Goodbye Dresser, Hello Kitchen Island
Decorating and Design expert Nancy Golden gives step-by-step
directions for creating your own kitchen islands.
A great way to achieve a warm look in your kitchen is to incorporate
wooden furniture into the design. An oak desk, an Amish pie safe or a
pine hutch are possibilities for bringing warm wood tones into the
kitchen. Another option that's both functional and attractive is to turn
an old buffet (see
image 1) into a kitchen island. DIY Decorating & Design host
Nancy Golden explains how.
A buffet is normally is used against a wall, so the back is often
unfinished. Bead-board (see
image 2) paneling is an inexpensive and suitable option for
finishing the back of an old-fashioned buffet like the one shown. Nail
the bead-board panels in place on the back of the buffet, and finish the
exposed corners with corner molding (see
Create a work-surface top for the island with a piece of plywood cut
about 3" longer on all sides than the top of the buffet to form a
lip. Edge the top with molding that will match the depth of the
Finish the top of the island as you would any countertop — with
laminate, butcher block, tile or stone. Nancy chose marble tile for the
top of the island because it's relatively inexpensive, durable and easy
To install tile, spread an even layer of tile mastic (see
image 4) on the wood top with a notched trowel, and set the tile in
place. Butt the tiles against each other, and when finished, seal the
seams with a line of clear silicone caulk.
To increase the island's functionality, install a towel bar at one
end. Add a designer look to your island with decorative knobs — match
the rest of the knobs in your kitchen, or find a coordinating style that
complements your island.
Make a super-simple kitchen island with two short bookshelves placed
back to back and topped with a work surface — or easier still, use a
regular wooden table.