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

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

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

Walnut Countertop for a Kitchen Island

Don Hodkoski of Litchfield Hills Kitchen and Bath designed this Walnut Countertop for a Kitchen Island, making this space the perfect fit for a chef.

Walnut Countertop for a Kitchen Island in a chef's kitchen design
Walnut Countertop for a Kitchen Island

About Litchfield Hills Kitchen and Bath: Where design, craftsmanship, functionality and service come together. At Litchfield Hills Kitchen and Bath they design and build kitchens, bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms, mudrooms, outdoor kitchens and unique spaces. They specialize in creating quality environments which reflect your taste and lifestyle. Their team of master designers and craftsmen provide innovative designs and create positive experiences.

Design Details

The Perfect Chef Kitchen with Walnut Countertop
The Perfect Chef Kitchen

Cabinet Manufacturer: Homestead

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs

Island Countertop: Grothouse Walnut 3 inches thick Edge Grain Countertop

Complimentary Countertops: Betlan & Custom Stainless Countertops

Faucet: Waterstone

Sink: Stainless Steel from C-Tech

Backsplash: 2×6 Subway tile

Range: Wolf

Dishwasher: KitchenAid

Other Appliances: Sub-Zero Fridge and 2 Wolf Ovens

Walnut Countertop for a kitchen island provides the perfect place to prepare food
Walnut Countertop for Food Preparation

To see more designs by Litchfield Hills Kitchen and Bath, follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Houzz. Visit their relaxing showroom overlooking the East Aspetuck River, to get fresh ideas and discuss your goals and needs.

Read our previous blogs by visiting wood-countertop.glumber.com.

For weekly wood countertop design inspiration, follow @grothouseinc on Instagram.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WalnutCountertop #KitchenIsland #WoodInnovations

Walnut Island Countertop designed by Claire Teunissen of Mingle Design Studio

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog highlights the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. Claire Teunissen of Mingle Design Studio designed a Walnut Island Countertop to visually warm up this beautiful white kitchen.

Walnut Island Countertop designed by Claire Teunissen of Mingle Design Studio
Claire Teunissen of Mingle Design Studio

About the Designer: Growing up in the family remodeling business, kitchen and bath design was a natural fit for Claire. She enjoys working on projects inspired by her client’s individual tastes, blending their style with functional design. She especially appreciates a clean, classic design that stands the test of time. This client decided to stay in their home and remodel rather than sell. Built in the 1990s, the kitchen definitely needed an update. The client wanted to maintain the traditional style of the home but was open to suggestions for layout. The main goal was to move the cooktop off of the island and extend cabinetry to the ceiling.

A Tip from the Designer: “Incorporating a wood accent in an otherwise completely white kitchen is a great way to visually warm up the space! It also feels warm on your arms when sitting at a countertop in comparison to stone!”

Walnut Island Countertop for a White Kitchen design by Claire Teunissen of Mingle Design Studio
Scott Amundson Photography

Design Details

Countertops: Grothouse Walnut Island Countertop; Cambria Delgatie – Honed Finish Perimeter Countertops

Cabinet Manufacturer: Talora by Decor – Chantilly Lace Paint

Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs – Brixton Honey Bronze Finish

Flooring: Existing

Faucet: Delta Cassidy – Champagne Bronze 9197-CZ-DST

Sink: Rohl Shaws Two Bowl Fireclay RC3918WH

Backsplash: Antique White Arabesque w/ TEC Antique White grout

Stove: Thermador 36” Duel Fuel Range – PRD364GDH

Dishwasher: Thermador Panel Ready DWHD650WPR

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero 36” Built-In Over and Under BI-36U/O-RH

White Kitchen with Honey Bronze Fixtures and a Walnut Island Countertop
Scott Amundson Photography

To see more designs by Claire Teunissen at Mingle Kitchen and Bath Design Studio and Showroom, follow @mingle_mn on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Zebrawood Kitchen Bar Top designed by Roberta Wilson of Design Matters

A Zebrawood Kitchen Bar Top designed by Roberta Wilson of Design Matters is the highlight of our Custom Wood Countertops blog this week; featuring the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad.

Designer of Zebrawood Kitchen Bar Top for Modern Kitchen in Los Gatos, California
Roberta Wilson of Design Matters

About the Designer: Roberta Wilson is Passionate about design! She loves all things design and particularly enjoys working on projects of varying styles. Having spent her childhood in rural Montana, she has an intense appreciation for the outdoors and loves to incorporate items with inherent natural beauty and interest into her designs feeling that they provide a sense of peace and comfort to interior spaces that can oftentimes be lacking.

Designer Tip: Changing materials and/or adding a rug or paint color can help to visually define a space and provide indication and direction as to the functionality of an area.

Design Details

Zebrawood Kitchen Bar Top in a sleek modern kitchen design by Design Matters in Los Gatos, California
Photography by Kalen Glenn Photography

Cabinet Manufacturer: Leicht

Cabinet Hardware: Touch Latch

Flooring: Porcelanosa Rodano Acero

Countertops: Grothouse Zebrawood Bar Top

Complimentary Countertops: Cambria Blackpool Matte

Faucet: Brizo Litze Two-tone pull down

Sink: Blanco Silgranite – Anthracite

Backsplash: Cambria Blackpool Matte

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW7029

Other Appliances: GE Appliances

Other Advice: “Don’t be afraid of a little color!”

To see more spaces designed by Roberta and the team at Design Matters, follow them on Instagram @designmatters.design. Visit the Countertop Image Library on our website to see more designs featuring Zebrawood Kitchen Bar Tops.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #ZebrawoodKitchenBarTops

Saxon Wood Island Countertop designed by Joyce Zuelke, CKD, of Geneva Cabinet Company

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog highlights the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. Joyce Zuelke, CKD, of Geneva Cabinet Company designed a Saxon Wood Island Countertop for this multi-functional kitchen.

Saxon Wood Island Countertop Designer Joyce Zuelke, CKD, of Geneva Cabinet Company
Joyce Zuelke, CKD, of Geneva Cabinet Company

About the Designer: “I am a certified kitchen designer with 20 Plus years of experience in the kitchen and bath industry. I designed the kitchen and other areas of this home for Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The homeowner’s fell in love with the display island wood top by Grothouse we have in our showroom, so we duplicated it on their new island,” explained Joyce.

A Tip from the Designer: “The island is awesome with an extra prep sink and the wood tops are a great choice with the Durata® finish!”

Saxon Wood Island Countertop for Multi-Functional Kitchen in Wisconsin
S. Photography/Shanna Wolf Photography

Saxon Wood Island Countertop Details

Saxon Wood™ is an exclusive species only available at Grothouse. It is the first of a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced by Paul Grothouse, owner of Grothouse.

Saxon Wood™ has a stunning visual appeal and unique appearance. The wavy, irregular grain of the wood has has base color tones ranging from yellow to tan to brown. It is accented with grey and black striations resembling Spalted Maple.

Saxon Wood Countertop for large kitchen island in Wisconsin
S. Photography/Shanna Wolf Photography

Other Design Details

Complimentary Countertops: Wilsonart Quartz Osteria Q3002

Cabinet Manufacturer: Plato Woodwork

Cabinet Hardware: Emtek Tuscany Bronze Knobs and Pulls

Flooring: Rustic White Oak with an Oiled Finish

Sink: Blanco Ikon Silgranite Apron Front Biscuit

Backsplash: Tile by Bella Tile and Stone

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117

Stove: Thermador Range Top

Dishwasher: Thermador

Saxon Wood Countertop with an undermount sink for a large kitchen island
S. Photography/Shanna Wolf Photography
Saxon Wood Countertop designed for a large kitchen island in Wisconsin
S. Photography/Shanna Wolf Photography

To see more designs by Joyce, follow her on Instagram, @JoyceZuelke! Learn more about Saxon Wood countertops by visiting our website.

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #SaxonWood