Something old, something new, something borrowed, and I’m not blue — Part II

[Found items of mine: hand-carved bowl]

I love wood. I love its warmth and smoothness, its variations in color and grain, its functionality. I love its surprising beauty in various forms. And so, as I mentioned in my last post, the beautiful wood butcher block on my newly-acquired (via Craigslist) kitchen island got my mental gears turning.

Photo: Crate and Barrel

Hmmm, I thought. “I’ve been wanting to put up shelves beneath the kitchen window. What if I make them out of butcher block, just for the fun of it?” So I asked my hubby, who regularly drives past IKEA, to pick up a Lagan countertop for me. Simple enough.

But my online search to learn about Lagan countertops opened up a Pandora’s box of ideas. What if instead of just making shelves, we changed out the whole countertop with this great butcher block?

Thus begins the “SOMETHING BORROWED” section of this series — a handful of favorite kitchen pics I found online with their butcher block countertops. It didn’t take long to learn that I love the wood/white cabinet combination. (Click on a photo to link to the website where it originated.)

[Photo: Canadian House and Home]

Above: Rustic table, open cabinet fronts, farm sink — all made so welcoming by the lovely countertop.

[Photo: Southern Living]

Above: I appreciate the simplicity of this small, cheery space.

[Photo: this & that]

Above: I think the darker wood is gorgeous, although I don’t know that I’d do it in my own kitchen. This countertop also  has my absolute favorite finish on the wood — she used Waterlox over a stain.

[Photo: Better Homes and Gardens]

Above: I especially like the island painted in a contrasting color. I don’t like the blackboards and the ruffles are too sweet for me, but the TULIPS redeem those small faults.

[Photo: Meet My Ugly Baby]

Above: This is from a great blog about renovating a Vancouver apartment. Fun and interesting!

[Photo: Architectural Digest Online]

Above: I just want to stand at this window and finish arranging those flowers from the garden. Wait! I can do this at my OWN house! Soon on my own butcher block counter!

[Photo: Buckboard Hill Interiors]

Above: This kitchen beckons, “Come away for the weekend!”

[Photo: via Pinterest via; unable to locate original]

Above: I like the use of one main color to balance out the white. (If anyone knows the origin of this photo, please let me know.)

[Photo: The Old Painted Cottage]

Above: Every time I see this, I want to whip up some cinnamon rolls and call the family down for breakfast.

Turns out I sent my hubby back to IKEA for two more Lagan countertops (an incredible deal at $59 for 8′). I figured I could come back to the shelves-under-the-window idea. But now I had my sights on bigger things…

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and I’m not blue — Part I

This post is not about wool, not about sheep, not about sewing. But it IS about recycling. Specifically, it’s about recycling our kitchen and its original-to-1984 cabinets.

Here are the BEFORE photos, taken on a snowy February day:

I actually tackled these cabinets once before, about 10 years ago — I stripped and refinished them, repairing a couple chipped panels, and sealed them with polyurethane. They have held up great, seeing our family from grade school through college.

But a few factors got me started thinking about change again:

1. Our almond-colored laminate countertops were showing their age.

2.My husband gave me beautiful white dishes (Crate and Barrel’s Aspen) for Christmas.

3. A Craigslist search produced the island in these photos, filling our previously bare middle space and inspiring me with its butcher block top.

4. I read about Rustoleum’s Cabinet and Countertop Transformation kits.

Hmmm, it doesn’t look all that bad from far away — but I was ready for something different and eager to take advantage of the wonderful light of these south- and west-facing windows. I’ll share our kitchen’s change(s) with you guys bit by bit, the same way that I undertake them: as ideas come and as time permits!  So stay tuned for Part II…