Congratulations to Archipelago Hawaii for winning “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The Best of Houzz 2019 Tuscan style home design featured a Grothouse Wood Bar Top.
Best of Houzz 2019
Houzz provides people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.
Best of Houzz winners were chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community.
Grothouse Wood Bar Top
A custom Grothouse wood bar top was crafted for the Tuscan style home located in Hawaii. This bar says “Aloha” with its arced bar top for seating and Hawaiian flower design. A decorative edge profile on the bar top adds flair, which is carried out in the cabinetry. The warm wood bar top creates the perfect place for entertaining guests.
Breakfast bar tops are a brilliant way to add extra living space into the kitchen. They are the little perch where you start, and often finish, the day. Most designers choose a solid wood countertop for breakfast bars. Unlike stone and metal, wood is a naturally warm surface that is perfect for sipping morning coffee or enjoying ice cream.
Despite its name, a breakfast bar isn’t just a spot for morning coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. This handy feature, which can be as simple or ornate as your kitchen is, fulfills multiple roles: a cocktail party buffet, a kids’ homework station, extra dinner party seating and more.
Most breakfast bars are designed to sit higher than the kitchen countertops, but they have been designed to align with kitchen countertops as well as even sitting below them.
Designs with Breakfast Bar Tops
The cooking and eating zones on this kitchen island designed by Todd Wiley of Tru Kitchens have been ingeniously divided up, thanks to different worktop materials. It’s a simple trick that makes it instantly feel less like a workaday kitchen and more like a multi-functional space. For the breakfast bar, a Walnut countertop was designed to fit perfectly around the other countertop material.
This half-wall could easily have languished as wasted space. However, Kitchenscapes saw an opportunity and put it to work with a simple Walnut All Heartwood counter, fun blue tile and bar stools that creates the perfect spot for coffee or cocktails.
This large Cherry with Sapwood breakfast bar top designed by Kubik Builders provides plenty of room for sitting and gathering out of the main food prep space on the opposite side of the kitchen island.
Want to see more designs featuring breakfast bar tops? Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library by clicking here.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes Custom Wenge Countertops designed by Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens.
About the Designer:Peter Harms has been designing kitchens and custom cabinetry for North Star Kitchens in Minneapolis MN for nearly 20 years. Peter loves to design kitchens in all flavors, but his favorite is soft contemporary. Peter strives to design beautiful kitchens that are both practical and functional. The use of integrated appliances helps to meld the kitchen into today’s open floor plans nicely.
Designer Tip:In this kitchen we utilized thick Wenge countertops to soften the kitchen aesthetic and provide a warm soft touch to the eating area of the kitchen island.
Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops come in many different shapes and sizes at Grothouse. With over 40 stock stains and glazes available and the ability to custom stain match, there are no design limitations. A color lab is used to custom stain any wood surface to match the sample provided. Matches are within a delta E of 0.5 or less.
Any wood surface crafted in Flat Grain or Edge Grain construction style can include a stain application. Our propriety Durata® waterproof and permanent finish is required for all stained wood countertops.
Designs with Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops
Because there are no design limitations, stained wood kitchen bar tops can be custom crafted to fit it any style space.
Tobias Design chose Jericho Stock Stain (# 04915) for this edge grain White Oak wood kitchen bar top. This bar top makes for the perfect seating area for six guests at the end of the kitchen island. The countertop features a simple 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile to tie in the contemporary style of the kitchen. Finished in Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.
Gordon Blau of Coastal Cabinet Works designed an edge grain Cherry wood countertop stained with T-Rex Stock Stain (#04333) for a bar in this kitchen. The stain application matches the bar top with the kitchen cabinetry. Finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent finish in Satin sheen.
Tobias Design selected The Favorite Stock Stain (# 03012) for this Walnut wood kitchen bar top. Crafted in an L-shape to fit this kitchen island, the bar top features a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile. It is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.
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
Reclaimed wood kitchen bar tops are artisan crafted to retain the salvaged wood’s visible knots, cracks and nicks, creating a truly unique design rich in textural details.
Reclaimed countertops are crafted from antique barn wood floor boards, beams and siding. Heavily distressed reclaimed wood tops are normally crafted from floor boards and siding. Reclaimed wood beams may have nail holes and insect scarring, but the aged character is less apparent than counters made from barn siding or flooring.
Monica Miller, CMKBD, CR of J.S. Brown & Co. designed this Reclaimed Oak wood kitchen bar top for this white, modern farmhouse kitchen. This bar top is simple and functional in design. It is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.
Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith of Coastal Cabinet Works cleverly designed this Reclaimed Chestnut countertop to function as the island top as well as a bar top. It is protected by Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen. The beauty of the reclaimed wood takes center stage of this kitchen.
Landmark Cabinetry also designed a Reclaimed Oak kitchen island top to include a section for bar seating. This top is sealed with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen for a natural, rustic appearance.
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, 1 in 4 homeowners combine two or more kitchen countertop materials when renovating their kitchens. Custom wood countertops are often paired with marble, engineered quartz, quartzite, granite and metal countertops. A popular design choice is to include a wood countertop in a food preparation area while using a metal or stone countertop for perimeter countertops. Another design used often is to select a stone, like marble or quartz, for the kitchen island countertop and select a wood countertop for the seating area.
Design Inspiration for Mixing Kitchen Countertop Materials
Taking ques from some of the best designers in the industry, here is some design inspiration for mixing kitchen countertop materials.
For this traditional chef kitchen with two kitchen islands, Venegas and Company, Boston chose a Zinc countertop for the seating area as well as a White Oak wood countertop for the food preparation work space. Photography by Michael J Lee.
Persa Avorio Leathered Granite countertops were chosen for the perimeter countertops and kitchen island. Designer Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens then selected a Wenge butcher block for the kitchen island end. The butcher block creates a perfect food preparation work space and adds a layer of texture to the kitchen.
Alicia Saso, AKBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio chose a Reclaimed Chestnut counter for a raised kitchen bar top. In addition, Quartzite Tempesta was selected for the kitchen island and perimeter countertops.
For more design inspiration, check out the Grothouse Image Library to see how other designers combine kitchen countertop materials.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes a Reclaimed Chestnut Bar Top designed by Alicia Saso, AKBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio.
About the Designer: Alicia Saso, AKBD, graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture. For the past eight years, Alicia has specialized in residential kitchen and bath design. “I believe that the most important part of the design process is at the beginning. That is when you form a relationship with your client and learn what is most important to them. Once that is established, everything else falls into place. My goal is to design a space that not only meets my client’s vision but exceeds it.” Click here to read Alicia’s full bio.
About Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio: Founded by Gail Drury, CMKBD in 1987, Drury Design’s Client Focused Design™ approach integrates design recommendations, materials selection and construction management into one seamless customer design, project management, and build experience.
Additional Comments and Advice: The client loved the uniqueness of the Grothouse top since every piece made out of reclaimed wood is individually unique. This anchored the rustic design of the kitchen.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes a Wenge Counter designed by Monica Miller, CMKBD, CR of J.S. Brown & Co.
About the Designer: Monica works with her clients from the earliest conceptual stages of their project design through to the final walk through. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design and is a Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer (NKBA) and a Certified Remodeler (NARI). Monica has over 25 years of experience in the residential construction industry and joined J.S. Brown & Co. in 2002 as a designer and sales consultant.
A Tip from Monica: It’s very tempting to follow trends, instead discuss your needs and budget with your designer and try to make decisions based on your personal tastes, budget, and practical issues like durability and maintenance concerns. Your home should reflect your style, not just what you see on television.