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Diary of a Mad Renovator: Kitchen Design

Written by Jaqui Lividini

Last week I took you on a journey to find the perfect table to complement our living room window seat. This week we've moved on to the ever-important kitchen.

Originally, we were interested in a U-shaped kitchen where one side is a countertop with stools and cabinets underneath and the other side is kitchen workspace. In theory, this was a great idea, but realistically it compromised the available space. Next, we tried a 90-foot-long counter-height table that we placed in the middle of the room. It expanded across the kitchen and into the dining area—which made a statement—but just didn’t feel right in the space. Every time I walked into the room I felt the large kitchen window, with remarkable water views, was screaming for a banquette. So, we tried moving the table over to the left side of the room and built a banquette under the window.  It still wasn’t right. The room now felt like there was unintentional vast open space smack in the middle. Perplexing.

At this juncture, we started considering the possibility of an island, not a traditional one, but something vintage, reclaimed and quirky to match the rest of the house. The problem with this plan is that finding just the right piece could potentially take years and I'm quite tired of things taking years! So, after combing One Kings Lane, First Dibs, Ebay and Chairish, among other sites, I once again found myself at my local shop, Taken For Granite. Wouldn't you know, I found a gorgeous table made of reclaimed wood there. In fact, it was made by the owner’s boyfriend as a table to display items for sale.  Lucky me, she parted with it. It's round and even though it was made recently, it looks vintage, since all the materials are vintage. Home it came and when it was in place it was… almost perfect!  The table wasn’t quite counter height (a requirement for an island), so we called Alan, our ever-present handyman to salvage the table, the idea, and my sanity. Alan is building a plinth to anchor the table legs and raise the height 6 inches. Voila! A perfect solution.

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