The Ikea Stenstorp Island

When we did the beach house kitchen makeover, I originally had planned to use the Ikea Groland  freestanding island.  The kitchen needed an additional work surface and I liked the industrial vibe of this piece.

But along the way, I realized that this modest kitchen would function better with some additional seating.  This led us to the Ikea Stenstorp island.

The Stenstorp freestanding island packs a lot of style in addition to functionality.  It comes with a solid oak butcher block top that can be stained light or dark.  We chose Minwax dark walnut to match the other countertops.

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

– Sara Ban Breathnach

As I prepare myself for the crazy, busy season approaching, I’m pausing today to reflect on what I’m thankful for. My to-do list can wait, for now. Here’s my list of gratitudes (in no particular order):

Quiet moments…

On the other side, there is plenty of room for two counter stools.  Counter stool choices will dictate  whether the island feels country, modern or industrial, enabling this piece to blend with  any decor.

We outfitted our island with three dark bronze hooks from Home Depot.  These are perfect for towels and it customizes the island so it doesn’t look like every other Stenstorp that’s out there.

For additional functionality and a cool look, you could add casters to the island.

The $399 price tag, together with the fairly easy assembly, make this an ideal piece for a modest kitchen update.

Mixing Blues in a Beach House Kitchen Makeover

I’ve been working on a color palette and design plan for the beach house kitchen makeover. The exterior of the house is now gray and blue so we want to bring some of the outside color in by doing a mix of blues in this kitchen.

This house is getting a total face lift. If you missed the earlier posts, you can read about this little “fixer” located at the Jersey Shore here:

1.A beach house face lift

2.Exterior color scheme

3.Awnings and porch valances

4.Open shelves and wallpaper

Here’s the design board I have put together for this makeover:

And here is what the kitchen looked like when the house was purchased:

Definitely “Brady Bunch” with its 1970’s copper tone sink and appliances. And how about the  gold shag carpeting in the adjacent family room!

…along with a lot of very dark paneling.

Early on, we removed a few cabinet doors and taped up some remnants of nautical wallpaper,  just to get a feel for the space without the doors:

Now we are ready to move forward with a total makeover.   Working within a $2,500 budget, we are keeping the existing cabinets but removing all the upper doors.  We will paint them white inside and out.  This will visually enlarge the space and provide an opportunity to add some personality and interest.

 Something like this:


The appliances are being replaced with stainless, all found by trolling Craig’s List and our local Habitat Restore over a period of six months. We are removing the double wall ovens to make room for a dishwasher and a floor to ceiling Ikea pantry cabinet.

Countertops will be replaced with Ikea solid beech wood, stained dark walnut.

Counter space is in short supply so we are adding the Ikea Groland free standing island.

I would have preferred to find a cool piece of furniture to adapt as an island but nothing has turned up … so Ikea here we come!

The backsplash is getting a wood tongue and groove treatment.  Instead of running the grooves vertically, however, we are going horizontal for a more modern vibe like this:


 We are replacing the laminate flooring  with ceramic tile … still deciding on the whether to go with this terracotta shown on my design board:


…or a gray slate-like tile similar to the one shown here:

We will be using a mix of blue tones throughout this space.  The color blue is unique in that various shades (not just patterns) can be combined in one room and it works.


This kitchen is a great example where several non-related shades of blue were used – from turquoise on the picnic table to a country blue on the walls. Who would have thought? Totally unexpected but I think it makes the kitchen really interesting and timeless.


Here’s another shot of the same kitchen:

I am really excited to dig in.  I’ll be sharing photos of our daily progress on Instagram if you’d like to follow along!


I am passionate about creating comforting homes through sewing, repurposing, crafting and thrifting.


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