Adding Green in our Kitchen

I wanted to share a recent addition to our kitchen.  If you’ll recall from this post, it took a lot of work to get our kitchen from here to where it is today.  We scraped popcorn ceilings, took out a wall, re-did the lighting, got a couple new appliances, painted the cabinets and replaced the hardware. After all that, the island in our kitchen has always been a bit of a controversy in our house.

Even after we painted it, Mr. Heard wasn’t sold on its looks or functionality.

Add to that the fact that it would cost a fortune to replace that countertop when it came time to do the rest of our counters, and we decided a whole new island was in order.

So what’s a girl to do?  Browse a million different websites, conclude that a $1500 new island was waaaay out of her price range, and then stumble upon this beauty for under $400.  And then, of course, drive 6 hours to Dallas to pick it up!

The STENSTORP island from Ikea was a breeze to assemble and seemed to be really high quality and very sturdy.

I promise I didn’t make Stephen assemble it all by himself!  Whenever I wasn’t taking photos, you can bet I was right there helping. 🙂

Less than 30 minutes of assembling later, and we had our new island.

We never had butcher block in a kitchen before, so I decided just to use the wood oil Ikea sells to treat it.  The instructions tell you to sand first, then apply a coat of the oil, let it dry, and repeat up to 5 times.

I don’t know about you, but this is NOT what I expected the oil to look like when I opened the can.  I guess I was picturing something more the color of olive oil.

It goes on white and then soaks into the wood.  You can see I used a foam brush to apply the oil.

One thing I noticed after applying the oil the first few times was that the wood became very rough as it soaked up the oil – the grain was raised and there were little slivers of wood standing up all along the surface.

You can see the remnants of the wood slivers on my sanding block below.

After every coat the counter got more and more smooth.  Luckily by the 4th coat, the wood only needed a slight sanding before it was ready to use!

So are you ready to see our island in its new home?  Here she is, complete with a new green runner for the occasion.

I love how our Craigslist bar stools look with the oiled butcher block, but the island looks great without them too.

You might be scrolling back and forth between our old island and this one and wondering why we chose something with a smaller countertop, less seating space, and presumably less storage.

Believe it or not, the open stainless shelving on the opposite side of the island provides the perfect place to store our pots and pans, mixing bowls, and even some of our prettier kitchen items that we never got to appreciate before.

Since I originally wrote this on St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d make a specific mention of my favorite green item in the kitchen.  This green canning scale was left at the back of one of our cabinets by the previous owners, and I think it’s adorable.  The best part is that my husband, who does a lot of backpacking, uses it all the time to weigh his gear.

So that’s a look at the new addition to our kitchen.  Who would have thought that when I mentioned we’d be adding more butcher block to our house in this post that you’d get to see it so soon!  One more time before …

and after!

So what do you think of our newest addition?  Do you think we’re crazy for giving up that huge countertop we had before?

Thanks for reading!  I’ll be linking to these parties this week:

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