Installing an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and, with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit with narrow kitchen islands. Narrow kitchen islands can be just as functional and effective as average-size islands, including food preparation space and plenty of storage.
According to Houzz, the average size of a kitchen island is about 3 by 6½ feet (1,000 by 2,000 millimeters). An island that size would typically have a surrounding clearance zone of about 40 inches (1,000 millimeters). However, an island’s size is usually determined by the distances around it, so larger kitchens allow for bigger islands.
Wood countertops custom crafted for narrow kitchen islands are uniquely designed to fit the needs of every client. They can be crafted as the entire surface of the island, or as the kitchen island end.
An American Beech wood countertop was designed by Brandon Okone and Monica Miller, MCR, UDCP, CMKBD of J.S. Brown & Co. for this narrow kitchen island located in Columbus, Ohio. The countertop, crafted in edge grain construction, was designed to be the entire islands surface. Finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, this top can be sanded and oiled to look like new after years of use.
Griffey Remodeling designed a 5 inch think Peruvian Walnut edge grain countertop for the end of this red kitchen island. The countertop serves as a cutting board and food preparation space away from the traffic between the sink and the cooktop, but close enough to be easily accessible.
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.
Contemporary style kitchens take form and function of modern and pair it with designs from traditional and transitional style. The same is true for wood countertops crafted for contemporary kitchens. Custom wood Contemporary Kitchen Countertops are often designed as Pastore™ countertops with waterfall legs, featuring simple edge profiles.
They are typically crafted with a darker wood specie, like Walnut or Peruvian Walnut, or a lighter wood is stained to be darker. Contemporary kitchen countertops crafted in Pastore™ style create perfect seating areas with plenty of leg room and space to entertain.
Contemporary Kitchen Countertops Designs
Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath designed this white contemporary kitchen for a home in Washington DC. The focal point of this kitchen is the large White Oak half Pastore™ table, also referred to as a Parsons table. The wood countertop features a simple 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile, matching the white Cambria Torquay kitchen island countertop for a nearly seamless effect.
Lukejohn Dickson of La Source designed this contemporary kitchen for a home located in Savanah, Georgia. For seating, he designed a Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ kitchen bar top. The countertop features a 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile and adds a touch of warmth and interest.
A custom Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ countertop was designed by PB Kitchen Design for a kitchen located in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Complementing the darker wood colored cabinets, this contemporary wood countertop creates the perfect seating area.
Click here to visit the Grothouse Image Library to see more inspiring designs with contemporary kitchen countertops.
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.
According to RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, countertops are the first planned kitchen purchase that U.S. homeowners plan to buy in the coming year, and we can see why.
Kitchen countertops are a huge part of your daily routine. Whether you start your day by eating breakfast at the kitchen island, packing your lunch or preparing dinner, you are utilizing your kitchen countertops. Because they are so crucial to your everyday life, it is important that you consider purchasing a countertop material that suits your every need.
Contrary to some beliefs, wood countertops make for very versatile surfaces. They are not only kind to fine china and crystal, but can be sanded and oiled to look like new. Knife blades stay sharper longer, and wood is a naturally warm surface to cozy up to during any point in the day. When crafted by Grothouse, wood kitchen countertops are covered under our lifetime warranty.
Another advantage to choosing wood for your kitchen countertops is that they can be customized to your unique, personal taste. Choose from an assortment of over 60 wood species and a huge variety of features and options like laser engraving or integrated fruit bowls.
Next in line after countertops, the first planned kitchen purchase, are kitchen faucets, refrigerators, lighting and backsplash. RICKI states that millennials are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to be planning to buy lighting for their kitchens, but we are hoping to have changed their minds.
Kitchen countertops are typically the largest flat surface in our home, so naturally a lot of things tend to end up being set down on them. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a cluttered counter hinders the function and enjoyment of the space. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a few easy tips to declutter kitchen countertops.
4 Tips to Declutter Kitchen Countertops
1. Put away items that don’t belong in the kitchen
Put away items that don’t belong in the kitchen, like the TV remote or your children’s toys. Removing these items will help you distinguish what is left to be organized that belongs in the kitchen.
2. Organize your cabinets
By organizing your cabinets to create a space for everything, you will eliminate the need to keep anything out on the countertop. Make space in a drawer for mail or extra papers that you need to keep. Appliance garages are often incorporated into cabinetry for an easily accessible place to keep smaller appliances off the counter.
3. Make use of wall space
If you don’t have enough cabinetry space, make use of empty wall space. Mary Jo Peterson designed this kitchen to include a special rack for wine bottles and more.
Maximize every inch of your kitchen with shelves. Jon de la Cruz designed custom black walnut wood shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017. The shelves created a pantry to store a variety of ingredients and decor.
4. Customize your countertop to make the best use of the space
Knife slots are another great wood countertop option for clearing counter space. By incorporating knife slots into your counter, you eliminate the need for a knife holder. KT Highland Inc. designed the Oak wood kitchen island countertop pictured below to include knife slots.
We hope these tips help you easily declutter kitchen countertops to properly use and enjoy your kitchen. To learn more about the wood countertop options available at Grothouse, click here.
House Beautiful is celebrating its tenth annual Kitchen of the Year 2017 at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. This year’s 625-square-foot kitchen was designed by Jon de la Cruz of DLC-ID. This being a 1904 historic home, the kitchen features amazing architectural details: 12-foot ceilings, open pantry shelves, a beautiful mix of new and old materials and many windows.
For the kitchen, de la Cruz focused on beautiful functionality by combining his expertise in cooking with his deep knowledge of design history. The space features multiple stations for cooking, baking, breakfast and family dining — as well as innovative storage and display ideas. This was a necessity for the family of 10 that live in this home.
Featured in the breakfast nook are vertical ceiling-high, open pantry shelves made of American Black Walnut Wood crafted by Grothouse. The Black Walnut Wood Shelves capture the ethos of timeless elegance, serving as a dramatic accent for custom labeled jars and superb pantry organization by Blisshaus – also referred to as The Pantry Detox.
Taking customization even further, the shelves feature laser engraving on the front. Jon de la Cruz’s favorite part of the kitchen is the s’mores section, and we happen to agree!
This dream space was unveiled on April 29, 2017 and was open to the public until May 29, 2017. Click here to take a tour of the kitchen with Jon de la Cruz and House Beautiful’s Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson.
Be sure to pick up the October issue of House Beautiful to see the full kitchen. Join us on Instagram to see more of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2017 and the San Francisco Decorator Showcase home via #HBKOTY and #sfshowcase.
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.
Custom Wood Countertops by Grothouse can include a matching WoodBacksplash. Wood Backsplashes are typically crafted in the same wood specie to create a uniform look. They are included in all types of designs.
Wood Backsplashes | Uses
Wood Backsplashes are typically found in kitchen designs. The traditional kitchen shown below includes a Custom Cherry Wood Countertop with a matching Cherry Backsplash.
This kitchen also includes a matching backsplash around the stove.
The backsplash continues to another part of the kitchen.
By adding the backsplash in multiple locations throughout the entire kitchen, a uniform look has been created.
Another traditional kitchen design includes a matching Backsplash, Wood Countertop, and Cabinetry.
Backsplashes can also be used to add the effect of connecting one countertop with another. The rustic kitchen shown in the image below has a raised wood countertop and a lower wood kitchen countertop. Between the two countertops is a matching wood backsplash that makes them look connected.
Wood Backsplashes are not limited to kitchen designs. Echelon Custom Homes designed this Wood Bathtub Surround with a matching Backsplash.
Established in 1994, the Grothouse Lumber Company has grown to become one of the most technically advanced and creative manufacturers in the wood surfaces market. Our custom-built wood countertops can be configured with a myriad of available options, including 60+ wood species, and 30 edge profiles. Our specially-formulated Durata; permanent finish is one of the most durable and waterproof protective coatings currently available on the market today.