I have long been in love with live edge wood.
When we were building the addition on our house, there was one very large pine tree that had to come down. Poor pine tree. We hated to spend the money cutting it down and it provided great shade for the backyard, but it had to go.
When we were arranging for it to be taken down, we were asked if we wanted any of it milled (cut into boards). I immediately pictured lovely live edge console tables and benches and said YES!!!
We had planned a rustic wood kitchen island to mix in with all of the clean white of our kitchen.
As soon as we heard the tree was coming down, I thought live edge island, here we come! I love that wood top. The milled boards were really rough. Chris belt-sanded them first to really take a lot of the roughness off and then we finished them up with a palm sander.
We decided to leave it a natural color even though I really gravitate toward dark stain because there’s already a lot of dark stain in this area and the natural color stands out, I think. This is just polyrethane on natural wood, no stain.
We had considered leaving the bark on the edges, but some started falling off and I really love this smooth look. We got off all of the bark with a chisel and hammer and then smoothed the edges out with a sander. Those edges are my favorite part of the whole thing!
We’ve already cooked a meal or two in here with the new island and I can’t tell y’all how much I love it. Instead of a big empty, useless floor, we have an additional 3′x6′ workspace. We really enjoy cooking together and this was a much needed upgrade.
The initial plan was to do a wood base as well, but then Chris brought up a great point. With the wood beams framing the kitchen from the living room, the wood floors and wood door, it might be too much wood.
When Chris says there’s too much wood, that’s really saying something. So, we decided to do a colored base and really let that wood top shine. We chose an Olympic paint color called Smoky Emerald. I wanted green, but not a true, bright emerald green.
We decided to build complete sides rather than legs with two shelves for storage and room for barstools.
Obviously, these are white dining chairs, but I’m planning to buy some white modern barstools with a similar feel, so this gives you an idea of the contrast that we will have.
This one has taken a while to finish. We initially had a different plan for the bottom that was taking way too much time. We decided to go with this simpler base, which I’m really happy with because the top is more of the focus.