June 13, 2010

Butcher Block

Pretty much ever since we moved into this house I have been wanting butcher block countertops.  I love how warm and cozy they can make a kitchen.  Now we are not ready to reno our kitchen but in the case that we do someday, Bran and I haven't been able to agree on countertops.  He has always envisioned strong, clean granite and I have been picturing the timeless butcher block.  The war has been waging on, until now when we recently reached a peace agreement.

If he lets me buy and install a floating butcher block counter where the bench is, then I will, when the day comes, let him have his granite.  He wasn't buying it until I mentioned said butcher block was $39 at Ikea.  SOLD.

I think I won this one though - I really do like granite and marble and think it is more practical in the long run.  Plus I like the combo of both in a kitchen.  Like these.

Southern Living


Coastal Living

Southern Living


Coastal Living

I love how the butcher block warms up the space.  The hard surface countertops and the white cabinets, while clean and fresh can sometimes look cold and just a little bit of wood softens it.  In all of these the butcher block is in the island, which I think it is great but since we have such a small space I think putting it in the corner works for us.  That way if we ever do renovate the kitchen they can exist separately and together.  Plus it was so cheap who cares if we end up taking it out.
So with Bran's approval and our deal on I headed to Ikea with my friend Kara yesterday to pick up the butcher block (and some other fun items).  Once I was looking at the samples I started to sway towards the more expensive butcher block, Numerar, which was $89 for the same length.  It is a bit thicker and comes in more wood finishes. I made the switch and we started heading down to checkout.  (Sorry Bran if you are reading this, I should have asked first but it was just so beautiful - no worries though, babe, I changed my mind back to the original - you have Kara to thank.) Being the awesome friend that Kara is, having a wicked artistic eye, and knowing me so well, she talked me through my uncertain decision.  First, it was the same wood finish, just 1/2 in. thicker and it was $50 dollars more.  Plus this was kind of an experiement project.  I would hate to buy the more expensive piece and not like it.  Lastly, this was not going to be resting on cabinets and the thicker butcher block was considerably more heavy and harder to cut.  That could pose logistical problems, like giant holes in our walls and dents in our floor.  So with her awesome wisdom we headed back upstairs to the kitchen section to switch back to the cheaper butcher block. 
Thank you Kara!  It was definitely the right decision.



So today Bran and I had the challenge of finding a way to cut three inches off the block so it would fit in the corner.  Our first thought was to head to Home Depot and beg them to cut it for us.  They do not cut outside wood, but we found a nice man who asked us to sneak it into him and he would cut it.  Yes!!  One problem though, after we (Bran) had carried it in he informed us that he forgot the machine was broken.  Just our luck!  Then we started strategizing about ways we could cut it ourselves.  We were channeling our inner HGTV host when I remembered that my dad had a table saw from my Grandpa. 
It was really old but worked well.  Neither one of us had used one before and I was quite scared by the machine, it could do major damage.  We caught on quickly and after some practice cuts on plywood we were ready to scarifice our wood to the blade.



And fortunately it worked, and it was straight, and no one got hurt!


And the best part.  Because we had to cut three inches off for it to fit, we can use that piece for a little back splash to finish the look off.

Once we got the boards home all Bran had to was secure the metal brackets to the wall.


Then secure the butcher block to the metal brackets.


And we're done! 

There is a little bit of styling left to do but I am very happy with it!  Plus it opens up the kitchen so much now that we don't have the garbage can and food bowls out by the window and door.



Here is a shot of how this corner has been transforming.


Before we moved in.  The previous owners left this junk.

Soon after we moved in.

 This past year.



And today.

Thanks for checking it out!

3 comments:

Nick and Kara Smith said...

It is perfect! Super nice with the backsplash touch. Glad you were happy with your decision on the thinner piece (I think the sales associate would think we were 100% clinically insane if we had to go back up to that floor to change our minds again).

Can't wait to see it in person! Couldn't look nicer.

Jessica said...

Haha...I know. I'm pretty sure he thought we were insane from the very beginning. Thanks for all your help!

Denise said...

Thank you for this blog! This is exactly what we want to do to part of our kitchen where we are making a desk/breakfast bar area... Ikea countertop and all!! your completed pictures helped us pull our vision together!!! Thank you, thank you!

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