Jun. 3rd, 2017

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When I first described my kitchen desires to out former contractor they included a central kitchen island, an island I already had. I was open to it being updated, but the contractor was very firm in his belief there just wasn't room for it, unless the kitchen space was pushed significantly further into the living/dining room, something he knew I was unwilling to do. We had agreed to enlarge the room in two directions, but not as far as he thought was needed to accommodate the island.

I moved the island from the old house into a storage unit here on the property. He knew it was here. I insisted it would wind up in my studio space when we got there. I meant it. I'm attached to it as it was built for me, to my specifications by a friend, sadly now deceased, long before his time. Mikey was a woodworker who specialized in turning scrap hardwood into beautiful cutting boards. I'd asked him to build me a kitchen island on wheels with a butcher block top, essentially a giant cutting board on wheels. It had pull out shelves made to accommodate my Kitchenaid mixer, as well as cubbies for baking sheets, etc. Well, when Mikey realized I intended to use the butcher block as a butcher block, he built me a huge cutting board from exotic hardwoods as a gift. That cutting board covered almost half the island.

My cabinets here include a narrow undercounter cabinet for items like that huge cutting board and large baking sheets. While I've been thrilled with the kitchen in most ways, I find I do a lot of walking side to side. Dishes and the fridge are on one wall, the stove on another, the area I've been doing food prep on yet another. It's not an efficient setup. A central island to work from really will make the space much friendlier to work in.

In my old kitchen, which was also large, the island was the heart of everything that went on there. Groceries we put down on it, to be put away; it was convenient to the pantry, as well as the fridge. It was a great workstation for food prep, and just a step from the stove, and could even be rolled closer to the stove, if I needed it. It even made putting the dishes away easier; they came right out of the dishwasher onto the island and once the dishwasher was empty, I could go around to the other side of the island where it was a breeze to put them away.

Well it's my kitchen, dammit! Screw what the contractor felt about it not belonging here

One of my projects today was to the move the island out of the storage unit and into the house. Once I got it to the patio, I replaced the wheels with new ones that shouldn't scratch the floor, that just happen to be half an inch taller. To my pleasant surprise, completely serendipitously, the new wheels now make the butcher block level with the granite countertops.

After being moved about the kitchen countertop for the past month, ever since it was unpacked, the Kitchenaid finally has a home again, back in the island where it lived for the past two decades. So does the huge cutting board. A place of honor in fact, dead center in the heart of the kitchen. The knife block will now live right next to it. No longer is there a hanging pot & pan rack above the island, but to be able to drink in the gorgeous views I see through my windows, I can live without it.

The island fits the space. It just fits. Just as I had envisioned it, when I first described to the contractor what I wanted. There's easily enough room fo me to circle it and have room to open any door, drawer or appliance fully. There is now a splash of wood in the center of a predominantly white kitchen. I'll change the door and drawer pulls to match the others in the room and live with this for a while, to see how it feels, but at this point it feels pretty damn good.

Slowly, this old farmhouse is not just getting a facelift; it's becoming our home. That's our home, not the he contractor's.

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