Google+ House Revivals: The Kitchen Island

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Kitchen Island

Here is the island I built for our kitchen renovation for the house we are selling. I absolutely loved my classic fifties steel and chrome kitchen, but my realtors suggested it was a little "dated". One realtor actually called it "functionally obsolete"! The main reason for the "obsolescence" was it's little bitty fridge. When the kitchen was installed sixty years ago, a custom niche had been built into the wall under the stairwell for a recessed fridge. Unfortunately, that custom niche was much too small for today's behemoth fridges.

Soooo, I called my trusted handyman and had him redo the opening to fit a larger refrigerator. Because of the stairway behind that wall, the new fridge opening needed to be moved about a foot to the right in order to have the height needed for today's refrigerators. Changing the location of the fridge opening was going to require the removal of several 12" deep upper and lower cabinets on that wall. I was heartbroken over the loss of storage! But when the carpenter removed those cabinets, we were both amazed by how much more space we had in the kitchen -- enough space for a small island! Of course, my budget would not allow me to hire the handyman to build a new island, and my husband was already working out of state. So, what's a girl to do? Build it herself, of course!

After spending a few hours designing several options for the project using SketchUp, and polling several of my girlfriends about which option they liked best, I decided on an adaptation of one of the concepts. The island cost a little over one-hundred dollars to build. Materials included a butcher block type top from Home Depot, a plywood base, some beaded board paneling leftover from another project, casters, nuts, bolts, screws, wood trim, construction adhesive, reused wine racks, and wood stain. And, of course the cabinets my contractor removed! The whole process took about three loooooong evenings, not counting the time it took to design it and collect the materials. But, everybody loves it, and I'm just thrilled with how it turned out! And because we reused the existing cabinets, it looks like its always been there.

(P. S. I laid that floor, too! All by myself. Without my handyman, or my husband. But that's another story. And we were able to add a cute little pantry around the corner from the fridge, by partitioning off the fridge inside the stairwell closet, and adding shelving. Now, when you open the door to what used to be a poorly functioning under stairway closet, you just see pantry shelving. More storage-- I love it!

I've linked this post to the the blog party I Made it Without My Husband over at Shanty2Chic
and Strut Your Stuff over at Somewhat Simple
and The DIY Show Off, here.
and to Vintage Thingie Thursday at The Colorado Lady. 

Here are a couple more "afters":