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!
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
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.
Almost daily I get asked what I would call my home style. I don’t like to box myself in, but I definitely lean Modern Traditional with an emphasis on comfort when it comes to our home. This especially came up when I shared our Powder Bath Reveal on the blog. I think it changes slightly […]
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!
Make yourself right at home