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I hate my new island top. how can I improve this?

January 8, 2020

I definitely want a butcher block island countertop. Our gutted and remodeled kitchen is almost complete and the butcher block countertop selected by my contractor was just put in...and I hate it! Every other piece along the way took my breath away but this just bombs for me.

How can I make this better?

Comments (98)

  • Helen

    Objectively the wood counter is quite beautiful.

    However, I don't like it in terms of complementing the other design choices. It just seems to be an element that is completely divorced from the other design choices - particularly the floor and the counter as those three very strong design elements seem to fight for attention.

    However, I am pretty pragmatic and having finished a gut remodel relatively recently, I realize there are always going to be design elements which didn't work as well as they might have and so might have made different design choices. However, over the course of time the initial "shock" wears off and it becomes fine - especially as other design elements are brought in. I just think of it as part of the normal process for people who aren't design professionals or otherwise lack the kind of acute visual imagination that enables one to be able to know how things work together in terms of specific spaces.

    I am having a rug done custom for me as I couldn't find one that I liked. Yesterday I accompanied my designer to the rug place where we looked at tufts and discussed fields and borders etc. At a certain point I just gave up and continued joking that I had no idea why I was there since I was going to defer to the experts anyway :-). I know that when the rug is down on the floor I will completely second guess it - hate it - and then accept it as being fine :-).

    FWIW, if you continue to hate it, it's not the end of the world to change the counter since it is a relatively simple change - no pesky plumbing or other elements to have to deal with as it's just a plain countertop.

  • megs1030

    I love the top! Could it be that you are not loving it because your kitchen is not quite complete yet? No backsplash, no decor items... I would wait to make a final decision once you have tile installed. Or put a bowl of fruit on the island, bring some color in. I do think it's gorgeous!

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  • zaccaii

    Looks awesome! what is the size of the island?

  • HU-326560860

    Stunning! Read all these comments, take a breath, and search other photos. I have a feeling your going to love it!

  • Rachel Lee

    Do you have pics of what you wanted? It might help figure out if this one is fixable or if it needs replacing.

  • PRO
    Trendoffice Interior Design Consulting

    May be if you can make the top's corners rounded this will make it look more elegant, especially the protruding end above the chair? It will look softer and will be more comfortable for use.

  • bkeith

    Can I have it? 😁😉

  • Pete Global

    I understand and respect that you don't like it ...even though everyone points out there is really nothing wrong with it ...and even love it ...which is not that helpful if you hate it .
    You did not say why you hate it ???
    Anyhow I don't like it either in YOUR kitchen . Although it's beautiful ... I think it looks terrible with the flooring and makes the kitchen look dull . So I would first and foremost change the lighting ...the lights you have are very heavy need better and brighter lights even track lights would be an improvements ...or a large chandelier , then add a large bowl of white flowers and the rest needs a little decorating others have said .... AND after all these minor changes , if you still don't like it , sell it ( you have some offers here ) and get what you like better ...good luck !

  • PRO
    Under Charge

    The most incredible thing is no=one, or few are paying attention to what this person wants. The request was for a butcher Block. 3-4" laminated maple. Chunky and Durable. Get what you want. It's worth it!

  • PRO
    Shea Studio Interiors, Inc

    what do you hate about it?

  • midimach

    it is gorgeous, I wouldn't change a thing! luv it!!!!

  • midimach

    I see it now, u want it THIcker! yes i agree! just have him change it out

  • PRO
    Under Charge

    I replied to what they want, not to what I feel or think. When a client asks for a pink caddilac for a droll monotone driveway neiborhood, they do not want a grey or black car.
    They asked for butcher block. Talk to a butcher about butcher blocks or to a scratch baker about butcher blocks. This counter too looks like the Lowes 1 3/4" or 2 1/4" thick foreign wood butcher block.Perhaps it isn't, but it is less than 1/2 the true thickness of a butcher block.
    Perhaps for a fashion magazine this kitchen would make a great esthetic picture, but from the home owners perspective, they won't have a real butcher block and for the life of that great renovation, they will regret it.
    Usually in the first few sentences you can see and hear what a client wants.
    what I read was: kitchen reno/wanted butcher block/ got this/ hate it. Means the customer wants a butcher block they may have dreamed of their whole lives. Source it for them and ask them if they want it. Simple. We serve our clients, not the other way around.
    Cheers on the kitchen!

  • felizlady

    The butcher block looks like oak and it picks up the slight bits of wood color in your flooring tiles. It’s gorgeous! The touch of real wood is wonderful. To keep your butcherblock looking rich, use a little edible mineral oil and a soft cloth once every few weeks to make it more water-resistant and highlight the color.

  • PRO

    Butcher block suits nothing about that kitchen( in its natural state. )

    Not even the point , really.!

    Anyone who verbally describes what they " want" to whomever shall be creating it? Sample and approval are a pre requisite for a happy ending!

    Or ..... It goes like above.

    Which looks great. A nice WOOD stained island!

  • Launi Shapiro

    I think the butcher block is nice. For me, what doesnt quite work is the granite. If you love that, I would suggest going very dark with the wood, like a dark espresso for more contrast. Then add some colorful accessories and greenery.

  • Launi Shapiro

    I like the natural wood island. what doesnt work for me is the granite. If you love your granite, maybe going for more of a contrast on the island would be more pleasing to you. How about a deep, rich espresso? Also, some greenery would make things come to life.

  • herbflavor

    Have you thought of changing the pendants? Something larger and a warmer metal or just glass would play well w the island . Probably the pendants are new but it's something that can easily be changed and if the island bothered me ( it doesn't) a different set of pendants would be an option.

  • ker9

    What I see is a mostly gray and white kitchen with this oddball honey colored wood counter. Yes butcher block is nice but on my screen it just doesn’t go with the gray.

  • mamadada

    It is gorgeous. You need to turn on the undercounter lights for the kitchen to come alive. You need the wood to warm all of the grey and white. Went to a kitchen tour last year and all 6 houses had wood topped islands. Why oh why don’t I? It’s beautiful just turn on the lights under the counter please.

  • s siamrd

    I love it; it is the tile i would change ( at first glance)

  • skunst2017

    Maybe late to a small party , but I agree with homeowner's a nice butcher block ..but , I don't love it either in their kitchen . Try decorating it ..try different lights ...try things out , live with it for a while ...then decide's only a butcher block can always sell it , change it ..or simply live with it. Would love to know what you have decided or changed thus far .

  • dcarendt

    My $.02 from a woodworker's prospective - all the counter edges are the same throughout the kitchen - I would router the edge of the wood top to distinguish it from the other counters making it the star of the room.

  • ktgt1971

    Restain to bring out a color in your flooring. You can also put an ogee edge detail on it to dress it up. Another option is to paint island cabinet a different color.

  • Stephanie Anderson

    Perhaps a darker gray paint under the cabinets would help by bringing a contrast into the room.

  • Olychick

    I think it's by far the prettiest element in your kitchen. I hope you learn to love it or, if not, are able to get something you like better.

  • annejamison

    Thinking you could re-stain to flow with flooring and granite...

  • PRO

    Folks! Read the thread. .................... she posted her own solution of adding wood, and LIVING with it a while,. She hasn't been back since. : )

  • meljane

    I see what you mean, delucaaj. I would change it. For me, personally, it should be paler wood, more “chunky”, thicker. Look around for different island tops that would resemble a true butcher block.

  • Kirsten E.

    @janmoyer - The dialogue might still be helpful for other/future users facing a similar dilemma. It’s the internet; the thread doesn’t have to live and die with the OP. You always have the option to unsubscribe.

  • Olychick

    JAN, you can't control everything. Just scroll on by.

  • LilliCraig

    I realize I’m a little late here. If you are a serious cook purchase 3 large, square and gorgeous Boos boards and place them on the work side of the island. You could stain this counter to match or have a contrast. You eye would see chunky and gorgeous.

  • tatts

    Jan's point is correct.

    The continued blather about a problem that has been solved just keeps bringing this dead post back to the top of the list. And when it does, it boots other, newer posts, down and off the front page, where they are more likely to get help.

    It's just rude. And it adds nothing. That's why there is a universal rule across the internet that you do not resurrect dead threads. Ever. Except on the zombies forum. Ever. It's just common internet etiquette, and it's 2020, so there is no excuse for not knowing that.

    If you're so bored, answer a thread that still needs help. But first, read all the posts in a thread. Otherwise you'll just be another me-too poster, which serves no purpose.

  • Helen

    Not to hijack but when I was in the process of remodeling, I spent HOURS reading threads on this forum. Many of the threads were technically long dead but there many of them contained valuable information, insight etc. and I was happy that they still existed.

    When you do a search for a subject matter, the dates don't hit you in the face so it's pretty easy to add a response and then once there is one response, it resurfaces as a current thread.

    Not sure why anyone cares whether a thread is dead - whoever posts might have wasted a bit of time and effort responding.

    Theoretically threads like this which go to "taste" and aesthetic choices aren't as timely as some other dilemmas. However, it could still prove valuable to someone to see how a wood counter interacts with other design elements. Or how to avoid making certain aesthetic choices that one is less than happy with when viewed in the actual kitchen. Or how to make elements more complementary by adding other touches.

  • deegw

    People ignore responses in threads and randomly chime in all the time in houzz forums. Heck, some people barely read the original post before they post an opinion. PROS are just as guilty as everyone else. If you are sick of a thread, turn off notifications and scroll on by. Don't waste your time finger-wagging at strangers on the internet. Life is too short.

  • Olychick

    Responding to a 10 day old thread that is still active is different than responding to a 3 year old dead thread, IMO.

  • tatts

    Olychick: Nope. She's already said what she'll do. Case closed. She's moved on. She's gone. People are talking to nobody. And they're bumping people off the front page who need help.

    And now, Lauri (above) has made a post that is not only completely off-topic, but also includes her home address on a receipt--for all the world to see. How can people be so freaking clueless in 2020???

    Lonely people with nothing to contribute and nothing better to do than spam the forum. That's what Facebook is for. This ain't Facebook.

  • felizlady

    All your kitchen needs now is some colorful cookware, apron, hand towels, canisters and potholders. I also recommend hanging some food-related art if you have a bare wall area. Color will give the kitchen a lift.

  • Olychick

    Well tatts you keep commenting, bumping it up. No one controls these forums and trying to is a waste of your valuable time.

  • Anna Vicklund

    What is the floor? I love it!

  • pmfoster4

    Perhaps adding some wood elements on your counters would help. A wooden bowl & cutting board, maybe. Some pretty greenery would cozy it up also. It’s really very pretty!

  • K H

    Regardless, this is something I need in my kitchen! Where did you get the beautiful island top so I can order one for my kitchen?

  • jmurrell3

    Your kitchen looks beautiful! What is the range hood front made of? if wood, you could probably attach thin strips of wood or butcher block to cover the main front panel with side pieces to help to complement the wood tones of your butcher block island. I have butcher block in my kitchen in 2 areas and really love the look. I always get lots of compliments from my guests. Good luck!

  • Laurie Luibl

    Sorry Tatts! It wasn’t my intention to post that info in my pic and then I couldn’t figure out how to delete it! For your information I’m not some lonely sap trolling through the internet and randomly commenting on stuff in Houzz, I did not research the date of the post when it popped up on my Houzz feed! I am however bored out of my mind cause I broke my ankle in three places and am off my feet for 3 months, all this while building a new house! It’s a good idea to not judge someone’s entire existence just because of a Houzz post😂😂😂thank you that is all!😂

  • Laurie Luibl

    It’s you I worry about tatts, you seem a little angry😀

  • Dawn Martinez

    @Laurie Luibl, I feel you...I broke my ankle last year and it was miserable. Having fun with houzz is a nice diversion. Hope you heal perfectly.

    Btw I think if you click the flag to the right of your comment you can edit it, maybe even delete the receipt photo :-)

  • Laurie Luibl

    Thank you Dawn!

  • Linda Pecho

    It’s really a nice focal point.
    It’s rich looking and very practical. I think you will learn to love it.

  • mamadada

    Why are people so rude!

  • PRO
    Renovation Spaces & Heitz Custom Homes

    Interesting comments.. dark stain.. even tho no one will read!!

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