natasha_townsend

Not happy with timber island bench, what can I do??

natasha_townsend
6 years ago
Our cabinet maker did an amazing job, but I hate my timber choice - I think it looks dated. What are your thoughts? What can I do?

Comments (46)

  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    It doesn't look dated to me, the joinery is done well,you can see the edge deail is match joined, very well resolved. I would integrate the two surfaces in some way, the black back counter is smart and is a complete contrast to the timber, completely intentional I realize, and is why it works, the combination of black highlits the natural characteristic of timber and accents it perfectly. Consider layering a slab of say 40-60mm bar top section immediately on the back top surface of the timber, so literally imagine laying a slab of stone say 2/3 rds the length of your timber bench and around 350mm deep, lay it on top of the timber with an overhang to the timber of around 150, so the remaining 200 overhangs the timber at the rear. Tis detail will complement and elongate the timber, which is currently a sophisticated design detail.
    While integrating this surface on the island, consider doing the same on the back wall in the form of a floating timber shelf atop the subway tile. I'd do the same proportions, so it feels considered.
    Take a two dimensional design to he next level, complete it with a few more details, within your current style. These details will make a real difference, and perhaps make the island the feature you intended.
    natasha_townsend thanked mldesign0401
  • haephestus
    6 years ago
    Personally, I really like it. It adds some warmth to the kitchen. I like the above idea about including a floating timber shelf along the back wall as it will help to tie the kitchen together. Alternatively, a timber salad bowl, timber knife block, timber cutting boards or some other timber accessories on the black bench would also help to unite the kitchen. If possible, you could also swap your pantry (?) door for a wood grain finish instead of white.
    natasha_townsend thanked haephestus
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  • PRO
    Carol Johnson
    6 years ago
    Love it. I think you just need to pull the spaces together a bit, with some floating timber shelves on your tiled wall.
    natasha_townsend thanked Carol Johnson
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks everyone. Yes we planning on putting in a shelf to finish off the tiles. Not sure if we are able to do a floating shelf but maybe one with brackets? My plan is to paint the surrounding walls black. I'm feeling a little more confident about my choice now. Thanks! :-)
  • Jeff & Hannah Reeks
    6 years ago
    Put a vertical herb garden down the side of the bench to add some greenery and take away from the timber a bit. I think it will look better once you have the timber shelf and the walls painted. :)
    natasha_townsend thanked Jeff & Hannah Reeks
  • PRO
    Melle Roberts Interiors
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    I honestly think you need to wait until the walls are painted to see the overall picture. The timber bench looks great & so does the rest of the kitchen. Once everything is completed and you compliment it with some personal styling touches, it will look amazing. Don't fret! :-)
    natasha_townsend thanked Melle Roberts Interiors
  • Barbara
    6 years ago
    I think the timber bench is stunning, so perfectly matched, very good cabinet maker for sure!!!
    I wonder if you're being a bit too hard on yourself, questioning your choice of benchtop when the kitchen is still incomplete.
    I do believe it's stunning and as all the other posts have said, wait till you finish everytiing and don't forget to tie it all in to incorporate the benchtop and not isolate it as right now the benchtop does look a little isolated without some other accessories and wall paint.
    natasha_townsend thanked Barbara
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks for your lovely feedback. I plan to paint the surrounding walls black. Do you think this will work?
  • Barbara
    6 years ago
    What colour are your benchtops???....are they black???
    I'm not the best judge of using black as I'm not fond of it as a main colour.
    I think it should be used as an accent only, but that's just me.
    If your benches are black then perhaps a nice gray would work and keep the room light.
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Hi Natasha, just looking at your kitchen I wanted to comment on your plans but held back, as I didn't want to influence your decisions particularly unsolicited.
    As it stillmis a work in progress it is the right time to make up yur mindon things, so I will give you my professional opinion on what I would do in this style kitchen.
    I have recently commentedon using black as Barbara will recall, and won't rehash that here. In short I'm a fan, in the right context.
    I would paint the entrance to your pantry in the black, as it unities the galley of the kitchen, meaning the wall linking the two bench areas could be black, in-fact could be blackboard paint. I would however think this is enough as it will contribute to the colour palette but won't have the opportunity to oppress the space visually. I would continue the subway tile to the ceiling on the back wall for contrast to the black wall, so both bold sections of colour are applied adjacent to each other. Thus giving both surfaces the opportunity to feature. I know you have plans for a shelf over the tile, but this could still
    Be tiled above. Subway tiles are affordable so it's worth the added time and cost to make a lasting impact here. Also I would grout in a charcoal so that the subway aesthetic is maximized, the lines are what create the look using this tile.
    Having done these two things, the back counter will be linked in, and he timber will become the warmest area of the room, with all perspectives providing designer focal points. The main difference between the homeowner completing their fit out, to a designer is their hesitation to take risk, homeowner's naturally think of the investment they're making and the risk of not doing it Right, but all too often, this risks are what make good design great. I personally think go for it, it's definitely not out there or to off trend for you to consider. There are loads of kitchens that subway tile to ceiling and you might actually love that. I would finish off with my tie in bench idea mentioned earlier. A slab of the back bench top surface on the timber, just as an intentional link.
    natasha_townsend thanked mldesign0401
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    To do this properly and get the right effect, unfortunately those side wall tiles would need to be removed, so the two adjoining walls are clearly defined. Sorry. Better late than never.
    natasha_townsend thanked mldesign0401
  • Neetie
    6 years ago
    I agree with last comments - personally the side tiling for me is dating the look I would remove regardless of whatever else you do. Tile all the way up a big fan of that, with a timber shelf to tie in the look as per those pics looks great.
    Love the timber bench, simple beautiful.
    natasha_townsend thanked Neetie
  • Barbara
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Love the pictures that Midesign0401 has attached and even though I don't particularly like too much black, I think the pictures are fantastic.
    The wall shelf ties in with the timber bench perfectly.
    Always amazed at how I can be surprised by such photo's, with possible thoughts of doing something like that myself, no not really but it says something for when I could consider such a drastic turnaround in my thinking.
    natasha_townsend thanked Barbara
  • PRO
    Jarret Yoshida Design
    6 years ago
    Timber color is beautiful. No such thing as a trendy wood color. Ok, maybe wenge. ;)
    natasha_townsend thanked Jarret Yoshida Design
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Wow! Thanks so much mldesign. Yes I agree - it does look better without the side tiles. My other dilemma is that my husband is the builder so I'll try very hard to convince him to remove the side tiles. Our tiler has just gone overseas and our painter starts tomorrow. Eeeek! Thank you all for your amazing tips and feedback.
  • carthiefintexas
    6 years ago
    Given the quality of the finish on the timber bench, I think a number of people will want to know who your cabinet maker is. It's great, and can't wait to see the finished room.
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    You're welcome. It's so useful to see the concept rather than read those long instructions. Given your hubby's the builder, should be easy, as he's invested in the best outcome. Show him the feedback and images to clearly see the result.
    Good luck. Can't wait for a final photo!
  • krc33
    6 years ago
    Well done midesign0401. Like the visualisation - it helps enormously.
  • elinitha_au
    6 years ago
    mldesign0401 you are amazing and have inspired me to post pics of my plans (we are build stage). Would love to hear everyones thoughts.
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    I can't take credit for this, Natasha Townsend designed this space, I just used a quick render to make obvious my suggestions. It demonstrates my reasoning better than I can articulate. And I'd rather people have a confident outcome with a resolved design.
    I'd love to see from peole whether or not these things were ever accomplished, or if they made a difference to their final results.
    Elinitha au always best to tackle design in planning stage, often you can address issues before they exist in reality where they come with a price tag!
    natasha_townsend thanked mldesign0401
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    I wish i could design it the way that mldesign0401 has suggested but i have sadly ive left it too late. Our painter is in bogging etc and i need to make a decision on the colours next week. Unfortunately the tiles have to stay. mldesign0401 is spot on "always best to tackle design in planning stage".
    So for now ill go with my existing plans of painting the black around the pantry door and above the subway tiles. I also love mldesign0401s suggestion of including a black slab on top of the island bench. It looks great and really does tie it in nicely together.
    Thank you all for giving me more confidence with my decisions. I will post a few more photos shortly so you can see the whole space. We have dark grey polished concrete.
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    My plan is to include a barn door for the entrance to the media room out of timber paneling and paint it in the same black.
  • bullyant
    6 years ago
    definitely not dated. Looks amazing.
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    Last ditch effort, while be's busy bogging, get those tiles off! Still time for something that will be there always. They will stand out like a sore thumb, as now seeing your theatre wall entrance, I think even stronger about it.
    It does look great already. I'll look away now :)
  • dw2610
    6 years ago
    Sell it
  • Barbara
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    @debwynn, yes I agree, lets have a Houzz sale, there are plenty of readers that would love to have that bench in their home including me!!!....actually I'm sure most of the readers would like to have an auction for the builder of this bench too but alas, I think Midesign0401 has given Natasha too good a plan to keep it ha-ha
  • KC & CO
    6 years ago
    I think it looks great - be bold and do what you want to achieve - and don't compromise if your budget allows. We retiled a complete section of new wall that we had already btiled because we weren't happy with the original result, and we are so glas we did.

    Question for mldesign0401 - what software are you using to generate those concept drawings, and is it available for personal purchase or commercial only? Thanks, Col
  • mldesign0401
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Hi col, these images are created easily with google sketch up, it is free to download and you can easily learn yourself. There are tutorials, and many ways to render, wireframe, dimension etc. If nothing else a brilliant spatial tool for design concepts and schematic planning. I've used it for about 5 years, and it is always introducing great add ons. Once you've used sketch up, you'll never go back. Just for an idea, these images took about 10 minutes to create. I have attached some more for another houzzer doing a backyard on the next page. Very versatile.
    Let me know what you think of it!
  • KC & CO
    6 years ago
    Thanks for the feedback - I'll have a look tonight!
  • Jackie Pye
    6 years ago
    Lime wash the sides and leave the top its a nice colour
  • Barbara
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Oh my goodness, Jackie Pye, no way, lime wash, OH I'm going to have a coronary ha-ha
  • antquadebigpond
    5 years ago
    Old story - but what did you do? Can we see some pictures?
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Hi there. We only put the shelf up about a month ago so I wanted to wait before I posted any pics. I'll have to tidy the space up and then I'll send some pics over the weekend.
  • natasha_townsend
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Hi everyone, sorry it took a while to post this.
    I'm really happy with the result now. Still need to do some more styling but overall I'm happy. Thanks for your support and advice.
  • PRO
    Rising Sun Landscaping
    5 years ago

    Nailed it! Great advice from Mldesign.

  • d. steel
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    yep, stunning. I been drawing something similar for a while and it's awesome to see your ab fab results after your OP. I got interested in some ikea solid timber benchtops, not nearly as nice as yours, and thought I'd combo them with black cabinets, white stone and white walls (just a "what if" design). so I totally love your kitchen. it's great how well the tiles look now compared to when you first posted, they really excite me! and the lightshades against the black wall. and what's that dining area I see? that smoked glass table top with timber trestles and black chairs and that black and white rug? where you get those?! I want to see more! congratulations, it's hard not to gush! big ups to Mldesign too.

  • mldesign0401
    5 years ago

    Love it Natasha. You must be thrilled. It looks a little industrial, and somewhere you want to perch on those swivel top chairs for a macchiato.

    thankyou so much for sharing. So worth posting to resolve your dilemma.

    Congratulations!

  • d. steel
    5 years ago

    hey mldesign, whaddya reckon 'bout those sidewall tiles now? I fully get what you meant, but gee they work. I reckon it's the way the timber shelf doesn't wrap around with them (and almost hides at the black/white border were it not for the contrasting brackets) that makes their continuance onto the next wall offset the overall balance, and that's what I dig. you guys be proud, that kitchen is something special, oops, gushing again.

  • mldesign0401
    5 years ago

    Nice compliments d steel, but none to me, I'd say the joiner and homeowners have created a well considered kitchen. More than thT, the confidence to go with something a little different and something that they are proud of.

    I also like the side tiles, it's great as is, just the designer in me would have liked the drama of a full tiled back wall and the side wall to contrast against them. It would have made for high impact, maybe just taken it to that next level. Not that this is not already above the bar.

    A really impressive kitchen, and Natasha has a real flair of styling her entire space.


  • Mim Simpson
    5 years ago
    Okay I was having thoughts of ooh maybe not working... But I was very wrong the end result looks amazing
  • d. steel
    5 years ago

    you're too modest mldesign. sure Natasha obviously had the design sorted from the beginning, but as a forum discussion your input including that rendering was really generous and liked by all. tonight I been entertaining myself visualising your full tile wall as a backdrop for different lightshades. shadows, reflections, colours. good fun. thanks.

  • d. steel
    5 years ago

    sorry everyone I know I go on a bit, but I wanted to thank mldesign again because before I read this I didn't know those tiles were called subway tiles and I've had a wee concept on my mind for years about a method for constructing cylindrical concrete rooms so now I got one heck of a kitchen design going on! cheers.

  • islanine
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    sorry I know I'm late but if I had seen your dilemma before I would have chosen to either change the tiles or paint a motif, this is because I cannot stand subway tiles, they are in every public lavatory in Ireland & Britain. I think your bench is amazing, job well done.

  • wuff
    5 years ago
    Stunning Natasha...thanks for keeping us posted.
  • churchconverter
    4 years ago
    Great minds think alike. Ive done similar but I've done hardwood timber benches all over. I wanted a more vintage/industrial look rather than too modern. Still installing.