Building the Kitchen Island

kitchen islandTo me, the mark of a great kitchen is a big island. Storage and prep space aside, it breeds congregation, conversation, and sets a tone for a welcoming space. With this in mind, I took what could have easily doubled as a formal dining room and dedicated my 15′ x 12′ kitchen to an all-encompassing island. I was even prepared to pay $2,000 for custom installation but when I heard IKEA could provide the parts for $600, we dusted off the power tools and got ready to build.

kitchen renovationThis is the kitchen pre-island. The blue tape marks its future location.


kitchen-island-buildingThe island base in its nascent stages.

kitchen-island-buildingTwo hours later, the base starts to take shape and the interior tracks are ready for the drawers we assembled.

kltchen-island-cuttingTo best fit our kitchen, we chose the largest butcher block top available and cut it to size. Now I don’t know if IKEA expects those who buy their islands to own a circular saw, but it’s a good thing we do (and were only mildly afraid to use it) because we couldn’t find a single service in our area to cut it for us. But using the kick board as a guide and two C-clamps as stabilizers, we braved cutting the $250 slab of wood.

kitchen island Now we have storage, a dining area, and the heart of our kitchen.

Next project…finding great counter stools.

3 Comments

  1. precious_jade said:

    I'm looking into an exact same project for kitchen island. Which island did you use from Ikea? What do you think about a dresser passing for the base of an island?

    April 9, 2010
    Reply
  2. We used the Ikea Kitchen Planners at their store and chose all the pieces separately. But the core pieces are a Varde Birch butcher block top, Adel drawers, and their basic white island base in the largest size they had available.

    As for the dresser, I worry that it won't be kitchen-ready or as efficient as it needs to be for a highly-trafficked space. The drawers at IKEA are sealed on the inside so they are easy to clean and they have a very cool and handy hydraulic closing system. Though if your island wasn't so central to your kitchen's functionality (like a side station/cutting board area) I may just work and I bet it would look really cool…
    Best of luck!

    ________________________________

    April 9, 2010
    Reply
  3. We used the Ikea Kitchen Planners at their store and chose all the pieces separately. But the core pieces are a Varde Birch butcher block top, Adel drawers, and their basic white island base in the largest size they had available.

    As for the dresser, I worry that it won't be kitchen-ready or as efficient as it needs to be for a highly-trafficked space. The drawers at IKEA are sealed on the inside so they are easy to clean and they have a very cool and handy hydraulic closing system. Though if your island wasn't so central to your kitchen's functionality (like a side station/cutting board area) I may just work and I bet it would look really cool…
    Best of luck!

    ________________________________

    April 9, 2010
    Reply

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