Sidebar: The Kitchen Island
One of the more fun things to build was the kitchen island. Originally it was going to be a plain, simple "box" with the induction cooktop and an overhead hood. However, the hood presented two problems: one, centering it over the cooktop was problematic, as there was a rafter right in the way; and two, I couldn't find one that I liked. So I switched to a downdraft style system.
The downdraft vent became the catalyst for a radical new island design, one with a two-level countertop so the vent could be mounted vertically at the back of the cooktop; this also created some semblance of a backsplash. I went all out and made the elevated part a kind of wrap-around shape.
Construction began on 5 August 2016 with a pedestal of 2x6 pressure-treated boards secured solidly to the floor. A conduit, installed in the concrete slab as it was poured, carries electricity to the island, seen at the far left.
The pedestal was topped with a 3/4-inch plywood base. The notch in the center is for the vent exhaust.
On top of the base I assembled a 2x4 frame.
The complex shape of the upper level behind the cooktop was carefully framed out. This shape echoes, to a degree, that of the living space as a whole.
The frame was sheathed in 1/2-inch plywood, which will eventually be clad in ceramic tile.
The backsplash also provides a place for (code-mandated) outlets and the vent control.