DIY Butcher Block Kitchen Island


When we started the kitchen renovation, I searched high and low for a kitchen island that would work in the space. Our kitchen isn’t huge, so I didn’t want something that felt too heavy or took all the attention away from the rest of the kitchen. I had a hard time finding exactly what I wanted, so instead we decided to just build the island ourselves. Lowe’s sells precut butcher block tops which was the perfect start to our island! I loved using the iron pipes for the base. They matched the style of the shelf brackets and the simple design felt complementary to the rest of the kitchen. I think it was the perfect fit! Try it out yourself!! This idea could also be used for a dinning room table or coffee table.


Precut Butcher Block 25”x48”
4 x 1”x30” Black Iron Pipe
6 x 1” Black Iron Tees
4 x 1”x8” Black Iron Pipe
4 x 1”x2” Black Iron Nipple
1 x 1’x36” Black Iron Pipe
8 x 1” Black Iron Floor Flange
2 x Rust-oleum Paint and Primer In One flat black spray paint
Valspar Flat Premium Finish Spray Paint
Watco Butcher Block Oil and Finish
Sanding block



1. Gather all your pipes and pipe fittings. Clear an area so you have room to work. Work on attaching all pipe fittings and pipes together to create the base. I started with the middle 36” bar and worked out from there. Although they’re standardized, precut pipe, there is always some variation in threading. It’s a pain but if you know that going in- it helps. Make sure you gently tighten pieces at first, remembering that you’ll need to loosen and tighten some of the connections to get matching lengths later on.

2. Add tee fittings on each end of the 36” pipe. Followed by the 4, 8” black pipe pieces in each end of the tee fittings. Set aside this “I” shaped assembled piece.

3. Work on creating the 4 legs. The order will go flange, nipple, tee, 30” pipe, flange. Repeat this 4 times to get the 4 legs of the island.

4. Attach each leg to the middle “I” piece to finish the base.

5. Tighten or loose connections to make all legs the same height. It takes a bit of finessing!

6. In an outside location, spray paint the entire base with the flat black spray paint. When completely covered and dry (may take 2-3 coats) spray a top coat of the premium finish spray.

7. Place butcher block on top of pipe base. Drill screws through holes in the flanges into the butcher block to secure together.

8. With a rag, follow directions on the Watco Butcher Block oil and seal and finish the butcher block. Will take 2 coats, with a light sand in between.






Note: This makes the island 37” tall. I wanted a slightly taller island for ease of food prep but you will have to plan accordingly for stools. A counter height stool is a bit too low and a bar stool is too high. The answer is a stool with a swivel top! We wanted them anyways because of the kids, now everyone can adjust their stool height to be perfect for them. I like having mine low so I can cross my legs and I raise Finley’s way up so she can be close to the butcher block. Works out great! Our stools were from Urban Outfitters.

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s. All opinions and pictures are my own.

8 tips For Creating Successful Open Shelving (and a pantry)



We love our new open shelving and pantry! It’s everything we had hoped for! It totally opens up the kitchen and I love the modern look of it all. When I posted the picture of the kitchen reveal last week, I got a ton of questions about how to create open shelving, how to make it function well in your kitchen and what we did with the rest of our stuff! I decided it would be a good idea to go into the nitty gritty of it all so you can feel confident if you are thinking about making the switch in your own kitchen.


Metal shelving brackets
Drywall/wall anchors
2”x10”x8’ wood cut to shelf lengths
Minwax Weathered Oak Stain
Foam brushes
Masonry drill bits
Various glass jars/containers



1. Take all the measurements for how long you will need each shelf. When you don’t have all the tools, Lowe’s is there to help! They cut all our wood for us to the exact measurements we needed. I wanted a thicker shelf so we went with 2” thick wood.
2. Stain each of the shelves. We used a Weathered Oak stain and I love how it gives it a reclaimed wood type look without the hassle of finding reclaimed wood. It’s the perfect stain color.
3. Take measurements on your shelves where you want the brackets to go and screw in each bracket to the shelves. I decided on placing the brackets 7” in from each end of the wood.
4. For the pantry area, we used heavy-duty dry wall anchors. I didn’t like where the studs where in relation to where I wanted to place the brackets, so the anchors let me do whatever I wanted. TIP: Measure twice! Drill once. haha. Learned that lesson a few times.
5.With a level, measure out all your spacing for your shelves. For our pantry, the shelves are 16” apart and for the kitchen, they’re 12.”
6. Drilling into tile is intimidating!! We watched soooooooo maaaaaaaany YouTube videos (anyone watch the videos with Shannon?). What helped us the most was to get a masonry drill bit, make an “x” with masking tape to give some texture for the drill bit to stick to, and using a sponge, drip water on the drill bit while drilling into the tile. We used these anchors to hang the shelves over the tile.
7. Start organizing, styling and putting your new shelves to good use. You will love how open it makes your new kitchen!




Tips for having open shelves and pantry:

1. Clean and purge! You will be surprised about how much you have when you empty your kitchen all out. I ended up donating about half of what we kept in our kitchen. I only kept the things we use everyday.
2. Find the balance between function and decoration. When you take your upper cabinets down, the shelves need to be functional, as well as look good. For us, we kept all our dishes a single color (white) or clear glass so it didn’t look messy or overwhelming.
3. Maximize the storage in bottom cabinets. Look into organizational items, like wire racks, that can really help organize every inch of space. It really makes a huge difference if you aren’t wasting space!
4. A closed-door pantry. We are lucky enough that we actually have a pantry with two doors. We moved the items that we didn’t want on the open shelves in there (i.e. kids plastic cups and plates). We also have our large bulk items from Costco in there. Everything else gets put into the glass jars on the open pantry shelves.
5. Dry goods. I love the bulk section at our local co-op. I get most of our dry goods from there and keep them in large mason jars on the shelves. It makes for a perfect open pantry – they all look so beautiful with their subtle colors and interesting textures. We keep an array of nuts, seeds, flours, sugars, oats, shredded coconut, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc… in our jars. We store our packaged snacks/food in cabinets to help keep an organized and minimal look.
6. Transfer all your spices to clear glass jars. I love these spice jars from Amazon and how they look on the shelf together.
7. Get creative, use hooks under the shelves to hang mugs, or try hanging bowls/baskets for fruit.
8. Have fun! That’s the best part of having open shelving. You get to rearrange and decorate anytime the mood strikes. Let your creative side go wild!







This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

You can see the full kitchen reveal post here!

The Kitchen Reveal!




Eeeeek! We are so happy with how this all came out. I’ve been so excited to share. It feels so fancy- I’ve never had a fancy kitchen before!! So above you can see how outdated our old kitchen was. We did our best when we moved in, but I’ve longed to redo it the last 3.5 years. When we moved in, the walls were yellow and there was a floral type backsplash. We painted both the walls and the tile with white paint as a quick band-aid. So when the chance to redo the kitchen in partnership with Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s came up, we knew we wanted a major update! What we love most about the Frigidaire Professional Collection, is that you can have professional-grade appliances in your home, without having to do any kind of renovation. The collection’s appliances are all designed to fit existing kitchen cutouts, making upgrading your kitchen totally accessible to even remodeling newbies, like ourselves!




Oh baby! Let’s talk about the stars of the kitchen. I have always LOVED to cook, but since everything has been finished I’ve been extra excited to get in there and cook on my new Frigidaire Professional appliances. I’ve been cooking up a storm these last few weeks. I’ve only ever had an electric range, so switching to gas was such a treat. I love that the Gas Cooktop has grates on top that are continuous. It makes sliding heavy pots and pans across the burners super easy. It also comes with a griddle/grill attachment that fits over the center burner! Let’s just say Rowan is pretty pumped about this feature. That girl loves her pancakes!

One of my favorite decisions we made for the kitchen is the cooktop and wall oven combination. I love the finished look!! I was totally surprised that a wall oven didn’t have to go, you know, up in a wall. We weren’t in the position to tear walls down and restructure the kitchen. The Frigidaire Professional Wall Oven fits perfectly below the counter and gives such a clean, professional style. I also love the powerful performance and No Preheat feature.

The Frigidaire Professional Dishwasher runs quietly and has lots of great features, We love the blue light that turns on when the load is clean. With all the cooking I’ve been doing, I’ve found that you can’t beat a 30-minute wash cycle. Washes dishes in a quarter of the time with a powerful and fast clean!

Now. Let’s all bow down to the king of the kitchen, shall we? I’ve never had a refrigerator that could hold all the fresh produce I buy, and I buy a lot. Four out of five of us are vegetarian so we consume fruits and veggies like whoa in this house. Our old fridge was always stuffed to the max and I would get so frustrated trying to find stuff. I’d be super bummed out when I would have to throw something away that had gone bad just because I forgot it was in there. The Frigidaire Professional French Door Refrigerator is my knight in shining armor. THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM IN THERE! And when you open the doors, it all lights up fancy like angels are singing about the glorious food inside. Am I getting too carried away with how much I love this fridge? Maybe, but it’s true. I love it! It’s got awesome shelves that you can change in a flash to organize all your stuff. It’s perfect.


Open Shelving:
 The big thing we wanted to do was take down the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving. Our kitchen has always felt super dark. There’s really only the one window above the sink and with the heavy cabinets up top, it really made it feel smaller than it was. We got some great thick wood from Lowe’s and had it cut right there in the store to the exact sizes we needed. I just simply stained them, and the result was the perfect natural, yet slightly worn looking shelf. I was so weary of finding the right stain and I can’t say enough for how beautiful the shelves came out! DIY post and tips for having open shelving and an open pantry to come soon!

I also really wanted to subway tile from the counter up to the ceiling to help brighten up the kitchen. The tiling was by far the biggest project. The nice people at Lowe’s were so helpful when I showed up with 3 crazy kids and explained I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed, but I needed them to help me out quickly before everyone started having a meltdown. Hahahah. We went with your standard white subway tile and a lighter grey grout. It was the most labor-intensive part of the project, but so worth it. The finished product is gorgeous!

This was our biggest investment, but totally worth it. We really wanted a nice countertop! We decided to go with quartz and you know what color we chose? It was called Blanco Orion!! It was the first sample I picked, and when I found out it was called Orion–Duh! Of course I was sold. It’s so beautiful and totally makes the entire kitchen. I love the subtle grey hues throughout the piece of stone.

We were planning on just painting the bottom cabinets, but when we decided to replace the countertops we thought, here is our chance to actually do something with the bottom cabinets. We wanted to keep the footprint the same to keep things easy on us. We decided to go with cabinets that Lowe’s has in stock, instead of getting custom cabinets made. It really helped keep the cost down and we loved the white Arcadia style. It was a win-win for cost and convenience.

 Do you remember the custom pipe desk/shelf thing I built right off our kitchen? Well, I wanted to create an island that tied those two pieces together. Lowe’s sells these beautiful precut butcher blocks in two different sizes that you can get right at the store. All we had to do was assemble the parts and attach them together. DIY post to come so you can all build your own kitchen island as well!

Hardware + Fixtures: 
I have been drooling over brass hardware for quite some time now and decided to go for it. It may be trendy, but it’s an easy switch if I ever get tired of them. The faucet we went with was a matte black to match the black shelf brackets and black iron pipe under the island. And the sink… ooooh the sink. I love this sink. It’s this beautiful extra large single basin white granite sink. It’s so pretty! hahaha. Omgosh I’m such an adult. My 16-year-old self would hate me for just saying I loved a sink.












Resources: Refrigerator | Gas Cooktop | Wall Oven | Dishwasher | Blender | Hood | Frigidaire Professional Collection | Sink | Faucet | Track Lights | Cabinets | Brass Hardware | Shelf Brackets | Hanging Brass Planters (fruit holders) | Letter Board | Floor Mat | Stools

This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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