Modest little kitchen nook / desk project complete

sochiSeptember 2, 2012

We have a small area off our kitchen that served as the eat-in part of the kitchen for the PO. We added a window and opened the area up to the front play room and opted not to have an eat-in area, as the dining room is close to the kitchen (and has a better view) and we can sit and eat at our peninsula if needed. So after the major renovation two years ago, this small area served as an extension of the play room (sorry for the poor quality pics here):

The area is still effectively an extension of both the kitchen and the play room. We decided we wanted a long desk, with enough room for two to work. It is an ideal place for a computer, as we constantly walk by and can see what our kids (now 8 and 5) are up to.

I wanted a live edge walnut slab here, but at the time earlier this summer I couldn't find walnut wide (deep) enough, so we went with cherry. The natural cherry will darken with time, and I think it is fine despite the fact that most of the kitchen is walnut. DH finished the cherry slab and cut it to size. The white cabinet is from IKEA, it holds lots of paper, crafts and other kid stuff.

It has been wildly successful, the kids work here all the time. Even with the IKEA unit three people can fit along the desk. It is much easier to work at than our counter height peninsula.

Tose are the DR windows you see below cross the small courtyard area.

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Those chairs, that slab - to die for. Gorgeous and functional, my favorite combination!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Sochi, I really do think you need to adopt me so I can come live in your beautiful house! LOL. I absolutely love all that you have done/shared so far, and this kitchen nook is no exception. Perfect, perfect, perfect!!!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I want to be adopted too!! I promise I will live in the kitchen ;-)
LOOOVE everything about your kitchen and the nook.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Lovely and so much fun to have the kids right there!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:39PM
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can I come too....? Cat_ and I get along so it would be a congenial group :) I remember your posts and pics about this area in the past. I love the use of wood in your home and the simplicity of the lines belies the incredible funcion of the space. You just keep outdoing yourself.

I really like a "U" shaped home. My Mom and Dad built their one and only "new" home when Dad was 80 and it was a "U" around a courtyard and pool. It is my fave design. c ps...they enjoyed it for 12 years !!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 6:57PM
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sochi, what a lovely blend of colors and gorgeous finishes. You home looks so serene and peaceful. I love the floating shelves with the pics of the children,so beautiful.

i am looking at the pics you posted and all i can say is,

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:20PM
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It sounds like it has been an enormously successful use of space. Which would be a huge accomplishment even if it weren't flat-out gorgeous, which it is. Congrats!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:14PM
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I think homes need to grow and change, develop, maybe as people grow and change. Your kids need this fantastic work area more than a play room now!

Your wood choices are lovely. It would be a pleasure to sit at your desk, in those beautiful chairs.

Congrats on a great job!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:15AM
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sochi, hope you make good money at your "day job" because otherwise you should quit it and become a decorator! :-) Thanks for sharing your photos, they are pretty and functional.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Absolutely brilliant use of the space.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:06AM
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trailrunner, wallycat and cat_mom, you are MORE than welcome if you're ever in my part of the world! :)

Hope everyone had a fabulous labour day weekend, the weather here was spectacular, just gorgeous. I don't want summer to end.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Sochi. How cool. I love the pop of turquoise on the chairs. May I ask where you found them? I remember your kitchen, still one of my favorites. And the Russian nesting doll light fixture, was that in the entry?? Wonderful unexpected touches and great photograhy. You should be a designer! Thanks for sharing. What'n next on your design drawing board?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:53PM
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More questions : ) how is the unsupported side suspended? When you shop for the live edge wood for bathroom counter and desk, what thickness did you choose? Are they finished with linseed oil or something like that? So pretty!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:30PM
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island - great memory, yes it is me with the Russian nesting doll fixture in our entry. Still love it. I found the chairs in an antique store in a small town outside my city, they are great fun. $300 for all 4, seemed like a good deal. As for what is next - I just finished my master bathroom (pics on the bathroom & decor forums) and I hope to finish my bedroom by Christmas. Plus I helping a friend with her kitchen, so that should keep me busy!

kiki - the cherry slab is supported by the Ikea cab on one side and little ledges on the other. We wanted to keep the price down on the project (the Ikea cabinet was the most expensive Item I think). A picture is worth a thousand words, so here you can see what we did:

The walnut slab in the bathroom has more serious metal supports. They cost as much as the walnut I think:

The cherry slab is about 2" thick. Both the cherry and the walnut were about 8 or 10 feet long and 17"-19.5" deep. I got both (and the ipe decking for the shower) from a local lumber shop. The walnut slab was about $300, the cherry about $200. Cheaper than many entry level desks and bathroom vanities!

The walnut in the bathroom is finished with a product like Waterlox, the cherry is just finished with a standard polyurethane I think. I will confirm what is on the cherry later today, DH finished it. The cherry may get a little beat up as it will be used as a kids' desk, but it can easily be lifted out and given a quick sanding when needed.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Sochi.. Absolutely brilliant! I love the "living edge" can you share details of your support for the bathroom ledge please?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:37AM
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Not trying to yell at you, and I'm so sorry to be posting this as the plank looks great and its a very good solution for the space, but this is kind of a warning...

A good part of that slab is supported by air unless you drilled it for metal rods projecting from the wall?

The front edges of something like that are subject to a lot of stress from people pushing away from the surface and pushing down on the surface to push themselves up and away from it. Adding to that, wide surfaces cut like that are subject to cracking along the grain lines. Pile on more for visiting adult people or teens who may lean against it, if not outright sit on it. This type of thing needs to take loads of about 200 lbs or more that are not evenly distributed. One of the ways to view what you built is 6-10 inches of plank with very weak support on one long side, good support on one short side and air on the other two sides.

Using some guesses at dimensions for that plank makes some point loads that the unsupported section can't handle - the plank may break OR the little 2x2 may break but most likely is that the front will simply crack off from a large person using it as a support. Followed closely by the softwood 2x2 worming its way off the screws over time or crack through - because roughly, the "business" part of the 2x2 is only the part above the screw.

So that's the warning - because it looks scary to me. I am not competent enough to make any suggestions for you, but I'd ask around about it on a woodworking forum or two.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Gorgeous! I am constantly stunned by the beauty of your home. Mine is not quite as modern, but I definitely take inspiration from your choices of showcasing beautiful wood with crisp modern selections. Growing up, we had a countertop against a wall in our kitchen that my brother and I used endlessly for art projects, meals, and homework. This space looks like it will be absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:57AM
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lalitha - thanks so much, I will find out about the bathroom supports and let you know.

bmorepanic - you're not yelling at all, I appreciate the advice. In fact I was discussing just that with my husband last night. I'm sure you're right, we should get some more support under than desk. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Sochi, that is one beautiful kitchen nook/desk area. I absolutely LOVE the cherry and the live edge. Stunning. And the pretty turquoise chairs, all the light from the sliding door, what a fantastic space to work/play in.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Thank you again Sochi for all the info! It really looks wonderful!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Thank you again Sochi for all the info! It really looks wonderful!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Very beautiful! Love the live edge and am hoping to be able to work some shelves like that into my kitchen.

May I ask what your flooring is? Really lovely...


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Thanks deedles. The flooring throughout our entire ground floor is river reclaimed birch. It is probably about 130 years old and pulled from a major river very close to our house. I love it!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:31AM
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