky baseboard we attached to the base of either side of the island.
We are missing an important photo right here. A photo of all the trim attached pre-caulking and painting. It looked crazy. Not good at all. But! A little black caulk and color matched paint left us with a sleek finished island.
The moulding on the base of the legs was another Home Depot find and we wrapped the baseboard we attached around to the front to give it a finished edge.
We are still in the process of Waterlox-ing (a special kind of tung oil that enriches the wood while protecting it from water or stains in the future) our black walnut. I put on two coats, about 12 hours apart, this weekend, but will probably do two more.
So while the wood hasn’t come to its full color yet (you may even see some areas of the countertop still absorbing the oil in these photos), I couldn’t resist giving you a peek.
It adds so much warmth and character and movement to the kitchen, we can’t imagine the kitchen without it now.
We plan on adding four backless stools to the setup once we’re finished, one to either side and two tucked in on the end which will be great for casual eating or chatting away while Chris cooks. The finished island is 50″x70″, which feels massive to us! Can’t wait to put it to use!
I know you took a LAXARBY door in to have it color matched, but I haven’t had luck with that. Your match looks spot on! Would you be able to share: (1) the type of paint/stain you used (including the sheen – Stain, Semi-Gloss, etc.); (2) the “formula” on the attached sticker; and (3) the quantity (quart or gallon – this will impact the formula you share)? I’d like to try to purchase the same paint/stain base and have my local store duplicate your formula to see if they can get it to work.
Y’all have a bunch of broken picture links on this post. :(
You have no idea how happy I am to have stumbled across this post! We installed our own cabinets last year and are ready to do a peninsula with seating now. But I was overwhelmed trying to figure out how to do the legs. Thank you!! I almost fell off my chair reading this, I was so excited. :)
Such a beautiful island. The wood is lovely. Did you purchase the wood countertop unfinished? and then only used the Waterlox? Or did you stain then use Waterlox? The warm wood tone is lovely.
You’ve probably grown weary of all the compliments, but gosh you really did a good job.
Wondering about the size of your island… do you think it is the right size? Would you change anything?
Did you use the 50/50 satin/sealant waterlox combination again this time, or did you nix the satin for this island? It’s gorgeous. We’re getting ready to do our own craft-art island after seeing how well this turned out!
Hi Julia! Your kitchen is amazing and I know you are enjoying it! We are in the final stages of a major kitchen addition and I am so ready to be done! I had planned all along to use butcher block countertops in my pantry and after seeing yours online, decided to order the same walnut tops from CraftArt. So I have several questions about the sealer…. How did you apply the Waterlox? Brush or cloth? And how many coats? I am assuming you used a clear, untinted finish (after reading the reviews on Amazon seems there are several options).Were the fumes an issue?
I am looking at doing a craft-art counter top as well for our island. I see that your island measures 50″x70″, but the craft-art counters seem to only come in 48″ max width. Did you have them custom make your counter 50″ or did you go with the 48″ with two sets of 24″ IKEA base cabinets? Your help on this would be greatly appreciated as I don’t want my counter to be too narrow!
we arw condudering the ikea laxarby island and yours looks srunning. please can you tell me where the handles are from on the island?
Can you tell me what is the cover you put on the cabinets? Is this something from Ikea? It looks like the original ones are tonal..and then you put a black outer layer on top..where can I find this? thanks!
Hi! Love everything about your kitchen! Can you please tell me the dimensions of your island and the distance between the island and the dishwasher and the island and the stove? Thank you!
I’m working on our own Ikea kitchen island and have been trying to figure out where/how to install the electrical outlets. Any suggestions? I can’t seem to find them in your photos. Is there enough clearance behind the drawers to run the wiring at the back of the cabinets? Thanks
This is one of the most gorgeous kitchen makeovers I have ever seen (and I have seen hundreds)!! I have two questions: 1) Did you leave the toe kick area open on either side of the island or did you put in a black recessed toe kick? 2) I noticed the corners of the legs after panels were added showed some raw edges; did you use black caulk and black paint to cover those edges or just paint them? Thanks.
I just found you via Impatient Gardener. Your kitchen and pantry are breathtaking. I just finished (almost?) our kitchen using the Bodbyn Gray and your kitchen is so beautiful, I’m almost wishing I had chosen the Laxarby. Ouch! I am particularly impressed with your island and how you made those legs. When you applied the panels to the legs, I noticed the corners showed the cuts. Did you just use black caulk on them, just paint them, or both? I know you must get tons of email, so I hope you will be able to answer this. I may be using this technique. Thank you and I hope you never stop renovating.
I absolutely love your kitchen. You are really pulling together a beautiful space! I especially love the island top!
Hi Chris and Julia – WOW! All of us at IKD are in love with your gorgeous kitchen island! (Personally, my favorite of your kitchen items though are those pendant lamps..I’m really very envious).
How did you build your island? Did you use IKEA’s assembly kit and support brackets for kitchen islands? Or did you build it the traditional way? My firm designs IKEA kitchens, and most of our customers choose *not* to use the pieces from IKEA. I couldn’t tell from your photos if you did or not.
Thanks for the info and again, your kitchen is stunning. -Jenn
loooooove that moulding!
Breathtaking and sophisticated
Nice! And the countertop!
I lurk, I never comment, and I’m not into a lot of trim for myself because I *hate* dusting and I like sleek lines, but that island is an incredibly beautiful statement and I think you guys brought your kitchen to the next level with that detailing. Kudos, bravo, huzzah, and all other types of fabulous things for you! Really, really well done.
Long time reader, first time commenter! The trim on the gap is brilliant. It looks great.
So the reason I’m commenting is because I had a dream about you guys last night because I was reading one of your posts yesterday about spraying your wall with the texture stuff and in the dream I was at your house and you were spraying it and it broke and made like canyons on your walls and Julia was like… hmmm… it could be considered art? Haha.
Love the renovation so far!
This looks so great! I love the back splash … actually just ordered samples to copy cat you :) Could you let me know what paint color you used? I looks so nice against the tile I’d love to try it.
Could the island legs have just been painted?
I was wondering how you’d solve the seam issue without drawing attention to it, but it looks beautiful! I love the black in your kitchen so much that I’m almost reconsidering my white cabinets!
It really looks good so far and seems to reflect your style- great job!
When I went to the Craft Art website and looked at the walnut planks (we need an island top as well) there are no options for your size of 50×70 or a thickness of 2 1/4… Did you guys do a custom order? I didn’t see an option for that, and there are attached fees for all sizes except the smallest. Did you ever discuss what your cost for the walnut top ended up being? Trying to work a budget here!!
Love it! I admit, when I first saw you putting the cover panels on the legs and I saw those very obvious lines where the panels join, I was worried. But you have covered it beautifully! It’s like the pieces of trim just belong there because they look good, not just because they’re covering gaps. I’m loving seeing the whole kitchen come together.
That. Looks. Gorgeous!!! That wood top… swoon! Nice work :)
I love that Charlie is just chillin out sleeping on the floor in most of your photos!! Also, the kitchen is looking amazing! You guys are so talented!
What color of paint did you use to match the LAXARBY side panels?
Wow Wow wow – looks awesome – I’m a little bit confused about the baseboard around the bottom of the island though – will that get wrapped all the way around?
I can’t believe how detail-oriented this kitchen renovation has been, and the pace you’ve still been able to go. It’s pretty amazing.
How did you manage to get rid of the small visible seam in the panels that faces the stool side and on the pilars? Did you just touch up with paint?
STUNNING! I love seeing your kitchen come together!
I am so jealous of your kitchen! It’s looking great. Seems like it’s almost done, no?
wow wow wow! It’s absolutely breathtaking. One of the prettiest islands I ever did see :). Amazing job guys! Great vision!
i LOVE the island. adding that trim is genius. great job guys!
Wow, everything is looking so good! Can’t wait to see the final reveal.
This is such a great use of big box store items! I love it!
Looks awesome! Love how you guys customized the legs, totally made the island look high end… We are about to start our own kitchen remodel and I wanted to incorporate a butcher block island and wood shelves (just like the ones you installed). Could you touch on how you chose the stain color for the shelves and island? And how you decided what would work with your floors? :)
Seriously, this is incredible! THAT WALNUT. We used that same trim from HD to trim out our DIY stairway newel posts which actually look pretty similar to what you did with your island legs!…and yes, it looked totally crazy while in process.
Here’s the link if you want to take a peek: http://plantingsequoiasblog.com/2015/03/16/the-staircase-situation-craftsman-style-balusters-reveal/
WOW, so beautiful! I might have had to wipe some drool off my face…..
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]
We've been doing this since 2009 and we've posted a whopping 24145+ blog posts and counting. You might need a little help searching, huh?
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations
Make yourself right at home
What do you think?