Before the holidays, we made a quick update to our kitchen cutout. I originally wanted to open up the wall to create a more open floor plan. But when we realized that the current wall was load bearing, we decided to keep it as is, with some small updates to the lighting and counter.
Here's a crappy shot of the before. We think the previous owners created this cutout to the kitchen. It was never finished, hence the unfinished trim along the outside. K did an amazing job with this. He removed the trim and fixed the edges so they look clean and blend with the rest of the living room. I can't wait until the kitchen gets a face lift to complete the view.
The original counter was super flimsy and unsupported - definitely not a good option. And the lighting was clearly done by an amateur. One of the outlets didn't work and the lights flickered every time they were on. Pretty much the story of this old house.
In updating this space, I wanted to keep the lighting option but add a dimmer switch, as well as add an outlet. It's the perfect spot for charging phones and I wanted to make that happen. K installed two new lights that are recessed into the top of the cutout - they blend so much better!
I also wanted a stronger counter that could withstand people leaning on it and all the entertaining we do. We bought an affordable wooden butcher block from IKEA, cut it down to fit, and stained it with Minwax's Wood Finish in Natural. We went back and forth on what color to do but since we still have the wooden floors to refinish and the rest of kitchen to upgrade, we chose a stain that would go well no matter what direction we go with our design. To protect the butcher block, we sealed it with three coats of Miniwax Polycrylic.
I've also purchased a pair of these bar stools in gunmetal. I love having additional seating at the counter. It's the perfect place to offer guests a drink while I finish up in the kitchen. Not to mention, I love eating breakfast at the counter now instead of the dining room. Got to mix it up sometimes, right?
So there you go. A quick butcher block update that took about a weekend to go from yuck to awesome!