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.