Kitchen Islands for Gathering

Have you ever noticed where family and guests naturally gather in your home? I bet most of us would answer with, “around the kitchen island.” Today, kitchen island is the ultimate expression of the kitchen’s move from the back of the house to the center of the home. Often times, it acts as a replacement for breakfast nooks and kitchen tables. So what elements create gathering kitchen islands?

Gathering Kitchen Island Elements

First and foremost, the most gathering-friendly kitchen island countertop material is wood. Wood is a naturally warm material, and thus is also an inviting material to cozy up to.

Gathering Kitchen Islands with Grothouse Wood Countertops
Design by Lisa Brosius of Boxwood Design

“There is no material that compares to the warmth and comfort natural wood surfaces give to a kitchen,” stated designer Lisa Brosius of Boxwood Design.

Huge Kitchen Island with a Butcher Block Top
Design by Nikki Trivisonno of Somrak Kitchens, Inc.

Another key element in creating an island for gathering, is having both standing and seating room. Incorporating both is important, so guests that would prefer to stand have plenty of room without those who want to sit getting in the way of each other.

Two Tier Kitchen Island Designed for Gathering
Design by Kitchenscapes

Did you know a kitchen island can be more than one tier? How clever is this two-tier kitchen island designed by Kitchenscapes? One area is distinctly for seating, more like the kitchen table, and behind it is more seating, with an adjacent counter for standing room, entertaining and more.

Two Tier Kitchen Island with Wood Countertops Designed for Gathering
Design by Bianca Fathauer of Splendid Home Design | Photography by Kaunis Hetki Photographer

“This is a family that loves to cook and entertain so we incorporated their large commercial range flanked by perimeter quartz countertops, and a gorgeous walnut butcher block end grain countertop section. This is matched alongside by flat grain walnut pedestal table with built-in seating and storage,” stated the designer of this two tier kitchen island, Bianca Fathauer of Splendid Home Design.

Visit the Countertop Image Library on our website to see more gathering kitchen islands.

#GrothouseThings #GatheringKitchenIslands #KitchenIslands #CustomWoodCountertops

A Coastal Home with Wood and Metal Countertops by Grothouse

A home designed by Ellen Lopez of El Design Studio was inspired by a Coastal palette and elegant styling. Ellen collaborated with Grothouse to design a series of wood and metal countertops and accessories for various rooms in the home. Ellen thoughtfully selected every detail to tell the story of the homeowner, the architecture and the homes location on the North Shore and the picturesque view of the Long Island Sound.

The Kitchen

A Coastal Home with Wood and Metal Countertops by Grothouse
Josh Goetz Photography

The homeowner is a cook, so the kitchen was designed not only designed for show, but most importantly functionality. The kitchen island features a custom stained Curly Figured Maple wood counter. Finished with Grothouse exclusive Durata® finish in matte sheen, this counter is completely waterproof and perfect for seating. A custom edge profile and two expanded corners add drama to the counter’s design.

“The custom-figured maple wood countertop by Grothouse with its rich, dark stain adds to the elegance and provides depth and strength to the space,” stated Ellen.

Argentum Anvil™ metal finished range hood
Josh Goetz Photography

A custom Argentum Anvil™ metal finished range hood sits beautifully above the island. The nickel silver tones of the Argentum metal finish complement the crystal chandelier above the eat in kitchen table.

The kitchen table was also crafted by Grothouse, composed of an Ash wood tabletop and an Argentum Anvil™ Metal Finished table base – designed to match the range hood.

The Pantry

Custom Stained Ash Wood Pantry Counter
Josh Goetz Photography

Built custom for the base shelf of the pantry was a custom stained Ash wood counter. The counter provides space for storage and is sealed with Durata® waterproof and permanent finish in matte sheen.

The Dining Room Buffet Server

Custom Stained Figured Maple Counter for the Dining Room Buffet Server
Josh Goetz Photography

The mood of each room changes subtly, while similar elements were woven together to keep the story connected. In doing so, a custom stained Figured Maple counter, matching the kitchen counter, was crafted for the buffet server in the dining room.

Click here to read Ellen’s blog to learn more about this home’s design. Visit our Countertop Image Library to see more designs with wood and metal countertops.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops

Walnut Wood Home Bar Top designed by Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham

A Walnut Wood Home Bar Top was designed by Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham for an English Manor in Birmingham, Michigan.

Walnut Wood Home Bar Top designed by Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham

About the Designer: At a young age Lauren developed a passion for all things design, and went on to pursue a career in both architecture and interior design. By establishing Maison Birmingham, Lauren is able to fully engage both of these interests as she utilizes her technical expertise as an architect to take her innovative designs to the next level, making each space truly unique.

Designer Tip: “By embracing the original architectural character of this English Manor we were able to create a new functional kitchen that feels like it has always been there.” – Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham

Cabinet Manufacturer: Maison Birmingham

Cabinet Hardware: Armac Martin

Flooring: White Oak Herringbone

Countertops: 1-1/2″ thick Edge Grain Walnut with Sapwood sealed with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin Sheen. Click here to learn more about this top.

Faucet: Kallista

Sink: Kallista

Backsplash: Subway tile

Stove: Ilve

Dishwasher: Miele

Other Appliances: Sub-Zero

Follow Maison Birmingham on Instagram to see more of their stunning designs! To see more designs with Walnut Wood Home Bar Tops, visit the Countertop Image Library on our website or read other blog posts.

#GrothouseThings #Walnut #HomeBar #WoodBarTops #WoodInnovations

Saxon Wood Island Countertop and Drawers designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath

A spacious, contemporary kitchen designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath in collaboration with Wildman Chalmers Design and Brenda Friday Design. The kitchen island features a custom Saxon Wood Island Countertop and Drawers.

Saxon Wood Island Countertop and Drawers designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath
Tom Little Photography

Saxon Wood Island Countertop and Drawers

Saxon Wood is the first of a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced exclusively by Grothouse. Custom designed for this island is a Saxon Wood counter top that features waterfall legs. Six drawers were also crafted in Saxon Wood for the kitchen island end. The drawer fronts were strategically built to ensure the grain matched from left to right, giving it a strikingly unique and beautiful appearance.

Custom Saxon Wood Island Countertop for Contemporary Kitchen
Tom Little Photography

Design Details

Cabinetry Manufacturer: Mouser Cabinetry

Cabinet Color: Blue

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Complimentary Countertops: Ultimate Granite / Black Pearl

Appliances: Sub-Zero and Wolf Stainless Steel

Flooring: Wood Floors

Contractor: Century Interiors, Inc.

Custom Saxon Wood Countertop and Matching Drawers
Tom Little Photography

Follow Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath on social media to see more of their kitchen designs! Houzz | Facebook | Instagram

Visit our website to find a Grothouse dealer near you.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations #SaxonWood #KitchenIsland #KitchenCountertops

Walnut Dining Room Bar Top designed by Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, TruKitchens

A beautiful cottage with a smaller, yet smart, layout for relaxed lakefront living was designed by Todd Wiley, Senior Designer of TruKitchens. The space features a Walnut Dining Room Bar Top custom crafted by Grothouse.

Walnut Dining Room Bar Top designed by Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, TruKitchens
Design by Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, TruKitchens

About the Designer: Todd Wiley, TruKitchen’s Senior Designer, has been working in the industry for the past 25 years.  His passion ignited in college when he started working for a builder and cabinet shop owner.  Realizing that he had to immerse himself in the industry to learn, he took a job at local shop on the Lake Michigan shoreline. As his passions grew, he moved on to Standard Kitchen Distributors where he continued to master the trade. This experience gave him the exposure to the systems and process that he was searching for. Feeling like there was more to learn on the design-end of the business, Todd then spent 7 years at a Cascade based design shop. For him, this experience gave him what he needed to further pursue his passion and open his own design shop, which is where he is today.

Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, TruKitchens designer of Walnut Dining Room Bar Top
Todd Wiley, Senior Designer, TruKitchens

Designer Tip(s): “The dining area bar sits along an interior wall that faces out to a beautiful lake. The mirrored backsplash below eyelevel feels like a window pulling natural light into a potentially dark corner of this open main floor layout.”

“The inset cabinets in a clean line door style and unique custom paint color paired with the wood countertop blend cottage and contemporary.”

Walnut Dining Room Bar Top with Blue Cabinetry and Gold Hardware
Edge Grain Walnut Bar Top for a Dining Room

Cabinet Manufacturer:  Grabill Cabinetry in custom paint match on inset Lacunar door style

Cabinet Hardware: Champagne bronze

Flooring: Medium hardwood

Countertops: Edge grain Walnut with sapwood

Backsplash: Mirror

Other Appliances: Sub-Zero panel ready ice maker, Perlick panel ready wine storage, Perlick panel ready undercounter refrigerator

Other Items, Comments, Advice: Interior design by Vision Interiors, Builder is Devries & Onderlinde Builders, Architect is Visbeen Architects, Photography by Ashley Avila Photography. Click here for additional project information!

Follow TruKitchens on social media to see more of their designs! Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Houzz

Visit our website to see more designs featuring a Walnut Dining Room Bar Top.

#GrothouseThings #Walnut #BarTop #DiningRoom

Holiday Baking with Wood Countertops

‘Tis the season for baking all of our holiday favorites – from apple pie to sugar cookies and more. While preparing to bake for the holidays it is easy to overlook the most important ingredient… the surface used to prepare! The best surface to prepare cookies on? Wood of course! Today we are discussing the perks of holiday baking with wood countertops.

Holiday Baking with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks
Holiday Baking with Wood Countertops

Because of the way that wood countertops are crafted, you can chop directly on the surface – no cutting board needed! You can roll dough, cut and decorate cookies, pies, muffins and more directly on a wood countertop. In addition, this makes for easy clean up since you don’t have to get as many items out.

Countertops can be crafted in three different construction styles. The best construction style for baking is end grain. Counters crafted in end grain construction style are called butcher blocks. End Grain Construction is the preferred chopping surface by chefs, as this construction style is the kindest to knives and keeps them sharp. In addition, butcher block tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning. After years of use, the butcher block can be sanded and re-oiled to look like new again.

After cleaning up, wood countertops and butcher blocks serve as a pretty surface to display and serve your baked goods for guests.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks #HolidayBaking

Walnut Island Top designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath

A spacious kitchen designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath for cooking and entertaining – that even has space for the family pet – features a Walnut Island Top.

Walnut Island Top designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath
Tom Little Photography

Design Details

Cabinetry: Mouser

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Complimentary Countertops: Primo Marble & Granite / Allure Leathered Quartzite

Faucet: Brizo

Sink: Franke

Backsplash: Ceramiche Tile & Stone

Stove: Thermador

Refrigerator: Sub Zero

Walnut Counter for a kitchen island designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath
Tom Little Photography

Walnut Island Top Details

The Walnut Island Top designed for this kitchen was crafted in edge grain construction. At one and a half inches thick, this top features a 1/4″ Roundover edge profile. It is sealed with the Grothouse exclusive Durata Finish in Matte sheen.

Walnut Top crafted in Edge Grain Construction with a Quarter Inch Roundover Edge Profile
Tom Little Photography
Kitchen Island with Built In Pet Bowls designed by Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath
Tom Little Photography

A matching Walnut counter was crafted for this little nook in the kitchen, creating the perfect place for the toaster oven, liquor and more.

Matching counter for pantry nook area of the kitchen
Tom Little Photography

Follow Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath on social media to see more of their stunningly spacious kitchen designs! Houzz | Facebook | Instagram

Visit our website to learn more about meeting a Grothouse dealer near you and designing a Walnut Island Top for your kitchen.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations #WalnutIslandTop #KitchenIsland #KitchenCountertops

Grothouse Solid Surfaces in Whole Home Concept House

Grothouse was thrilled to partner with the prestigious Matthew Quinn to craft custom solid surfaces for House Beautiful’s Whole Home Concept House in Nashville, Tennessee.

Grothouse Solid Surfaces in House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House in Nashville, Tennessee
Photography by David A. Land

House Beautiful teamed up with forward-thinking designers from across the country to build a house from the ground up and craft its rooms with a family’s total joy in mind. The result of this 6,201-square-foot haven is more than a home – it’s an experience.

The Kitchen | Whole Home Concept House

When dreaming up a new kitchen, it’s tempting to focus on the “pretty bits”: cabinet colorsquartz-versus-natural-stone surfaces, hardware finishes. But kitchen-and-bath expert Matthew Quinn starts with what’s practical.

Grothouse White Oak Wood Countertop for House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House
Photography by David A. Land

An easy-clean Caesarstone quartz countertop is paired with a Grothouse Flat Grain White Oak Riftsawn countertop. The wood countertop features an arc and a custom stain. In addition, it has a charging pad built right in (meaning no tangled cords cluttering up your kitchen).

Butler’s Pantry | Whole Home Concept House

To make sure this smaller space didn’t feel too tight, Quinn used open shelving on one wall, flanking the window and sink—and on the other side, upper cabinets have mesh screen inserts.

Grothouse Wood Shelves with Anvil Metal Finished Edges in House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House
Photography by David A. Land

Grothouse crafted the open shelves in Flat Grain construction out of White Oak Riftsawn wood to match the kitchen countertop. The shelves feature a notched radius corner and Anvil™ Magnum metal finished edges.

If you are in Nashville, you can take a tour of the house! Or you can visit House Beautiful‘s YouTube channel to watch every step of the journey. Learn more about the House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House by clicking here!

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WholeHomeNashville #HouseBeautiful #AnvilSeries #WoodInnovations

Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark

Grothouse custom crafted five butcher blocks for Aramark global headquarters building in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Grothouse crafted Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark Global Headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jen Kell and David Hagerty of Grothouse with Walnut Butcher Block at Aramark Global Headquarters

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across foodfacilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 19 countries around the world every day.

Aramark Global Headquarters in Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aramark Global Headquarters | Photo via Phillymag

Situated along the Schuylkill River, the existing structure of where the headquarters are now, was originally built as a Hudson Motor Car Company plant in the 1920s. It was transformed into a modern, 600,000 square foot, nine-story building with an emphasis on innovation, sustainability and green space. Aramark occupies the top five floors and nearly 300,000 square feet as the building’s anchor tenant.

Large Custom Walnut Butcher Block Tables by Grothouse
Large Custom Walnut Butcher Block Tables by Grothouse

Each floor has an industrial tables, where the long part is almost 18 feet by 4 feet and the short part is 127 feet by 40 feet for ADA.

Five Butcher Blocks for Aramark | Details

Five butcher block tops were custom crafted in end grain construction style out of Walnut with Sapwood. The tops were designed by Boyertown Planing Mill Co. Each butcher block countertop is three inches thick and features a 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish was applied to each top before installation. This finish does require ongoing maintenance, however it is food safe and is the preferred finish for food preparation.

Five Two-Layered Industrial Tables with Walnut Butcher Block Tops
Five Two-Layered Industrial Tables with Walnut Butcher Block Tops

The butcher block tops were shipped in pallets, each weighing approximately 1600 lbs. Each butcher block top had to be delivered by crane to each of the five floors.

Walnut End Grain Butcher Block Tops for Industrial Tables in the Aramark Global Headquarters Building
Walnut End Grain Butcher Block Tops for Industrial Tables

Like Aramark on Facebook to keep up to date with company updates. Like Boyertown Planing Mill Co. on Facebook to see more of their designs. Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for wood countertop inspiraiton.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #ButcherBlocks #WoodInnovations

Peruvian Walnut Island Countertop designed by TruKitchens

A Peruvian Walnut Island Countertop designed by Todd Wiley of TruKitchens in collaboration with Jennifer Butler Design creates a favorite gathering spot for family and friends. Their bold Mid-Century Modern design perfectly suited this client’s home and style for this kitchen renovation.

Peruvian Walnut Island Countertop designed for a Mid Century Modern Kitchen
Design by TruKitchens in collaboration with Jennifer Butler Design

Designer Tip: “We chose Peruvian Walnut and Color Quartz Oyster Shell. Changing the counter material allows the top to feel grand without feeling overly long.”

Peruvian Walnut Wood Countertop and Quartz Oyster Shell Countertop make the kitchen island
Peruvian Walnut Island Countertop combined with a Quartz Oyster Shell Countertop

Project Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Shiloh Cabinetry

Cabinet Hardware: Atlas Hardware

Countertops: Grothouse Peruvian Walnut Island Countertop

Complimentary Countertops: Quartz Oyster Shell

Flooring: Original White Oak Flooring Refinished

Faucet: Moen Align

Sink: Kohler Cault Double Bowl Undermount

Backsplash: Porcelanosa

Wall Color: SW7022 Alpaca

Stove: Jenn Aire White Glass Cooktop

Dishwasher: Jenn Aire White Glass

Other Appliances: Jenn Air White Glass Fridge; Stainless Zephyr Hood

Other Items, Comments or Advice: “We took the adjacent eating area and incorporated it as part of the kitchen to maintain an eating area, but also allow the kitchen to feel bigger by extending the island while taking full advantage of the view.”

Project Credits

Designer: Jennifer Butler Design
Kitchen Designer: TruKitchens
Appliances: Bekins Appliance
Photographer: Bill Lindhout Photography

Click here to learn more about Peruvian Walnut wood countertops. See more designs by following @jenniferbutlerdesign and @trukitchens on Instagram!