Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sneak Peek Friday - Island

I know I've mentioned this before, but I'll remind you that our house plans originally included a peninsula in the kitchen. I was never very enthusiastic about the idea, as I always worried the peninsula would intrude too far into the dining space. Nonetheless, I had 2 copper pendant lights for above the peninsula anyway. As our building project progressed, I became more convinced that I didn't want a peninsula. I preferred the idea of an island, but wasn't sure I had adequate room for that either. When Steve was doing the wiring for the kitchen last year, we had to make a decision. We decided to make some paper templates of the kitchen cabinets and appliances. Steve measured carefully, cut them out of red rosin paper and stapled them to the floor. I made the templates of our major furniture pieces - including the dining table. Nope, the peninsula was going to make that area way too tight for my liking. So, we kicked around the possibility of a small island. Hmmm, that would work - as long as we stuck to something no larger than about 30" x 50". Up comes another screamin' deal at Menards - a solid block of maple butcher block - 25" x 48" - and half price! We'll take it! We didn't know what we were going to use for the island itself. . . but we had the top. . . and we had those 2 pendant lights to hang over it.

Cut to April 23rd of this year:  We finally emptied our 2 remaining storage units. Included in those units were the items we moved out of my Grandma's house after she passed away back in September of 2012. 

Cut to the first week of May: I now had my Grandma's antique dining table in place in our dining area, and Steve was able to hang the light fixture above it at the proper height. I also wanted him to hang the 2 pendant lights above the island, so we were brainstorming about what we could use as a temporary surface on which to place that piece of butcher block.

Time to go shopping in the basement: We found this item from my Grandma's house. I'm not sure if it had been used as a storage piece on her enclosed porch or in her utility room, but there it was now in our basement.

Yes, it was looking quite rough, but it was the right size - and it would give me extra storage space. I took a damp cloth and cleaned a small area. OK. . . this could work! I was getting excited now. I got the wood cleaner and gave it a quick once over in the basement. Now, we were sure it would work. We put some cardboard down on the kitchen floor, and Steve brought the piece upstairs for further work. I vacuumed it to get all the dirt out of the corners and crevices, cleaned it more thoroughly with the wood cleaner and rubbed in a thick coat of furniture oil. It was looking much better now.

Time for the butcher block.

Here's the other side:

We're quite pleased with the transformation, and I'm thankful for the extra storage space it gives me. I'll be sharing more photos of this piece in the very near future when I give you the full kitchen reveal.

By the way, my mom tells me this piece was found in their home in London, Wisconsin when they moved there in the mid 50's. It was originally a library table/shelf for book storage and display, so we don't know how it ended up in that house. Grandma would be extremely surprised to know that it has now found a home in my kitchen. I think she would be pleased, too.

All is well in the Keweenaw.


  1. Thanks, Barb. It's very functional. I've already used it many times to serve things buffet style, and it's a handy surface for pans coming out of the oven. I also like to fill our glasses on it, turn around and put the milk or ice tea right back in the refrigerator. After grocery shopping, I put all the refrigerator/freezer items on the island & it makes for quick loading without opening the doors multiple times. I have 4 storage bins on the shelves along with cookbooks, napkins, pepper grinder, etc.


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