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Kitchen Renovations and Island Creations

Most homeowners could rhyme off a list of things they would like to change in their home design or decoration. One of the most rewarding projects I have worked on in recent times was a do-it-yourself kitchen island. By following the instructions below, you will be able to transform your simple kitchen into an island oasis…or something like that.

If you are like most homeowners, you have spent a fair amount of time in antique markets looking for that perfect new addition for your home. The next time you are out at the antique market or even a local garage sale, keep your eyes open for an old buffet. You can likely find one for less than 50 dollars, and it could well become your favorite piece of furniture.

Most buffets were designed to rest against a wall, and they generally have a cheaper wood covering the back side. When you get the buffet home, remove the cheap back board and start cleaning it up. I would recommend replacing the back board with tongue-and-groove pine. It is relatively cheap, and it looks great!

If the buffet is in poor condition, why not consider painting it? There are some wonderful colors available in paint today, and you could really have some fun with it. I particularly enjoy the paints that leave an aged, antique finish.

Next, you will need a piece of plywood for the top surface of your island. It should be cut so that there is approximately three inches of overhang on all sides. Once you have the plywood cut to the right specifications, place it on top of the buffet and secure it with screws.

Now it is time to edge the top with molding that matches the thickness of the material you are going to use for the surface. We chose to use marble tile, but you can feel free to use stone or ceramic. Tile the top surface as you would any other tiling job.

There are a number of ways to increase the functionality of your new kitchen island. One such way is to install a towel rack on one end of the island. Another option is to add some hooks on the opposite end that can be used to hang pots and pans from. Beyond that, you can always add new hardware to dress it up some more. Happy building!

About the Author: Savi Decoursey is an interior designer in Toronto, Canada. When she is not consulting with her clients, she is a writer for – an incredible online resource for information about kitchen cabinet hardware, flooring, appliances and more.

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