So here’s the thing about DIY… if it’s a little crafty project with minimal supplies on the line, I’m more likely to just jump in all willy-nilly and see what happens. But when we’re talking about a larger-scale building project that will involve many hours of time and closer to a handful of twenties rather than a handful of ones ($$)… well let’s just say I’m going to put more thought into making sure it’s exactly what I want. It has to be beautiful AND functional for our family!
We have an awkward wall in our kitchen that’s been blank ever since we relocated these cabinets to another wall. I don’t regret that move at all, but this wall has been just yearning to be useful. Here’s a pic of the wall
My wheels have been turning over the past few months on how to incorporate a rolling island. I knew I wanted it to have a butcherblock top, and have a place to house the microwave… but other than that, I wasn’t really sure where to go with designing this bae.
Naturally, I took to Pinterest to find some inspiration (be sure to follow me here!) I perused through many-an-awesome kitchen and found lots of inspiration for kitchen islands with so many different ideas and options. I ended up saving these 4 for different reasons, and I’ll explain what I liked about each below the pic:
- I love that this one has lots of storage and could potentially also have a cabinet dedicated to a garbage can. I also like that it has lots of drawers because my kitchen has lots of cabinets, but only a couple of drawers.
- This one is obviously a gorgeous color, and I like the openness of it and how it feels classy with a bit of a modern flare.
- I love the metal detail on this guy and how it feels industrial and isn’t too feminine. And THOSE WHEELS! Heart eyes! (although not practical for our floors)
- This one is by Ana White who is basically my girl crush… so I couldn’t NOT include it in the lineup. I like that it’s a bit chunky and feels ‘substantial’.
After deciding what I loved and didn’t love for my own kitchen, I drew up a little sketch of what would be ideal. I loved the idea of including a wine rack, but that didn’t end up making the cut when we considered the tiny human that crawls around our ‘crib’ wreaking havoc. Wine bottles plus crawling baby equals no bueno.
I took my sketch to my custom furniture maker (LOL), and he stared blankly and me… and then asked me what we were having for supper.
And then he went to the drawing board for me! I love that he’s willing to do all the tedious and mathematical nonsense that goes into actually drafting building plans. although I know that I should really learn to do it myself too. Maybe that will be part of my #goals for 2017.
You can click here to print out all the building plans… but I’ll just walk you through the basics here too.
We used 3/4” plywood, and cut everything to size. And then capped off the edges with strips of poplar to give a really clean line and cover the exposed layers of plywood.
We measured and marked the locations for our screw holes with a T-square and pre-drilled everything with a counterbore bit in advance.
Next up? Drilling pocket holes! We loooooove our Kreg Foreman… sucka makes it so easy to drill many MANY pocket holes.
Glue and screw the fronts to the shelves and the bottom rail to the base. And clean up the edges with the table saw.
Since we’re having our trash can cabinet accessible from both sides of the island, we needed two cabinet doors. We cut our stiles and rails from poplar, and then cut the stub tenons with a precision miter gauge. Then glued and clamped them all together!
We decided to sand and prime everything before assembly just to make it easier on ourselves later. Paisley loooooves any opportunity she can get to operate the orbital sander, and we’re usually happy to oblige. Also: cuteness overload.
Then it was time to assemble!! I didn’t really take any pics of this process… because we were IN THE ZONE. But everything slapped together smoothly. And I sprayed on a glossy coat of paint (the same exact color I painted our Kitchen Aid Mixer!). It’s ‘Night Tide’ by Rustoleum (here).
I realize this isn’t really a thorough tutorial (the detailed building plans are on Build Something), but I just wanted you to get a feel for how it went together. At this point, all we had left was to put those wheels on, slide in some PERFECTLY SIZED baskets that I just happened upon at Walmart… and have a blast arranging all.the.things!
You can see we built a butcher block top for it, but that reveal is going to have to wait until another day… still needs some sanding and oil before we can affix it into place and show it off! But I’ll just tell you it’s a really cool pattern (using two different types of wood) that you wouldn’t expect on a butcherblock. OH THE SUSPENSE!
And just to help you get your bearings, here’s a shot with the rest of the kitchen so you can see how it all fits together!
I just cringe and our old cream/black appliances, and just KNOW how much more awesome our kitchen would look with some sleek stainless. But alas.
Check out how much of a difference updating the hardware makes?! I’m loving the sleek modern feel of these pulls. We went with these from Hickory Hardware. It was soooo hard to choose! Who knew such a small tweak could make such an impact! LOVE THEM!
And we were able to use the same hardware for the new island, which brings everything together into a nice little cohesive package.
Just to the left of the island is our pantry. Since the we moved the washer and dryer out of her and into the Laundry Suite, we haven’t yet gotten around to adding the rest of the shelving. So this has just ended up being the girls’ little play kitchen area.
It’s wonderful because they love to feel like they have their own area, and often Paisley is ‘cooking’ something delicious while Dell is helping me actually cook something delicious. We’re all working together in our kitchens! (plural)
Except sometimes it looks like this, soooo…
This was my play kitchen when I was a little girl. My grandfather built it for me, and I have so many memories and all the sentimental feels about it. I can’t bring myself to update, paint, or make any modifications to it whatsoever. I think I’ll just leave this post with this terribly awkward photo of me with my play kitchen as a child.
I should also note that my not-yet-one-year-old wore that same blue and white shirt the other day. She is a giant toddler-baby. Maybe I’ll have her wear it for her weekly pics today for fun!
Well, this has been a lonnnnnng post about kitchen islands, cabinet hardware, messy play kitchens, and a little walk down memory lane. In other news, we’re snowed in today, so you can find me watching Super Why marathon and eating cheerios.
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*this post contains affiliate links. After reaching out to Hickory Hardware we were provided with free product in exchange for visibility on our blog. We were not told what to say, and all opinions are 100% our own. Their hardware is amazing and we wouldn’t post about it if we didn’t loooove it!