I have an affinity for kitchen islands. When my dad built our first home, we had a huge old chopping block that held center stage in the kitchen and I used it often. It sort of set the need for one in my mind.

The island was originally designed to be much larger, but it meant having it be a non-square shape, to conform to the layout of the kitchen, which I really didn’t like. I have a real love of clean lines and think that they are much more classic in style. If the island weren’t square, I think it would scream 2012 and I wanted it to just be timeless.

And speaking of timeless, the island is flat, rather than having an elevated bar for the seating area. That just doesn’t match my style, and is too trendy for me.

I do all of my food prep on the island, and my favorite function of the space is that it is my baking center. The six drawers on the left hold my flours, sugars, spices, and baking utensils, such as measuring cups, sifters, cookie cutters, etc. (Nearly identical to the layout of the island I designed in my last kitchen. You can see it here.) The center bin is a second garbage bin and a recycling bin behind that. It’s really handy to be able to scrape flour, etc, right off of the counter and into the garbage.) And under the microwave, is a large drawer for holding tupperware, rubbermaid, and glassware used for leftovers and lunches.

To utilize the back-end of the island space, I added in cupboards on both sides to house my baking sheets and cooling racks on one side and chopping boards on the other. I also made sure that I can control the island lighting from both ends, and have plug-ins there as well. But my FAVORITE feature of the island is the little gadget at the base. It functions as a vacuum. So when I’m sweeping in the kitchen, I can just sweep right into that space (activated by flipping the switch seen to the right with my foot) and it goes straight into the central vac.

The base of the baking sheet cabinets are plastic, so they won’t look like terrible scratched paint over time.

I used some design restraint with the seating side of the island. Originally, I had planned on using beadboard on that side, but decided I wanted to keep the beadboard to the ceiling alone and not over-do it. I’m really happy with the classic framed approach that I took instead.

I ended up putting the microwave in the island, and I like that it’s something that’s only seen when working in the kitchen. I also chose not to have it built-in and super fancy, as the microwave just isn’t important to me and I didn’t want to make it look like it is. I kept it simple and I like that.

Design Note:

The structure of the island is six feet wide by three feet deep. (The counter adds about an inch all around and the seating area has about 11 more inches of counter, making the total depth of the island four feet).

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn’t have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe’s.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I’m disappointed with a product or service and won’t provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that’s not what I want. If I don’t list a source, it’s not because I’m stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.



In 2002, I was dreaming of creating a fun and happy little event to sell my vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, I held my first event in my neighbor's barn along with a handful of friends. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces packed with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best event of its kind in the USA. I describe it as the best weekend of the year!