Anyone that knows me, knows that my life revolves around my daughter. And as an artist myself, I'm happy to help encourage her artistic tendencies. Which is why I didn't want to do the usual cover panel backed island. It just felt so...well, everyone does it...and I'm pretty anti-follow the crowd. That's when I decided to cover the back of the island with tile board.
Tile board is the poor man's dry erase board at only $10 for a 4'x8' piece at any of the big box stores. Super easy to cut. And I've read some people complain out shadowing from markers, I've had no problem. I use name brand dry erase markers (I bought ones with built in erasers) and the dry erase spray solution for clean up.
I'm also big on keeping old material and finding new uses for it. I'm sure there were things I could have bought that were fancier but I'm more about reuse and recycle than spending money I don't have on crap that I don't really need. Thus my choice of trimming out the tile board.
I installed laminate hardwood in the family and had these pieces from the transition strips left over. So I stuck the metal piece from the transition strip onto its plastic backing and using double sided tape, stuck it to the top of the tile board so I could display her artwork with magnets.
Then using some industrial Velcro, I ran the plastic tooth part down the side of the island and wrapped the fuzzy part around each marker.
Then using the other part of the transition strips I didn't need, I nailed on two pieces about a foot apart. As you can see in the pic below, it has a nice little grove in it.
Now I can place her artwork in between the the rails. Why display so much art on over the tile board? Because my daughters too young to want to draw big murals, so the back of the island is often very white and plain. This is a simple way to dress it up.
When she's older and outgrown this, I'll probably take down the rails, arrange her artwork in a big collage and secure it behind a piece of plexiglass. Of course, we have a long way before that happens...maybe I'll decide to run with the crowd and buy a cover panel...