Easy Make Kitchen Island

Easy Make Kitchen Island

Easy Kitchen Island

If you are lucky enough to have an eat-in kitchen but find the table not very functional while you’re cooking around it with chairs. Make it an island! Easy peasy simple style. Just add bed risers under each leg used to raise a college dorm bed. 

At first, we had a butcher block table from Ikea in the kitchen for a long time. It seemed like we could use it for cooking, etc. But it turned out to be a nuisance in a heavy traffic area with its sharp corners, we all were always hurting ourselves.

Butcher Block Table in the kitchen

This table used to be in the kitchen with its sharp corners.

The Butcher Block Table

Then low and behold we switched it out for our fancy french provincial worn-out oval-shaped table. Added the risers and now we have an awesome island! I bought a few red tractor seat stools online and thought we were good to go. Beware the stools didn’t come with footrests, hence the affordable price. The red stools proved hazardous for anyone who wanted to live.

Red Tractor Chairs in front of chalkboard wall.

Red Tractor Chair in Front of Chalk Board Paint Wall in the Kitchen

We were compelled to replace them with industrial chairs from the Tuesday Morning store. It just so happened they had the splotch of chartreuse paint on them matching the project. 

Industrial Stools

We found these industrial stools that push in close to the table.

Before long I will have hoof-shaped canvass covers for the risers. Update: The Tuesday Morning by our house has closed, a victim of the pandemic. I will miss it. It was too easy to shop there for gifts and the best stationery.

I ended up buying four of the pegboard rolling gorilla shelves there in the closeout sale, two for the art studio garage and two for YES a new storage unit, which has changed our lives for the better. Pros and Cons of having a storage unit could go on forever and the pros win. 

All this time later the easy renovations I made for the kitchen have proven lasting. This was done a few years ago when I made the backsplash, chalkboard wall, and painted the counters, but we have moved the stools to the backyard cocktail table and put the butcher block table back in the space against the wall, and raised the table an extra couple inches by adding another riser to each leg, they have two now and the height is perfect. 

The only thing I would change about the kitchen now is well… so much. The good news our landlord has agreed to replace the stove and hood because the whole unit has completely broken. These poor landlords really do not have a choice.  So as the perfect tenets we are, we will buy it ourselves and deduct it from the rent.

We have one picked out. The only caveat is getting a new wall oven to boot. Ours is kind of broken but still barely functional. We feel all three should be replaced together. So we’ll see?

The oval table still has not been painted as I had planned but we have it in our great room which has an area almost changing by the seasons for a dining room. We did get six new trendy chairs to go around it. I’ll add the Amazon link here. I love them although they have to get tightened every so often when a screw just falls out. Sound familiar?

The Easy Island in the Kitchen.

Oval Island with Ategeres Shelves in the background.

Next, paint the patina out of the table with glossy sign paint a terra cotta color.

Queen of the Bargain Hunters

Queen of the Bargain Hunters

Sustainable Kitchen of Bargains

The picture shows a lot.
The used Kitchen Aid Blender in the background sits atop the étagères French shelves, the oval-shaped french provincial table sits on risers to make a handy kitchen island. The chalkboard wall is in the background, and last but not least in this shot are the funky metal chairs.

A world of abundance is what I see.

In my own home, as I sit here thinking about not having the corporate job or simply not making more money and still buying things, I am in awe of how little I spend on buying things and how much I am handed by people who do not want stuff.

My dining room chairs that I have only three of are some kind of Italian design my friend C was throwing away. They are hot and high-quality contemporary Italian furniture. She knew I would appreciate them. The following paragraphs have some links to stores where I may make money if they are clicked on without any cost to you.

The lamps curving over the table was one of three I purchased from the Restore, a knock-off of the super expensive ones, and these were under ten dollars for all three.

The sturdy simple butcher block “dining” table that extends to seat eight was found in the As-Is section of Ikea around twenty years ago. It did not have a price on it yet and I asked the sales guy if I could only pay 100 dollars. And the guy said yes. It was priced around 250 originally when not a showroom cast off. Goes to show you never be afraid to ask.

The round maple coffee table in our living room that our middle son loves so much came from my Mother In-Law’s guest house. I have to ask her more about that table and a few other pieces.

The cool Xmas lights with silver beads attached match the popcorn ceiling that we are leaving up year-round, another cast-off from Grandma A. A theme throughout my house until I get the popcorn ceiling removed I keep trying to mimic it in other designs.

The other retro bulbs hanging across my living room studio were purchased brand new from Target, one of the few stores where I shop due to the fact that they pretty much give away stuff if you look for the sales. At Target, it is not a waste of time searching through so much when the prices are similar to the other discount stores and even the 99cent store.

I just bought a hundred dollar rug at 40% off but it was also another 20% off and came with a BOGO pillow deal that was a replica pattern of the rug, a white outline of abstract fruit on a terra cotta orange background, with contrasting olive green and multicolor large dingle balls on each corner of the 24” pillow that perfectly went with my easy-up pop-up store aesthetic, bam, score. (Made almost twice as much money on that Sunday with my new floor covering.)

I am sitting here in the light of a friend’s lamp she gave me when she moved to Italy. The lamp is a perfect silver sphere the size of a bowling ball with a classic white lampshade. We scored a lot from her moving sale, a kitchen aid mixer for seventy bucks (she actually bought it second hand), an appliance no one should live without, a real game-changer in the kitchen while baking, and always on sale at Target.

A hand-painted chair we still have, and a kidney table we had for years – a very high techy Italian modern kidney shape cut out of plywood painted black with a burnt orange on the underside and ¾ inch edge border attached to three long gold-tapered store-bought legs.

Kidney Table

This handmade kidney table was left behind by our friends moving to Italy.

Our kitchen table is French Provincial an oval shape and also expands to seat about ten. I love this table! The one we turned into an island in our kitchen and moved the square-edged butcher block table to our formal dining table. It was Inherited from my sister In Law J who covered all the chairs in vinyl to use in the backyard. They finally wanted a beautiful teak set, so we took the creme colored set. Some of the chairs are gone now but at least two I covered in a Scotchgard fabric of beautiful flowers and fruit still-life pattern on a terra cotta background.

Vinyl Covered Outdoor Chairs

These are the vinyl-covered outdoor chairs we love but are too big for indoors.

We are about to paint the table after we strip it of its worn enamel. We also put risers under the legs to make it an island for the kitchen with two metal chairs I bought at the Tuesday Morning bargain housewares store (which is extremely dangerously close to my house). I purchased the weird metal chairs with a chartreuse green splash of paint color on the seat for under sixty dollars for the pair. Sure, the half-circle metal rod footrest on one broke already and we have not seen a need to repair it.

The featured photo shows all of these finds.

How much do I love the étagères French metal shelves in our kitchen inherited from A. They used to sit blocking the fireplace in A’s bedroom. They are heavy, black, with gold ball accents and big, holding kitchen appliances now.

new york de havilland china

The buffet from my father in law, it was his mothers’ given to us because we pretty much take anything. It got crammed full of trinkets besides the new york de Havilland china for twelve we also inherited from her.

The buffet was a family heirloom passed down from my husbands’ grandmother.  It is a short glass case atop a counter of a glass case. I love it and it holds our best dishes, some of which came from J’s grandmother, Haviland New York China .

Window Treatments

These are the sweet eyelet curtains with a garland of little vases filled with flowers a gift from my sister in law. Also including some of the backsplash, we all made together one holiday. 

The eyelet curtain in the window was a new purchase of amazing quality of 100% cotton from the Aki store replacing many interesting kitchen treatments over the years, linen dish towels, and a drape of white canvas hooked on with grommets.

When we needed a backsplash I had a ceramic-making backsplash party in our home where we invited friends and family to create a masterpiece with broken dishes. We were all novices, but no slouches to creativity. Everyone went to work like it was a race and everyone finished theirs and helped the others until they were all done. It took a few months, but we finally got the tile done and installed in the kitchen!
See the blog story here.

Even our TV was purchased new on sale over five years ago but when we wanted to buy the wall mount for it last year I found one on sale for 11 bucks. Compared to 70 to 120. I know you usually get what you pay for but this has even survived a bigger TV upgrade. I found it online in the Black Friday sales at BestBuy. By the way, the best way to purchase big-ticket items if you really need them like a new computer is with their two years no interest plan policy.

Before I buy any of the questionable stuff that may not be what it appears to be I must know *the return policy and it must be easy.

I did buy knobs for my kitchen stove online from China knowing I could not return them and, yes, they were under ten dollars compared to 60. And though I did thorough research to make sure they would fit. The material and design were perfect, but they ended up not fitting.

Anyone want them to try for replacements?!

To be continued….

* Return policies should always be apparent and surprising you can find out the usual 30-90 days does not apply to electronics or sometimes there are no returns at all, final sale. Then stores like Nordstrom and Costco will pretty much return anything anytime which almost makes shopping at these stores worth it, juggling the guilt and temptation.