The Island turned Sideboard

 Sometimes Barn Red is a great idea. In the case of our neighbor's kitchen island, it really wasn't. Or at least perhaps it was when it served them faithfully for 8 years. But it made no sense for our house. So we set about doing what we always do: making old things new.

When the time came for our neighbors to move back to Texas, the kitchen island was simply too big and too heavy to pack. I asked what they'd take for it. A slight hem and haw and then: $25. There is no precision engineering about this piece. It is very much something thrown together with the supplies on hand. But it is beautiful and I have always loved it. This kitchen island was somewhat iconic to the neighborhood. Many parties were held in our neighbor's home over the years, and we've all stood around the island laughing, drinking home brew, eating smoked brisket and guacamole. They said the new home owners were apathetic to whether the island stayed or left. I couldn't stand the thought of something so lovely living a life of apathy, or worse yet, abandonment if the new home owners decided they did not want it. So I said, "It's leaving! With us." Our kitchen is 12'x12' which meant an island of this size would prevent us from ever opening the fridge and the back door at the same time. That's when my husband suggested a sideboard.

Pine is known as a light weight wood but due to these thick planks, the whole thing was shockingly heavy. Se carefully took everything apart, leaving an the empty welded metal frame and several boards that we then carried across the street. The piece had originally been a basement workbench from the previous home owner, prior to our neighbor's purchase nearly 10 years ago. One of my favorite features in a top board is the 4 drilled holes where a vice grip used to be. But to see that we had to remove the top boards and start stripping. And so began the rebirth.

It meant stripping, sanding, purchasing a planer, borrowing a neighbor's smaller planer for the smaller pieces, then the classic procedure I've come to know so well: poly, sand, repeat. Weeks went by but layer by layer we stripped away, and then layer by layer we built back up. I didn't document it all as well a I had hoped but you get the general idea.

And, the grand finale!! It turned out truly even better than I could have hoped and it is now one of our favorite pieces in the house. The first day we had it all put together both my husband and I caught ourselves simply staring at it more than once. "It's so beautiful!"

And so, onward, one piece at a time, taking apart and putting back together. Now we just need all of you to come over and enjoy delicious cocktails, making new memories around our dear sideboard.


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