10 July 2014

Des(s)ert Island

Welcome back to our crazy, fun, frustrating, but always entertaining journey of DIYs and house renos!! We have missed you guys! We have been {busy,busy,busy} with a multitude of projects . . . some small, some big. And we can’t wait to share them all with you.

Before I jump back into business, I want to introduce you to the newest (fuzzy) member of the Branch family: Beau Branch! Beau was saved from a kill shelter in SC and brought up to a foster with his sister through the program Hugs For Hounds. If you’re looking for a new four-legged family member, I would encourage you to check them out!

 And if you’re curious how Molly Beans is enjoying her new brother . . . well I’ll let you decide:

Our “new” kitchen island is officially done! The storage is so nice, but what I enjoy even more is that Kevin and I have somewhere to eat besides in front of the TV (don’t get me wrong a good meal and some quality TV is quite enjoyable, but it’s nice to be able to have nights to eat and actually talk!)

The first thing I had to do was clean up the old dresser we had in the garage. Once everything was cleaned I lightly sanded the whole thing (get the gloss off to help the paint adhere to the wood.) Make sure you wipe the furniture down again before you start to paint to get the dust and junk off from sanding.

I took the drawers off and did a quick coat of primer choosing not to paint the inside of the drawer because I liked the older wood look (and let’s be honest, I’ve painted a lot lately and I am over it. So less painting = better!)

Between the primer and paint stage, I attached bead board on the back of the dresser to make it a more finished look. Then I painted to whole thing the same black (Martha Stewart Francesca) as our lower kitchen cabinets.

For the counter top, I sanded down a big piece of butcher block I got from Habitat Restore - check out this post for more details. After sanding the butcher block, getting all the varnish and dark stain off, I cleaned it and sealed it with Watco Butcher Block oil & finish (make sure your sealer is safe for food contact.) I didn’t stain it a color before sealing because I liked the look/color of the butcher block after sanding, but you can most definitely stain it if you do a project like this at your house!

After it was all sealed, Dad came over and cut the excess off and I finished the rough edge. Then helped me screw it down to the top of the dresser. Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a kitchen island with bar seating.  Kevin and I have truly loved the addition to our kitchen because not only has it made the space more functional and cooking more convenient, but it has made it a more social space.

And you can’t beat the cost free hand-me-down dresser + $10 butcher block + leftover cabinet paint + $15 Watco oil & finsh = $25 kitchen island. Yes please.

**I have BEFORE pics somewhere, but could not figure out where/what device they are on. If I locate them, I will do an update so you can see just how awesome of a transformation this dresser turned kitchen island is.

We are so excited to get our teeth sunk back into this blog of ours and hope you are too!

Let us know in the comments if there are any specific things you would like to see & read here and we would be happy to tackle those suggestions best as we can. 

Xoxo, Christie


  1. This is great!! Would you mind sharing where you got your bar stools? I've been on the lookout and really love this style :)

    1. Thanks! I found the bar stools at Kohl's this summer. I'm not sure if they still have them or not. If you don't need many, TJ Maxx and Homegoods are a great place to find some unique ones. Good luck on the hunt!