Make your own kitchen island
Installing a kitchen island is an easy and practical way to add extra storage and more countertop space to a kitchen.
Installing a kitchen island as part of your kitchen installation or renovation combines two practical elements in one. Not only does a kitchen island increase the amount of countertop space in a kitchen, it's also a great way to increase your storage.
If you want to make your own kitchen island, there are hundreds of designs to be found on the Internet - from a basic wood frame to a stylish island with cupboards and shelves that complements your existing kitchen style.
We put together a selection of kitchen island designs that are easy to make using readily available materials that you will find at your local Builders store.
You only need basic skills and a few tools to make your own kitchen island. You will need a drill / driver and assorted bits to join the cut pieces together, a jigsaw to make any additional cuts required and a sander to finish off your assembled kitchen island before you paint. With these three power tools you can make a wide variety of furniture and accessories for your home.
There are a selection of materials that you can use to build your kitchen island:
PAR pine is ideal for making a wooden countertop or butcher block design. You can also use PAR pine to make the frame for your kitchen island if you're going for a rustic style. If you prefer, there are more exotic wood species that you can use and search for your nearest supplier online.
SupaWood in 16mm thick can be used to make a kitchen island that incorporates cupboards or shelves. The one advantage of using SupaWood is that it is easy to paint. SupaWood is also available in different thicknesses, so you can use 3mm, 6mm, or 9mm SupaWood of you want to incorporate a Shaker style with framed doors or panels.
Marine plywood is perfect if you're going to stain your kitchen island for a wood look. I suggest marine plywood as this type of plywood has a veneer layer of pine or meranti that is far better than that of cheaper plywoods.
MelaWood, BisonLam or SupaLam are laminated boards that are available in different finishes.
The choices are endless when it comes to making a kitchen island that fits in with your kitchen design. The point of being able to make your own kitchen island is to design one that meets your personal specifications. Whether it be made of reclaimed wood, PAR pine, or other material, sketch out your ideas for an island that gives you what you need.
For the countertop you can incorporate your choice of material. If you prefer, look at the option of fitting a Caesarstone or composite countertop, or have a piece of marble or granite cut to fit. If you don't have the budget to fit a luxurious option at this stage, make a wood countertop for the time being and replace this as and when you can afford to.
For those with a bag full of DIY skills, you have the ability to do more with the humble kitchen island. What about a retractable work top that pull out of the island to increase work area (below), or a built-in trash bin for all your leftover scraps, or even a dustbin that slides out for easy cleaning. Grab a pen and paper and start drawing up a design that fits with your dream kitchen island.
Once you've made your kitchen island, the finish is up to you. You can stain, seal or varnish a wood island, or paint in your choice of paint for a more colourful alternative. For a painted finish there are a huge variety of paint options; for a cottage or country kitchen finish off with chalk paints in muted hues, or go bright with bold colours using acrylic paints.
The one important thing to remember is that you need to apply several coats of sealer to ensure the finishes - and the pine/SupaWood - is protected in a kitchen environment.
Adding castor wheels to your kitchen island allows you to move it around. Imagine being able to wheel your kitchen island into the dining room when you need a wine bar for entertaining. Or move your island around to allow for extra seating when you have guests.