Akram's Ideas

DIY Project 01 – Kitchen Island

One of the things that bothers me the most about my new (old) home is how tiny the kitchen is. I’m told that this kitchen is actually the expansions, since it took space from an old porch, when it was renovated in the 1950’s, if that’s the case I’d hate to see the original kitchen, I suspect however that the original kitchen was an eat in kitchen and was most likely where the dining room is now.

The biggest issue with the kitchen is the lack of counter space, and the fact that it takes up only two walls, the other side has openings and then there’s the back door, so there’s no other wall space to put anything, save by a small wall between the dining room and breakfast room on openings. I wasn’t sure how to address this issue, but a kitchen island did come to mind. I didn’t exactly know what I wanted, but sometimes good ideas just happen.

My and my husband are frequent visitors at all the local antique shops around town and we periodically spot a really good bargain. We happen to go to one of our regular stops when we came across a nice kitchen table and chair set for only $29.99. We didn’t really need a table and chair, since we bought a beautiful table, that seats 8, on clearance for $300 in Joplin prior to Thanksgiving. However, my husband had been looking around for a table for his office to use as a work table for crafts. The table was a little larger than he wanted but the price was right.

Once we got it home we brought it through the back door, which enters through the kitchen. My husband sat it in the middle of the kitchen and then stopped to take a look at it. He thought although he bought it for himself, it might be better for the kitchen. He had me come take a look at it. I like the idea, but I felt it still looked like a table in the kitchen, wouldn’t it be nice to be a real island.

After we agreed that the table was best suited in the kitchen, I started looking at kitchen islands online, and wondering if there was a way I could modify the table to make it work better. I came across an island at Walmart.com for around $500 that had a similar look to the table I already had. I liked the idea of having storage under the table, and making the table counter height. The question was how to do it.

Turns out we had an old TV entertainment unit we weren’t using, and although it was black it had the cabinet space we where looking for. So, I had my idea, and my husband formulated a plan. He decided we could take apart the TV unit and remove the center section, since the unit was longer than the table. We’d get a new board for under the table to mount the cabinet to, and then new legs, which would bring the height of the cabinet up to to counter height.

The cost of the board for the bottom of the table came to about $20, while the 6 new legs came in at just under $30. It took a two days to paint the black cabinet. Then the project was put on hold for about a week until we could find the right set of legs. Then within a day we assembled the pieces to the table. The end result was fantastic. I decided not to paint the cabinet doors, leaving them black, but eventually the kitchen will be black and white to go with my Coke-cola theme. I did decorate the back side of the island with some Coke signs and then used the edge shelf for storing coke bottles. The inner cabinets house other kitchen appliances. The total cost came in right at $100, if you include the cost of paint, which is $400 less than the one I say at Walmart. Since we’ve put the island in place at the end of May, I must say I’ve used it just about every day. The island is a great work space, and it came in really handy when I was decorating a cake tonight.

This is only the first of our many DIY house projects, but I’m already excited for others, seeing how nicely this one turned out.
Here’s the final island:


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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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