Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block designed by Melissa Sakell of Kenwood Kitchens

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.

Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block Kitchen Designer Melissa Sakell, AKBD, of Kenwood Kitchens
Melissa Sakell, AKBD, 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.

Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block designed by Melissa Sakell of Kenwood Kitchens
Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block designed by Kenwood Kitchens

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: WoodMode Custom Cabinetry – Presidio Raised Door-style in Vintage Bright White & Matte Twilight Finishes

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs Chareau Collection

Flooring: Wood Plank Porcelain Tile

Countertops: Cambria Quartz – Swanbridge

Faucet: Kohler Bellera

Sink: Kohler Whitehaven Apron Front Sink

Backsplash: Lunada Bay Glass Tile

Stove: GE Monogram 48″ Pro Range

Dishwasher:GE Monogram

Other Appliances: GE Monogram French Door Refrigerator

Traditional Kitchen featuring a Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block
Traditional Kitchen featuring a Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block
Custom Walnut Wood Butcher Block with Juice Groove along edge of countertop
Walnut Butcher Block with Juice Groove

Follow Kenwood Kitchens on Houzz and like their Facebook page to see more of their uniquely beautiful and functional designs. Check out the Grothouse Image Library to see more kitchens with Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Blocks.

#GrothouseThings #ButcherBlocks #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Butcher Block Knife Slots

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.

Butcher Block Knife Slots for easily accessible knife storage and organization
Butcher Block Knife Slots

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

Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with Knife Slots in Irvine, California
Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with 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.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more designs with butcher block knife slots.

#ButcherBlockKnifeSlots #ButcherBlocks #KnifeSlots #WoodInnovation #GrothouseThings

Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

While kitchen styles have changed from year to year, wood has always been a top choice for kitchen countertops. Wood kitchen countertop history dates back to the early 1900’s when all things house-related were taken over by an exciting wave of modernization.

Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History in the 1900s
Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

The earliest countertop materials were stone and wood. Those who cooked over a fireplace or open flame used the fieldstone hearth as their countertop. Wood wasn’t far behind in the timeline of countertops, and was used just as early as the stone hearth. As cooks began to move away from the fireplace and into a dedicated kitchen, the earliest countertops were still made of stone and wood, the most available products.

Things changed when the 19th century rolled around, like countertops made of lush materials, such as marble, fine woods and occasional metals. These were often found in the most upscale kitchen pantries or serving areas. In the kitchen itself remained the domain of wood.

Wood countertops have had a long presence in kitchens and pantries in the form of work tops or wood tables. Pine, maple, and oak were top choices for worktops at the turn of the 20th century.

Wood Kitchen Countertop History

1920 Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1920’s Kitchen Photo courtesy of Sadro Design Studio Inc by Northlight Photography

This 1920’s L-shaped kitchen features a wood countertop, white cabinetry and beaded board panel backsplash. While this kitchen has countertops at the same height, countertop heights were far from standardized and there would be multiple heights in the same kitchen often.

1950s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1950’s Kitchen

Many of the features that are standard to modern kitchens today were created during the 1950’s, like having a wood cutting board in close proximity to the sink and food prep area.

1960s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1960’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Veterans United

In the 1960’s and 1970’s societal changes were taking place that impacted kitchen styles. The kitchen became a source for honing culinary crafts, displaying designer cookware and served as the hub for social activity. Wood countertops top of the lower cabinets and the kitchen table.

1970s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1970’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Retro Renovation

The first kitchen islands were introduced in the 1970’s. Pictured above is a Dutch country style kitchen with a butcher block island, checkerboard wall paper, delft backsplash tile and yellow cabinets.

1980s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1980’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Vintage Goodness

The idea of a completely open kitchen with appliances designed to show off came into being in the 1980’s. This kitchen features a large kitchen island with a wood counter and a stove with a cooktop created for display in addition to function.

Want to learn more about wood kitchen countertop history? Visit www.glumber.com. Be sure to like Grothouse on Facebook for daily wood countertop innovation.

#KitchenCountertopHistory #KitchenCountertop #History #GrothouseThings #WoodInnovation

Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

A current countertop design trend is pairing a wood countertop with an apron sink. This is a timeless combination that is popular in any style kitchen, especially in traditional and transitional kitchens.

Wood Countertop Design Trend Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks
Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

The type of wood selected for the countertop varies, but the most popular species is Walnut. Various types of apron sinks are used, from a classic white to copper and patterned sinks.

When sealed with Grothouse exclusive Durata® permanent finish, the countertop is completely waterproof and safe from water damage. Durata® is available in different sheen levels, and the sheen level chosen varies based on the look the designer is striving to achieve.

Durata® Satin finish is a sheen level of 35 and has an appearance similar to common household furniture and dining tables. Satin sheen is the most popular selection. Durata® Semi-Gloss finish is a sheen level of 55 and is the best application for a kitchen countertop with a glossy finish. Durata® Matte finish is a sheen level of 10 and has an organic appearance similar to natural oil finishes.

Countertop Design Trend Inspiration

Countertop Design Trend Cherry Wood Countertop with Copper Apron Sink in Farmhouse Traditional Style Kitchen
Cherry Countertop with Copper Apron Sink

Kelly Bailey of Coastal Cabinet Works designed a Cherry All Heartwood kitchen island countertop to feature a copper apron sink. The countertop is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut Wood Counters with Apron Sink in Traditional Style Kitchen
Walnut Counters with Apron Sink

Walnut wood counters were designed by Chris Black-Puckett Design for the perimeter of this traditional kitchen. The walnut counters include a white apron sink with beautiful detailing on the front. The counters are accentuated with Level 2 Distressing and finished with Durata® Permanent Waterproof Finish.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink
Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink

Showcase Kitchens designed a Walnut and Cherry checkerboard butcher block for the island in this traditional style kitchen. Although this is a butcher block, an apron sink was still able to be incorporated into the design. The wood butcher block is still safe from water damage.

Want to see more kitchens featuring this countertop design trend? Visit the Grothouse Image Library! Be sure to follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more design trends.

#CountertopDesignTrend #CustomWoodCountertops #ApronSinks #GrothouseThings

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops are noted for their beautiful grain and warm, brown coloring. The timeless appeal of Walnut wood has made it the premier choice for kitchen islands.

The beauty of Walnut kitchen island tops match their level of performance, as Walnut is a tough wood that creates the ultimate food preparation surface.

Designers have the ability to customize a Walnut butcher block for any size kitchen island and any style kitchen. With over 40 edge profiles to choose from and an abundance of custom options, there are no design limitations.

Designs with Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops designed by Haile Kitchen and Bath for a transitional kitchen
Design by Haile Kitchen and Bath

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.

Black Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Tops designed by Home Supply Inc for a transitional kitchen
Design by Home Supply Inc.

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.

Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood Butcher Block Kitchen Island Top designed by Roysons for white kitchen
Design by Roysons

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.

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Top for white Mediterranean style kitchen designed by Design Matters
Design by Julie Cavanaugh of Design Matters

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.

Visit the Countertop Image Library to see more designs with Walnut butcher block Kitchen island tops.

#WalnutButcherBlocks #KitchenIslandTops #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Butcher Block Stations

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.

Butcher Block Stations custom crafted to turn any kitchen into a veritable work horse
Butcher Block Stations

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™.

Butcher Block Station designed by Tyler Florence for Kitchen of the Year 2011
Butcher Block Station designed by Tyler Florence for Kitchen of the Year 2011

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.

Custom Wood Butcher Block Station designed by TRK Design Company with Laser Engraving
Butcher Block Station designed by TRK Design Company

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.

Custom Wood Butcher Block Station designed by Blue Bell Kitchens with Waste Hole
Butcher Block Station designed by Blue Bell Kitchens

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.

#ButcherBlockStations #ButcherBlocks #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters

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.

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Julie of Design Matters
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.

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top designed by Design Matters

Design Details

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

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top for a kitchen in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Wood Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top creates an inviting seating space
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top located in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top provides plenty of food preparation space
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top Roundover Edge Profile in Los Gatos, California
Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Bar Top features a Roundover Edge Profile

Follow Design Matters on Houzz and like their Facebook page to see more of their uniquely livable luxury designs. Check out the Grothouse Image Library to see more custom Walnut wood butcher block kitchen bar tops.

#CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlockKitchenBarTops #ButcherBlocks #KitchenDesign #GrothouseThings

Chopping Stations

“3 Kitchen Features You Might Not Have Thought Of” written by Mitchell Parker for Houzz discusses three subtle and strikingly special kitchen features that make for one-of-a-kind style; one of which were chopping stations.

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 Kitchen Design Ideas Butcher Block Countertops
Chopping Stations

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

Chopping Stations designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs
Walnut Butcher Block Chopping Station designed by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

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.

Wenge Butcher Block Chopping Stations designed by Homestead Kitchens
Wenge Butcher Block Chopping Station designed by Homestead Kitchens

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.”

Walnut Butcher Block Chopping Station designed by Pinestreet Carpenters
Walnut Butcher Block Chopping Station designed by Pinestreet Carpenters, Inc.

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.

Chopping Station with Walnut Butcher Block designed by New England Design Works
Walnut Butcher Block Chopping Station designed by New England Design Works

A Walnut butcher block was also designed by Karen Swanson of New England Design Works for this transitional style kitchen with walls of subway tile.

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.

#ChoppingStations #KitchenDesign #ButcherBlocks

Black White Kitchens with Wood Countertops and Butcher blocks

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 and Butcher blocks
Black and White Kitchens with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks

Black White Kitchens with Wood Countertops

Here are some black and white kitchens including wood countertops and butcher blocks.

Black and White Kitchen Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs includes a Butcher Block
Black and White Kitchen Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

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.

Black and White Kitchen Design by Showcase Kitchens includes a Butcher Block
Black and White Kitchen Design by Showcase Kitchens

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.

Black and White Kitchen Design by Steven Miller for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014
Black and White Kitchen Design by Steven Miller for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014

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.

Black and White Kitchen Design by This Old House® Television Show
Black and White Kitchen Design by This Old House® Television Show

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.

Visit the Countertop Image Library to see more black white kitchens with wood countertops and butcher blocks.

 #BlackWhiteKitchens #BlackandWhite #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks

Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks

According to Houzz, subway tile backsplash is one of the best options to pair with wood countertops – and we couldn’t agree more.

Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks
Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks

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.

White Subway Tile with Maple Countertops
White Subway Tile with Maple Countertops

Griffey Remodeling designed this small farmhouse industrial style kitchen to include a white subway tile backsplash and maple wood countertops.

White Subway Tile with a Reclaimed Oak Countertop
White Subway Tile with a Reclaimed Oak Countertop

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 with Reclaimed Chestnut Bar Top
White Subway Tile with Reclaimed Chestnut Bar Top

Designed by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro, this transitional/modern kitchen won the Kitchen & Bath Business magazine’s Showroom of the Year 2016 Award. This award winning kitchen features walls of white subway tile and a Reclaimed Chestnut kitchen bar top.

Gray Subway Tile with Walnut Wood Kitchen Island Countertop
Gray Subway Tile with Walnut Countertop

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.

Blue Subway Tile with Wenge Butcher Block Countertop
Blue Subway Tile with Wenge Butcher Block

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.

Tan Subway Tile with Sapele Mahogany Counter for a Wet Bar
Tan Subway Tile with Sapele Mahogany Counter

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.

#CustomWoodCountertops #SubwayTileBacksplash #KitchenDesignTrends