A Dare to Dream Come True

Last Spring I fell madly in love. With a kitchen island. I blogged about it, daydreamed about it, and knew I couldn't afford it.

On more than one occasion I found myself in Crate & Barrel, doing an elaborate and probably creepy-as-hell pantomime of rolling out dough on its cool marble surface. In the summer I spotted one (moderately dinged up, but persuasively discounted) at the outlet store in Berkeley. I spent an afternoon wracking my brain for legal and illegal ways to bring it home, but it couldn't be done.

Then, on Christmas morning, after opening enough gifts to consider myself terribly spoiled, my parents handed Adam and I a last package. My Mom called it a combined Christmas-Engagement-Adam's-Birthday present. Adam unfolded a picture of the kitchen island, on which my Mom had written (somewhat hilariously, given my above-stated obsession), "if you still want it." Adam was astounded, and I am fairly certain that I teared up and exclaimed something silly like, "this is the best Christmas ever!"

Isn't it just a thing of beauty? It solves several major issues that we've had with our kitchen. First, it's a much more comfortable and functional work space than the existing tiled countertops. I baked a pie this weekend and was able, for the first time, to have every ingredient out at once!

Our corner kitchen was never ideal for our frequent dinner and cocktail parties. It was strange to cook with our backs to the table, and even more awkward when our guests stood at the edges of the room, leaving a huge void in the middle. Floating the island in the center of the room provides a space for people to mingle over drinks and appetizers. It allows our guests to be more involved in dinner preparations, but also keeps them from getting in the way! It's a visual improvement as well. The icky non-matching rental appliances used to be the first thing we'd see from when entering the apartment. Now the island is a beautiful distraction (but the open base prevents the room from feeling cramped).

And then, of course, there's that glossy marble top.

So, thank you again to my generous parents who have recognized our passion for cooking, and have given us a platform on which to do it well! In celebration, I'm baking up a batch of savory shortbread, and I'll share the recipe this week!

13 Have Spoken.:

The Relaxolotl said...

I love the footed bowl in the last photo! Reminds me of this Egyptian bowl at the Met: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/10.176.113

andrea despot said...

your parents are awesome! it looks great :)

Maggie Rose said...

Love it! You're right - it creates a whole new kitchen. Lovely.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, all!

The Relaxolotl... That Egyptian bowl has so much personality! Mine is from Anthropologie, and I'm hoping to one day purchase the companion pieces as well:


Karen said...

Wow, does that island look great in your kitchen, like it was made for it! Your parents are pretty great!

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

Aw, congrats! It is indeed a thing of beauty ;)

We had an iron-based, glass-topped kitchen table that I hated for several years until I finally scoured slab warehouses and replaced the top with marble.
The result is a similar effect and I love it.

I told a few friends (before my design blogging days) that I wanted the cold marble to have the sexy edge of both a confectionary in Paris and a bloody French butcher's slab. As you can imagine, the bourgeoisie was shocked and I, delighted ;)

May you use and enjoy it in a manner most carefree and irresponsible!
Cheers and here's to good grub, Alcira


Vicki Dreste said...

Beautiful and Perfect.

Barbara said...

Man, I love your china cabinet...where'd you get THAT?

Elizabeth said...

Alcira... Great minds think alike? :D

Barbara... It's Ikea, and I LOVE it, but sadly it's not available in stores anymore! You can see a stock image here:


And a picture of it in our old apartment here:


Diane (aka "Mom") said...

Dear Andrea & Karen,

We tell Elizabeth all the time how awesome and great her parents are; thanks for reinforcing our message!!! ;-)


The island completely changes the kitchen and looks like it belongs in that spot with your things. I hope you and Adam will use it to prepare many delicious recipes for years to come (and that Dad and I will get to share some of them!)

Barbara said...

NO!!! Don't say it's not available!!! ARG!!!

Garden Forum said...

Awesome marble table.
A well done kitchen interior design.

Rosie said...

Elizabeth, I LOVE the kitchen with the new island! They look made for each other.
Can't wait to see you next time you're up north and hear more about planning/dresses/photos/etc!

Also, thank you so much for linking little ol' Chalk Mountain to your beautiful blog!!!