Eileen loved the idea of using reclaimed wood for its timeworn patina, so Penzenik used it for an island that marries modern efficiency and vintage styling. The dishwasher and pullout trash bin are totally concealed behind wood panels. Open-shelf storage allows access to the microwave on one side and, on another, provides a foothold for anyone who wants to sidle up to the counter for a snack or keep the cook company.
With its warm finishes and artful details, the once yawning room is now as intimate and familiar as the kitchen in Penzenik's grandmother’s house. It's also busy as a beehive. "I can be at the computer and Joji can be doing homework at the island, and Greg can be watching TV on the other side of the hutch," says Eileen. "It all functions as intended."