Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block designed by Melissa Sakell of Kenwood Kitchens.
About the Designer: Melissa Sakell, AKBD is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s Housing Program which focuses on kitchen and bath design. She has been designing custom spaces for over six years now, and with Kenwood Kitchens, in Annapolis MD for the last 4+ years. She loves transforming clients homes into the space of their dreams and visiting with clients a few months after to see how much impact the remodel has had on their lives is one of her favorite things.
Designer Tip: In this kitchen we mixed a lot of materials and finishes, which can be tricky. It is important to lay them all out and make sure they complement and not compete with one another, in this kitchen the walnut top became a great way to ground the space and pull your eye in.
Cabinet Manufacturer:WoodMode Custom Cabinetry – Presidio Raised Door-style in Vintage Bright White & Matte Twilight Finishes
Butcher block knife slots are a popular feature selected for kitchen counters. Knife slots are built-in knife storage custom crafted into a wood butcher block countertop.
The term “butcher block” is used by Grothouse when referring to wood countertops built in end grain construction style. End grain is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for food preparation. Knives stay sharper longer when used on butcher blocks because the knife blades slide between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. An additional benefit is that butcher blocks don’t show knife marks as readily as wood countertops crafted in edge grain or flat grain construction. Knife slots can be integrated into a butcher block crafted out of any wood specie available at Grothouse.
Knife slots free counter space by eliminating the need for a knife block. They are designed so that knives are easily accessible, but also safely tucked away so that young children cannot reach them.
Knife slots take many different forms, from a single slot to a series of slots that fit different size knives. Knife slots designed to be one long singular slot are more universal, as they fit different size knives. Designing butcher blocks with knife slots of different sizes may be a problem if you change your knife set in the future. Removable knife slots are also available and can be replaced with another piece when you update your knife set.
Designs with Butcher Block Knife Slots
Cabinets Plus designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block to include knife slots. The knife slots were cleverly placed behind the sink, making the knives easily accessible but also out of the way as to not interrupt the food prep space.
Preparing Valentines Day Dinner can be stressful, but with the right food preparation surface and advice your meal can be a success.
The first step in preparing Valentine’s day dinner is to select the recipes you want to make as an appetizer, entree and dessert. Choose something that you and your date will both enjoy and that you have confidence to make to ease stress.
Allrecipes provides plenty of appetizer inspiration, from crab-stuffed mushrooms to brie cheese fondue. Country Living offers over 40 romantic dinner recipe ideas like butternut squash ravioli, bucatini with winter pesto, pancetta and brussel sprouts linguine and more. The Food Network made a list of decadent chocolate desserts perfect for the holiday, like chocolate raspberry mousse candy cake and chocolate cheesecake.
Once you have selected the recipes you are going to make and purchase all of the ingredients, it is best to ensure that you have all of the tools you need for preparation. The most important tool is the surface that you will be using to prepare the food.
Grothouse solid wood butcher blocks are the surface preferred by top chefs at home and in restaurants. Butcher blocks are very hard surfaces and knives keep their edge far better because the blade slides between the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish is a heavy weight pure mineral oil used for lasting protection that is food safe and hypoallergenic. It does not contain any Tung oils. You can prepare your meal with no concerns if your date has any nut allergies.
One of the best ways to prepare Valentines day dinner is by cooking together! It is a fun and romantic way to start the evening and enjoy each other’s company. Together, you can start the night by preparing a delicious meal and end it by enjoying it together!
Designs with Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops
Haile Kitchen and Bath designed this Walnut butcher block top for this large kitchen island. The top includes an arch at one end, creating a space for seating out of the main traffic zone. The warm brown tones of the Walnut wood compliments the wood cabinetry.
Home Supply Inc. designed an American Black Walnut butcher block for the island in this white transitional kitchen. A Standard Roman Ogee edge profile gives the butcher block decorative flair. The Standard Roman Ogee is one of our most popular edges due to its elegant curves and charming detail.
Roysons designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block for the end of this large kitchen island. Conveniently located above the microwave and near the sink, this butcher block is cleverly placed at the perfect location for food preparation.
A Walnut butcher block was designed by Julie Cavanaugh of Design Matters for the island in this mediterranean style kitchen with a transitional twist. Three edges of the butcher block are rabbeted to overlap and encapsulate a Caesarstone quartz countertop.
Butcher block stations are custom crafted to turn any kitchen into a veritable work horse. The best stations function as both mobile food preparation spaces and storage centers.
The surface area is a butcher block countertop crafted out of solid wood in end grain construction style. End grain construction style is preferred by chefs because it keeps knives sharp and can be sanded down and oiled to look like new. Butcher block countertops are finished with Grothouse Original Oil™.
The ultimate butcher block station was designed by Tyler Florence for Kitchen of the Year 2011. Crafted in all solid wood construction, the station features custom laser engraving on the front face of the butcher block. The butcher block also features one long integrated knife slot, keeping knives out of the way but easily accessible.
The base of the station includes five drawers for convenient storage, each 150 lb rated undermount drawer slides with soft close. 500 lb rated casters for heavy duty use were installed to enable the station to be mobile.
Placed in front of a handy message board, this movable kitchen island station designed by TRK Design Company has a 6″ solid Lyptus wood butcher block engraved with the name of the farm estate.
While butcher block stations are often designed to be mobile, they can also be built into a kitchen island or perimeter kitchen countertops. The Walnut butcher block pictured above was designed by Blue Bell Kitchens. The butcher block is rabbeted into the granite countertop and features a waste hole, enabling food scraps to be easily thrown away by removing the stainless steel lid.
Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for weekly kitchen design inspiration. Visit the Countertop Image Library to view more butcher block stations.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes a Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Julie Freeman Cavanaugh of Design Matters.
About the Designer:Julie completed her education in Interior Design in 1998, achieved a CID licensure and became a professional ASID member in 2002. With an eye for spatial relationships and problem solving, Julie’s interiors bring functional sensibility and tremendous flow while achieving beautiful proportions. Not afraid to mix color, texture and scale, Julie’s homes provide unique and unparalleled “livable luxury”.
About Design Matters:Design Matters provides unique, detailed and client focused design solutions. From architectural development, space planning, material selections, color and furniture specifications and more, Design Matters’ approach threads together comprehensive designs down to the last threaded detail.
Cabinet Manufacturer: Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry
Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs in Medium Bronze
Flooring: Arto Brick – Normandy Cream, 14″ Hexagon
Countertops: Kitchen Island – Grothouse End Grain Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block finished with Grothouse Original Oil; Perimeter – Raw Concrete
Sink: Native Trails Farmhouse Quartet in Ash
Backsplash: Blue Slide Art Tile
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Twisted Oak Path in Matte
Stove: Thermador Pro Harmony Gas Range
Dishwasher: Thermador Built-In Dishwasher
Other Appliances: Thermador Professional Series Wall Mount Range Hood
Parker explains that what sets one space apart from another is often not a big, grand gesture, but rather a small, thoughtful addition that stays with you even after you’ve left the room.
Chopping stations create the ultimate food preparation area and are often located near the range. End grain butcher block countertops are the chef-preferred surface material for chopping stations. This construction style is the kindest to knives and keeps their blades sharp. In addition, butcher blocks tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning and re-oiling.
Kitchen Designs with Chopping Stations
Stonington Cabinetry & Designs selected a Walnut butcher block for the chopping station in this bright, white transitional kitchen. Matching the Walnut wood kitchen island, this chopping block is conveniently located across from the sink and near the range.
Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens cleverly designed a Wenge butcher block chopping station to be located parallel to the range. Kate explained, “The Wenge butcher block is not only practical, but adds another layer of texture and interest to this mostly monotone kitchen.”
Pine Street Carpenters, Inc. designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block for a food prep station in between the sink and the cooktop. The butcher block adds warmth and ties in the flooring and floating shelves.
Designing a chopping station for your kitchen can make the space one-of-a-kind. To learn more about end grain butcher blocks, click here. Be sure to follow Grothouse on Instagram for daily design inspiration.
Black White Kitchens feature a classic color combination that is timeless and sophisticated. Designers often use wood as a point of warmth among an otherwise cool-toned white and black theme.
Black White Kitchens with Wood Countertops
Here are some black and white kitchens including wood countertops and butcher blocks.
Stonington Cabinetry & Designs blends natural materials with modern finishes, using wood as a point of warmth among an otherwise cool-toned white and black theme. A Walnut Butcher Block matches the floating shelves and kitchen island cabinetry.
Showcase Kitchens chose a Wenge Butcher Block for the end of the island in this elegant kitchen. This black and white design is crisp and clean, while providing drama and contrast.
For House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014, Steven Miller designed this mostly black kitchen. Featuring a Peruvian Walnut counter and matching shelves, the wood keeps the black and white aesthetic from appearing too stark.
Grothouse was selected to craft a Sapele Mahogany butcher block for this black and white kitchen in the Newton Centre Project by This Old House® Television Show.
The kitchen is the heart of the house, and inevitably you find family and friends gathering around the kitchen island. Here are three important elements to consider when designing the perfect kitchen island.
The first step in designing the perfect kitchen island is to decide what the main function is going to be. Some kitchen islands are designed around food preparation, storage, entertaining guests, doing homework and even charging stations for devices. Islands are often designed to be used for a variety of reasons. The functionality of your kitchen island should be designed to fit your family’s daily kitchen activities. In addition to designing around what your family needs today, you also want to plan for the possibilities and create a kitchen island that can evolve as your family evolves.
After choosing the main function of your island, you can then figure out the size of the island. The size of your island should be proportional to the size and design of your kitchen. Professionals on Houzz recommend an island to have a width of 2 to 3 feet. For length, professionals feel that 4 to 7 feet is best, depending on how much storage and how many appliances you plan to incorporate.
If your kitchen already has a lot of cabinetry space, island storage may not be a priority. Designer Steve Justrich explains, “Typically, two 24-inch base cabinets back to back will accommodate most under-island functions,” in this article by Houzz.
If the island will be used as a main food preparation area, a sink and other appliances may have to come first in priority. Should you choose entertaining as the main function of your island, then seating arrangements should be the main priority of your island.
An important factor to keep in mind is the aisle space between the kitchen island and any perimeter cabinets or appliances. According to decoist.com, experts suggest that an ideal aisle space would be 42 inches between the counters. If you have a smaller kitchen, they suggest a minimum of 36 inches.
The next step in designing your island is choosing the style. Style includes the cabinetry finish, countertop material, lighting and seating arrangements. Typically the style of the island follows suit with the style of the rest of the kitchen.
When it comes to cabinetry finish, some choose a paint or stain color that stands out against surrounding kitchen cabinets. Others choose a matching finish to bring the design together.
It’s important to choose the right countertop that best suits the island’s activity. For food preparation, a butcher block countertop is most recommended. Waterfall counters have a sleek look that works for both modern and traditional kitchens. For seating areas, a wood bar top is a warm place to cozy up to.
Lighting above your island is a way to express your personality, while adding to the overall functionality of the space. Some designers choose recessed lighting, others choose pendant lighting. Some also choose to use a combination of both. Designers often use three pendant lights above an island, depending on the light design.
Seating is another way to add to the style of the overall kitchen and island. Some designers choose backless bar stools, while others choose a chair style stool.
According to Houzz, subway tile backsplash is one of the best options to pair with wood countertops – and we couldn’t agree more.
Designs featuring Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops
Much like custom wood countertops, the classic look of subway tile is extremely versatile, permitting it to be easily paired with just about any kitchen style.
Farmhouse is one of the most common kitchen styles featuring subway tile and wood counters. Farmhouse style is often mixed with other kitchen styles, such as industrial and modern.
Griffey Remodeling designed this small farmhouse industrial style kitchen to include a white subway tile backsplash and maple wood countertops.
Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith of Coastal Cabinet Works mixed modern and industrial farmhouse style in this white kitchen. A large Reclaimed Oak counter was designed for the kitchen island. The subway tile backsplash is continued all the way to the ceiling, making the room feel larger.
White subway tile is a popular choice, but colored subway tile is often used as well. Stonington Cabinetry & Designs chose a light gray subway tile for this transitional kitchen. The kitchen island includes a large Walnut countertop.
Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens went with a soft, dark blue subway tile backsplash that continues along the wall under the cabinets. Conveniently located across from the range is a Wenge butcher block.
A distressed Sapele Mahogany counter was paired with a tan subway tile for this traditional style wet bar designed by Wood-Mode Inc.
Due to their design versatility, subway tile backsplash and wood countertops make the perfect pair. To see more designs featuring this pair, visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library.