© 2015 syd

Ship Lap Island

A real estate developer approached me with a challenge. He had an old 1930’s dilapidated home that was scheduled for demolishing, but he knew there was some nice old lumber used in the house so asked me to come up with some modern designs using the wood from this home. My first thought was “this is going to be a lot of work”, but when I saw the wood and started toying around with the idea, I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I knew many houses built back then used just nailed pine boards on the house framing as the wall and then plastered over it. As soon as I got permission, I started tearing the plaster off and what I found were beautiful, wide, ship lap pine with very little defects. I took off as much as I could grab in a day, and took it back to the shop to start pulling all the nails out.


We decided to use the recovered pine as the kitchen island. Using the pine for the kitchen island is a great use for it since the old growth pine would withstand all the beating of every day living over the years- especially with three kids running around. Usually, reclaimed pine is left with the patina and grime to keep that ‘reclaimed’ look, but I wanted something cleaner. The pine itself is old-growth pine so the tone is beautiful even when new wood is exposed. Rather than making the boards sit tight against each other like it was originally, we went for a little bit of a gap in between so we could accentuate the ship lap aspect part of the original wall and tie the history of the boards into the design. The difference in each board is a big part of the beauty of these boards, so we laid the boards out in a random pattern to bring out the individuality in each boards.

The kitchen island wraps from the back all the way to the side and then back around to the front. In the front, the pine wraps into the kitchen cabinets, tieing the whole kitchen together. In a modern room, this little island adds character, history, and warmth to this family in this new home.

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