Sunday, March 13, 2011

Restoration Hardware Inspired Island: The Details

Hi All!
As promised, I am here to give you a few a LOT more details on my Restoration Hardware inspired island that I first posted here.
Click here to see more tons of pictures of the island… and read on to learn all about how I built the island!

{Update since building island...with the extra wood from this project, I built a fireplace mantel after painting my brick white {all while my husband was out of town!!}

I saw this island when it first came out in the Resto catalog years ago. I loved it instantly. I love everything in that reclaimed/rustic wood collection, actually.  There’s something about that wood that is so comfortable and relaxed, with its rustic farmhouse style it softens the modern look of hard stones and crisp white paint.  I drooled over the island for months years. 
resto island
I wanted to buy it so badly…but…But…BUT {there’s always a but}…but in this case there were a handful of -em:
~price: with shipping and tax it comes to over $3,600!
~size: it’s MASSIVE…I swear one would need to remodel their kitchen and design it around the island: it’s 8 feet long by almost 3 1/2 feet wide.  H.U.G.E.
~um, price~uh, it’s WAAAAAY too big for my kitchen
~did I mention the price tag?
Ok, so that’s only 2 reasons…but 2 pretty BIG reasons!  It won’t physically fit in my house and one of my kids would need to forgo college.
So I just dreamed.  And dreamed.  I wondered if I could turn it sideways and use it as a peninsula instead of an island. I contemplated if removing a 2nd wall from my kitchen would open up enough space for this island to move in with us.  I looked for bar stools for it so I could use it as a dining room table instead. 
So…what’s a girl to do? 
Design one that DOES fit in her space and
Let’s start with the wood…Resto’s is 100 year old salvaged pine, hence the name: “Salvaged Wood Kitchen Island”. So I searched the internet and finally picked up the phone looking around for my own 100 year old wood.  Turns out, there are actually lots of companies out there that sell just that: reclaimed wood.  And as luck would have it, there’s a shop just a couple of miles from me:  Black’s Farmwood.  They sell reclaimed and recycled wide plank wood flooring, rustic paneling, weathered barn siding, antique wood beams and more.  To get the dimensions I wanted, they could offer me 100+ year old oak taken from an old barn. It was actually pretty ugly when I first saw it…
January 2011 006
…but then they showed me a piece that had been sanded and it all came together right there before my eyes…it was, well, Perfect.  I LOVED IT. 
At that point I knew this was something I had to do.
So I went home and sketched my plan. With my first rough sketch I could calculate the amount of wood to purchase. To keep the cost as low as possible, I bought all 2” by 8”s {which are REALLY 2” by 8”….give or take a little}  Did you know 2” by 4”s today aren’t really 2” x 4”?  They are actually 1.5” by 3.5”…what a rip-off, huh?!  Now, don’t get me wrong…these 2” x 8”s I bought were far from perfect.  They were cut over a hundred years ago with equipment no where near as accurate as we have today.  So some were 8.25 inches, some 7.5 inches, some a little thicker than 2”…but that’s part of the beauty of the wood and the piece.  So for $300 I walked away with all the wood I needed.
Since all the wood was still ugly un-sanded, I got to work right away. It’s a good thing I don’t want this to look too perfect.  Have you ever held a belt sander? It’s POWERFUL!  If you don’t clamp the board down, it will send that board sailing across the driveway.
{Trust me, I know this from experience, wooops.}
Well, after about 12 hours of sanding…
January 2011 007
…and another 12 hours whining to my husband begging for a massage…all the sanding was finished.  Finally.
After…see what I mean?!
So…I have a confession to make…I didn’t build this island completely by myself.  I had some help.  My multi-talented uncle {a computer programmer by trade} followed my sketch a the tee…down to the 1/8 inch on all my various reveals.
He wasn’t sure why I was so picky about all my different measurements when I kept reminding him that this didn’t need to be perfect, in fact imperfection was half the beauty in it.  I know, I know, I can be a bit puzzling at times.  But none-the-less…I passed all the wood on to my uncle, handed him the sketch and he worked his magic from there.  He had to rip the 8” wide boards into 4” wide boards for the apron and lower cross beams.  {Which of course meant more sanding when he finished….we moved these boards to and from each other’s houses a few times!} And then he pieced it together, one board at a time.
I told you he is multi-talented! {He created the above little “movie”}
Well, at this point it won’t fit in my minivan anymore…so my uncle agreed to deliver it.
You gotta love his delivery van!
Ok, so let’s move on to part B of this whole island project, The Marble Top!
I am in love with Carerra Marble. It’s timeless and gorgeous. And we love using it wherever we can. It’s in our master bath and on our entryway counter and as a backsplash in the kitchen. So it made perfect sense to top the island with a carerra slab. After dozens of phone calls to every stone supplier within a 50 mile radius and bids ranging from $365 to $1,500… I decided we would pick up the slab ourselves and have it cut by an independent fabricator and bought the $365 slab, of course! You take a risk when you deliver it yourself…if you chip it, crack it, break it…there’s nobody to blame and that’s one expensive mosaic table you can make. But my husband successfully drove the slab from the supplier to the fabricator and finally home.
If you look closely, you’ll notice it’s pouring rain outside! I HAD to have it that day!
The fabricator cut it to size: 24” by 63”, eased a square edge, and honed the surface to perfection…all for $190. Total cost of the marble slab including tax: $600.
And wowzers, is it beautiful!
We’re almost done!
We fixed the base in place, placing rubber mats under each leg to prevent it from slipping.
I used the stuff that you’d put under a shower pan for my non-slip feet pads! It’s pretty thin plastic so it doesn’t raise the feet up so high that you can notice something is under there (like the pads that are made for feet do).  Also you can double up the thickness if you need to stop it from rocking. It’s great to use under a table or chair leg if unevenness is making it rock.
So here it is with its plywood top………
And then in comes the marble top…
We checked to see if it was level and needed to shave a bit off one post so it wouldn’t rock back and forth.
Once it was level, it was time to glue it down {with epoxy}.
The epoxy comes in two parts and needs to be mixed…here it is mixed on a piece of plywood.
Look how much my husband loves me…he’s at home on his lunch hour installing my island!
Once the epoxy was spread out, my guys placed the slab on top and I made sure all the reveals were correct.
Let dry Don’t Touch for 24 hours and Viola
my Dreamy Kitchen Island. 
Let’s review:
~Inspiration: Restoration Hardware Catalog- Free
~Lumber: Black’s Farmwood- $300
~Marble Slab: Import Tile- $365
~Fabricator: North Bay Stone Works- $190
~Tools: Craftsman- borrowed {from my next door neighbor and uncle}~Woodworking: Uncle Bob- $30 for glue/brackets and a WHOLE LOT of love! {I’m not giving you his link!}
~Delivery boy: Husband- I love you!
~New Kitchen Island- $900

You know what the bonus is…I get to cross another item off my 2011 House Goals!
Hummm, I wonder if I just might be able to build the Restoration Hardware farmhouse dining table? Uncle?
To see {even} MORE pictures of my island and kitchen, click here!

Linking up here!

Tip Junkie handmade projects
Savvy Southern Style


  1. mavis E. ButterfieldMarch 14, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    lookin' good dude. someone needs to take Uncle Bob out to dinner!

  2. WOW! Impressive as always Celeste!! Way to go :)

  3. Wow, that is unbelievable. I have seen the real one at Restoration Hardware outlet and they do take a huge house. You did an excellent job. I have a wow us Wednesdays party each week. Link goes up tonight if you want to join.


  4. Wow! That is one stunning island. Fantastic job!

  5. loved the movie your uncle put together and the pic of your hubby. I was like wow, he woodworks in really nice clothes until I read you said he came home on his lunch hour.

  6. I LOVE how this turned out! I like yours better than the RH version, and your kitchen is gorgeous! So glad I came across your blog. I'm a new follower.

  7. mavis E. ButterfieldMarch 16, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Cheryl, DH always comes home on his lunch hour.!!! :) he's no dummy, he gets FED when he comes home. hee hee.

  8. Beautiful island! Congratulations on a job well done!

  9. LOVE THIS! Come on ova' and link up to my Linky Party! xoxokara


    FABULOUS! My readers will LOVE this!!!

  10. Saw you over at Tatertots - LOVE your DIY projects! So glad to have a new blog to stalk! If you have time, link up at my Tuesday Time Out Link Up!

    Tuesday Time Out Link Party:


  11. My name is Celeste, and I am also a mother of three- a five year old daughter, and identical twin 2 1/2 year old boys! :) Coincidence much?!

    Excited to have found your blog! That island is awesome!

  12. New follower....Found you over on Tatertots and Jello...LOVED your mason jars....I made a pendant light using mason jars...can't wait to paint me some jars now...thanks for sharing

  13. Gorgeous!!!!! Great job and the satisfaction of making it to order is such a good feeling!

  14. I LOVE your blog! I just stumbled over from Tatertots and Jello and love what I'm seeing-- keep up the great job. :)

  15. Love, love, love your kitchen island. The rustic wood and the white marble countertop is such a great, elegant combination. Fantastic job!

  16. Great job. I love your blog I am your newwest follower! ~Andi

  17. Wow, that's impressive. The island looks amazing. Thanks so much for linking up to my Swing into Spring party. Don't forget to stop back and grab a button to add either to the end of your post or your side bar. Thanks.

  18. Wow, I am impressed! I am sure you will love it! I have enjoyed my island so much. I could not manage without the extra counter space.


  19. I love this and I love your guest post today! I am a new follower and can't wait to sift through all the posts!

  20. Thank you everyone for your super sweet comments! And thanks to all my newest followers! I'll do my best not to disappoint. :-) Hugs, Celeste

  21. This is absolutely beautiful!
    A dream come true for you..atta girl!!
    You look so proud!!
    And rightly so!!!
    Im following you..(purehunnybee)

    Deborah :)

  22. Beautiful and sooo clever. Love the truck too!

  23. That is amazing. I like it better than the Restoration Hardware one. You are awesome! I'm your newest follower.

  24. Celeste did you see my jaw drop!! I came over from Kim's! I adore this to say the least!Great job!

    Come and enter my giveaway for bath & body!

    Art by Karena

  25. Wow, what a project! And what a lucky girl you are to have such a great 'team'! The results are glad I found your blog!

  26. Looks great! We want to build one, too! Could you send us your specs? What were the dimensions of the table and what were the dimensions of the beams, etc.? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Judy,
      The top of the island, the marble slab, is 24 inches by 62.5 inches and it is 36 inches tall.
      The beams across the bottom, the shelf, are 7.75 inches wide by 62 inches long with a .75 inch gap between (be sure to have a gap big enough for food to fall through otherwise it gets stuck between the boards, yuck!)The aprons are 15 inches on the short end and 53 in on the long sides. The posts are approx 4in square. Keep in mind, though, that with any reclaimed wood, the pieces will vary unless you plane them to make them perfect. For me, I didn't want it perfect, so I left things a little uneven. Adds to the character. And also if you go for perfection, you will have trouble reaching it, then it's totally obvious where you "messed up". But if it's meant to be imperfect, it looks rustic!


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