The very first project we've tackled in this house is the kitchen island. The living room, dining room and kitchen are essentially one very large room. The kitchen island is very prominent in the space; it separates the kitchen and dining areas and it's the first thing you see when you enter the front door (from the living area.) The options available from the builder for the kitchen island were - well, not quite what we wanted. We decided not to upgrade the countertops, sink, or faucet. Instead, we replaced them. So, here's what we got from the builder:
You know, I've lived with a lot worse, so I feel somewhat silly complaining about it. But generally, my problems with this were:
1. Too small (generally); this island should be the organizing piece of the entire living space.
2. Too small (specifically) to sit at the island. The overhang was about 4 inches, I kid you not.
3. The sink is really dominant. Dominant on the island, and dominant in the overall space.
4. Ugliness factor: here my complaints are many, and I realize this is very subjective, but please indulge me: the backsplash (messy), the sink (glaring), the faucet (utilitarian), the irregular outline of island countertop (not so visible in this photo, but trust me, it was straight HERE and curved THERE; and SO lacking in design integrity), also the way trim molding becomes so obvious and dictates the space when you put it on a half-height wall.
So without further ado, we changed it to this:
Umm. Actually, it was a total ado, because I dragged my father 2000 miles across the country to help us put it together the same weekend that he was helping us move and eat turkey. Here's what's different:
1. Expansion of the island with a walnut veneer base. We played around with doing this in a simple drywall or cabinetry, but I wanted the island to bridge between kitchen cabinets and dining room furniture. And I wanted something a little bit modern.
2. Soapstone counters. I've loved soapstone for a long time. Here it pulls everything together. Also, the backsplashes are gone. Yay!
3. New cast iron undermount sink and new faucet.
There's still a lot to do. Like putting some tile on the wall, getting some pendant lights, some bar stools... Fritz likes these(!)...replacing the dishwasher and cabinet that were destroyed during the counter installation, standing and putting another coat of varnish on the walnut, a little bit of trim repairing, etc.