Mar 27, 2013

my custom striped island (!)

i love stripes. 
i have loved them f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
(i love them so much that i painted stripes on the foyer walls 12 years ago in house #1.
and 9 years ago in house #2, i painted stripes around my 12' tall fireplace wall, and had custom silk striped curtains made for house #3 and #5.)

i love them so much that i don't even mind that EVERYONE else likes them right now too.
THAT is dedication.
(and TRUE love.)
to me, they are timeless yet whimsical. 
classic yet fun.

when it came time to design my kitchen, i knew i wanted simple white cabinets, but i wanted the island to be unique. i thought...why not add stripes to the island?
at first, i thought that i would just paint the stripes on...but that didn't seem like it was enough.
i wanted the stripes to be textural as well. hmmm....why not alternate painted wood with stained wood?
here is a sketch i showed todd, the owner of millbrook cabinets:
(he was the only one of the three cabinet companies that didn't flinch or make a funny face when i showed him my preliminary idea for the island. that's why he got the job!)

after some brainstorming with todd, we decided to use wire brushed, straight grain oak (also called quarter sawn) for the rough/wood parts of the island. he had a sample of wire brushed wood in his shop, and it was exactly what i envisioned!

here is a picture i took a few weeks ago at the cabinet shop---the back of the island was just getting pieced together!

the front of the island will look like a regular cabinet--it will have a grey painted finish. only the sides and back of the island will have the stripes.
i decided to use restoration hardware's "slate" for the island, (including the smooth stripes.)
the shop already had "slate" on some of their office cabinets...eve though theirs have been distressed and glazed. i like that is is a soft, warm grey that has a nice depth to it.

i wanted the wire brushed oak to tie in with the painted areas, and so i asked that they be wiped with a watered down version of the paint. i still wanted to be able to see the grain of the oak through this stain/glaze.

i stopped by to see a sample of the wire brushed oak a few days later...
here you can see that they tested out 3 different versions of the stain/glaze. the top has a heavier application of the stain, the middle has the least, and the bottom is in between:

i definitely liked the area where the stain had been wiped away the most:

another sample of the wire brushed oak next to the island cabinet drawers:

and, finally....a look at the island in place!

 the house is super dusty because of all the trim we have been cutting, so you can see there is a lot of dust on the island! it will look even better when the we clean it off and the floors are stained!

as you can see from this picture, there is also a slight difference in depth between the painted parts and the wood parts. i was SO pleased with the craftsmanship and dedication of the team at millbrook cabinets! to me, the island is a work of art. they did a tremendous job of turning my sketch into a reality.


  1. Autum! I am having so much fun following along on your home building journey and this has to be my favorite thing so far. It's amazing that you know your own design mind well enough to know that you will always love these stripes. It's easy to make design decisions about things that are less permanent - stripes painted on the walls for instance. The island takes guts and I love it!

  2. I L.O.V.E. it! And I've always loved stripes too - but have to admit I'm sort of bugged by how popular they are:)

  3. gorgeous! i love that you took a motif you knew you loved and applied it to your kitchen, and in such a unique way! And, when you love something is never goes out of style! thanks for sharing all the steps in designing your's fun to follow along!

  4. It IS a work or art! What a creative idea, no one else will have a striped island-no one, that is, until someone sees your kitchen and copies.

  5. That is going to be such a great focal point! Get ready to have the final pics all over pinterest!!!

  6. Love this! Love how original it is!

  7. Love love love this! Seriously so cool, Autumn!!

  8. Autumn, this is fan freaking tastic! Cannot wait to see your finished home tour.

  9. I am in LOVE with those stripes! What a fabulous idea. I am SO enjoying watching your house be built! You have such great taste.

  10. Loving the updates on your new home. It is looking fabulous. Do you have any suggestions for a place to look at lighting in the Salt Lake area? I would love to hear from you.

  11. I agree, I love that you had the guts to go pursue your vision! You are truly talented, and I love seeing all of your updates! It is stunning!

  12. Oh. My. Goodness. This is possibly the most amazing island ever. I too have been obsessed with stripes as long as I can remember (even in my clothing) and I am beyond excited to see your finished kitchen! What an amazing idea!

  13. You really came up with a grand idea! Love the stripes, so creative and unique. Yeah your a trend setter! In case I didn't pass it on before, and if your RH lights don't come in, check out Brand lighting's clearance section, they have some heavily marked down light fixtures.

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  15. Oh, it's gorgeous! Beautiful design and craftsmanship!!!

  16. Sooooo soo so so unique! Never seen anything like it and it most definitely is a piece of art. Simply stunning! Can't wait to see more updates! Keep em coming!