Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Introducing the first of my IKEA finds that I have incorporated into our house…EKBY.

Technically, I bought two EKBYs.  For those of you unfamiliar with IKEA they are known for giving their products odd Scandinavian names that you can’t remember or pronounce.  It just makes shopping there all the more fun.

So where did EKBY 1 and EKBY 2 end up?  Well I’ll confess that this was one of the few things at IKEA that I had in mind to purchase for our kitchen.  Let's review where we left off.  The last time most of you saw the space it looked a little something like this.

Since then I brought up a spare cabinet from the basement, and also purchased a slab of butcher block off of Craigslist for $60.  I really lucked out with finding this butcher block.  It originally looked a little rough with a “torn” corner, but the dimensions were the exact width and depth that I needed to create an additional work space in the kitchen.

I sanded everything down and rounded the rough corner so it now looks a little something like this.

It still needs several coats of oil & finish, a product specifically made for butcher block, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.  I also have a pile of lumber in the garage waiting to be assembled into the other half of the kitchen “island”.  I say “island” since it is not technically floating, but it’s also not a peninsula so I’m at a loss for names (suggestions?).  For now, the microwave cart is filling in as support for the butcher block and it just happens to be the perfect height.

The gray wall looked a little bare, and the off-centered vent was well, a little off-putting.

I thought some wall shelves would fit the bill, and I knew there would be plenty to choose from at IKEA.  What attracted me to EKBY was the combination of the sleek white shelf with the stainless steel end caps.  To install the shelf I enlisted the following tools  along with my step stool.

I decided that I wanted the shelves spaced between 15 to 16 inches apart.  I also measured the width between the door frame and the corner of the wall and determined I needed about 4 inches on either side of the shelves to center them on the wall.  After determining the placement I marked the holes for the first bracket, drilled the holes, and placed the wall anchors for the screws.  I found it easiest to attach one bracket, insert the shelf, add the second bracket, and using the level mark the position of the second bracket on the wall.  

 I’d like to add that I managed to do this alone, not to make Jason feel bad, but to encourage others to take on projects of their own on their own.  Yes women out there, you can hang a shelf (or picture frame) without the assistance of your man.  I think it’s silly when I see women on TV say “honey, can you hang this picture for me?”  Really? 

Anyways, here are EKBY 1 and 2 in all their glory…

I feel like the EKBY twins helped warm up the wall and keep it from feeling too sterile.  The vent is still present and functional but less obvious with the selective styling around it.  I also like having Winston's treats and wipes off of the work surface.  And yes I did meet Alton Brown once, back in college at Nebraska Furniture Mart.  He is awesome and deserves a shrine in our kitchen, but I guess one photo will do for now.

Next on the list for the kitchen…
1.  Applying oil finish to butcher block top.
2.  Assembling under-cabinet shelving to create a more “built-in” look for the “island”.
3.  Priming and painting said “island” (along with the rest of the cabinets and trim).
4.  Adding hardware to cabinets.

I’m sure there’s more but let’s not get carried away.  Thanks for stopping in, hope to be back with more updates soon!

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