Thursday, June 20, 2013

George: Converting a Sideboard into a Kitchen Island

Josie, since you asked, this entry is for you...An entry all about how George went from being a wooden   sideboard to a kitchen island.

Once upon a time we (Niall and I) were walking down a street in Cambridge and Niall saw a beautiful sideboard in the back alley of a modern furniture shop. It was ornate, wooden and in excellent condition. It was an antique and definitely out of place with the type of furniture the store carried. Niall talked to the owner and for £15 pounds he (Niall) bought the sideboard and got to borrow a dolly to wheel it home.

Back before we had kids, we had this weird thing about naming furniture. (Well, only two pieces.) So the sideboard got named George and we've called it that ever since. George has moved all around the UK with us, from Cambridge to Cardiff to Glasgow.

He has sat in storage for the past year with the rest of our things.   As we planned where furniture would go in the house, we realized that there was no room for George.  Niall and I were both sad, I guess that happens when you name a piece of furniture.

But wait!  We knew we wanted a kitchen island and since our kitchen is bespoke (and second hand) I knew we wouldn't be able to buy a matching one off the shelf.  (Even if we could, have you seen how much kitchen islands cost?  Answer:  Too much for us.)   We thought about creating our own, and then Niall thought maybe George would work.

George was a little too narrow on his own.  We came up with a a countertop from Ikea and put it on top of George.  But the coloring was all off, so we did the unthinkable.  We painted George.  Ugh.  I had so much guilt about it and hummed and hawed.  And then just decided to do it.  First I removed the doors, then sanded.

And then primed and started painting.  I was sure someone would come by and comment on what a shame it was to paint such a beautiful piece of furniture.  Luckily the only comment was about how bright the red color is.

We bought the widest piece of butcher block we could get from Ikea (VÄ's the only one we could find that's 100 cm.)  I wanted to just have the countertop and George underneath, but our joiner said it was too unstable.  So I bought some newel posts from Jewsons (£10 each) and sanded, primed and painted those as well.

The joiner attached the countertop (with fancy biscuit joinery!) and we were very pleased.  I sanded, oiled and varnished the counter three times.  We looked and looked for stools and finally found two that we liked at the Salvation Army.

The girls love the stools.

And the kitchen island as well.

George has become the gathering place of the kitchen.  So, there you have it Josie.  The story of George.  The End.

1 comment:

JosieB said...

A wonderful tribute to faithful old George :)