Fashioned from beechwood countertops that were supplied free with six kitchens worth of Ikea cabinets, the huge island is the hub of the kitchen. No framing was needed to build it because the cabinets below support the weight.
"Small Ikea kitchens drive me crazy, but six kitchens' worth of Ikea cabinets can be made into something beautiful," Dunbar says. Staggered by width, the cabinets have exposed kick-plate gaps for storing CDs. The easy-to-assemble cabinets cost $12,000, which is about a tenth of the price of custom storage units.
The couple initially painted partition walls between the children's room and their own with black metallic paint creating both a writing surface for the children and a magnetic bulletin board for notes. However, "the black looked too oppressive," Astrakhan says. So they applied several coats of lively lime green paint to brighten up that section of the house.
Dunbar describes the bathroom as an outside-in room because it has light, air, and sometimes, when it drizzles and the skylight left open, even rain. Designed for exactly these circumstances, a blue-glass mosaic tile floor is laid at an angle to drain with ease.