Even the mildest change is hard for most of us. I laugh now when I think about how anxious it made me to think of adding a kitchen island to our kitchen. I loved how large and spacious our kitchen was and thought that a kitchen island would make it feel too tight. The kitchen is where people come to hang out. It doesn’t matter how much room there is in the rest of my house, when people come over, they all (even if there are 20 of them) end up in the kitchen.
Last New Year’s Eve, we had some of our people over for a semi-formal new years get together. We needed extra seating and so we brought our current drop leaf dining room table inside from the shed where it sat for a long time. After the party, we dropped the leaves and left it in the kitchen to test if we wanted an island. We found out quickly that we wanted an Island indeed. It was so convenient. Although our kitchen does not lack in counter space, a good chunk of it is far from the stove, so I never use it unless I am setting up a buffet line for when we entertain.
We also realized that having an island with storage would be very beneficial because this house has so little, so any extra storage would be helpful. For about a month, we searched for islands and found some that we liked but not at the prices that we liked.
I was at goodwill one morning (I am always at goodwill) and was stopped in my tracks when I saw an old dresser that looked to be the same height as our lower cabinets. It was $45, and though I didn’t have a measuring tape to make sure that it would fit, I paid for it and left goodwill with my little ticket as proof that I had purchased it. I drove straight to husbs’ work and left the ticket in his truck so that he could pick it up on his way home that afternoon. Either I have a good eye, or am very lucky, but the dresser was the perfect height. All we had to do was to remove the top of the dresser and add a counter-top. The following weekend, we got to work.
I do not have “before” pictures. I must not have been all there when I was working on any of these projects because I forgot to take pictures. However, I promise it was not that hard. Here is what we used.
For your convenience, this post contains some affiliate link. Click here to read my full disclosure.
- A solid wood dresser close enough in height to your current cabinets. ($45)
- 3 Corbel (They are the wooden shelf bracket and you can use something similar to this one)
- 2″ x 2″ by 8″ pressure treated lumber cut into three 4″ pieces (owned)
- Screws-we used 1.5″ drywall screws (owned)
- Drill (owned)
- Wood putty to fill screw holes
- Finish nail gun (owned)
- Wood Counter of choice. Ours is made of two 16″ x 48″x 1″ butcher block boards and after trimming measures 32″ by 44″ (it cost us $28)
- Paint for the dresser or leave it unpainted if you wish. ( owned)
We first had to remove the top of the dresser so that we could replace it with our counter-top. After that, we installed the corbels. The corbels measure 7/8″, so we installed the 2 x 2s 7/8″ away from either end of the dresser and 7/16″ from the middle to make sure that the middle corbel was centered. Once they were securely installed, we attached the corbels to them. To attach them we drilled 2 small pilot holes (approx. 1/16″) through each corbel and then drilled the screws through those holes into the 2 x 2 supports (using pilot holes helps to avoid cracking the wood when inserting the screws, and helps the screws not to go crooked). If you find that the screws won’t countersink, but instead stick out past the surface of the corbel, you can take a drill bit slightly larger than the head of the screw and drill just deep enough into the corbel to let the screw head go flush or just below the surface. After corbels are secured to supports, you can fill in the screw heads with wood putty, and paint over them.
Once that process was done, we installed our counter-top by nailing it with a nail gun to the perimeter of the dresser and the tops of the corbels. We used a nail gun because it forced the nail to countersink inside of the wood so that we could just cover the top of it with wood putty to even out the surface. (If you don’t have access to a nail gun, you can achieve the same effect by nailing them nearly flush with a hammer and then drive them below the surface using a nail set). The last thing left to do was to fill in the holes with stain-able wood filler. I stained my counter-top and painted the rest of the island white.
A little while later, I found these 2 stools on an online yard sale site for $15. Seriously, we should have done this much sooner. This little Island has proven to be so helpful to us. It’s funny because I was worried about it feeling too crowded in the kitchen, but it feels perfect-and now friends have somewhere to sit when they come to visit while I am cooking. If you need a Kitchen Island but would like to save yourself some money, why not make one from an old dresser? For a while when the kitchen cabinets where still oak and my walls navy, this island and the built-in cabinet that was original to the house were two brights spots in the kitchen that I loved.
I hope this helped you in some way even if just to glean some inspiration. If that is the case, please share with your people and be sure to subscribe. I, also, love hearing from you, so please leave me a comment below so we can chat.
If you like it, Pin it!
Subscribe via Email
You May Also Like: