Kitchen islands are the perfect place for guests and family members to gather while the house chef whips up a meal. But they also serve a more utilitarian role as an extra counter workspace, perfect for rolling out pie dough or chopping vegetables for a salad. No matter what use you have in mind, some of the most unique kitchen islands ever crafted can be found at West Barnstable Tables, where owner Dick Kiusalas and the dozen craftspeople have turned woodworking into a fine art.
Photography by Amber Jane Barricman
Products sourced from West Barnstable Tables
Those looking for an antique nautical theme will love the custom-built island made out of antique oak from a centuries old Connecticut home and topped with a teak ship’s door from New Bedford. Those interested in the new farm movement might prefer an island made of wood from an old barn floor with the scuffs of the animals that once walked the boards still visible and preserved with black epoxy. And an island topped with a door salvaged from the solitary confinement cell of a torn down Massachusetts prison is a surefire conversation piece.
“I’m a visual person and I do unusual things,” says Kiusalas. “I don’t like to do things that I’ve seen before.”
Kiusalas creates unique folk-art-style furniture using old wood salvaged from dismantled antique buildings, boats and other structures from the New England region, utilizing the same methods of old time furniture construction. He creates prototypes for his showroom in a large barn in West Barnstable, but he also will build any custom piece.
It is worth a look around his showroom to see what some of the options are, because the pieces he makes expand the imagination. Whether it’s one of his orb tables with colorful wooden circles inlaid into antique boards or a whimsical round table with multiple croquet balls, a pool ball and a shiny hubcap embedded in the surface, each piece is bound to inspire.
“When you look at these pieces, they are one of a kind,” he says. “I’ve got other woods that are similar to certain tops, but it’s never going to be the same.”
Customers who prefer a more contemporary look such as cherry, birds-eye maple and black walnut, can also find something to suit their tastes, all built by custom craftspeople who take pride in their work. A custom order takes between three to nine months to create, but the end result is guaranteed to become a family heirloom.