When we moved into our new place here, we discovered that the kitchen has only 1 drawer. Not only was there just one, it was also just 6 inches wide. Not very useful, to say the least. We had to put our silverware tray in a cabinet, because that’s the only place it would fit. Another virtue of our kitchen is that it is pretty small. All these factors, combined with the fact that we didn’t have a table, started my creative juices flowing and I decided I was going to build something to address all of these issues at once. Three birds with one stone, you know what I mean. Our budget was pretty tight at the time, so I was looking at all the options to get this project done while not spending too much money. I decided to build an island that would double (triple actually) as a table, workspace, and storage. My first stop was Restore It, a local store selling used building materials. It’s kind of like a second-hand store for all things building–there are appliances, furniture, doors, windows, you name it. I found a base cabinet with 2 drawers and 2 doors that I could fix up, and I bought it for $30. Below are the photos of it.
It seemed like I never had very much time at once to work on this thing, so it took several weeks to finish, much to the chagrin of my kindly employers, whose garage it occupied. It took about halfway through the project to see that it would have been easier to start from scratch than to use this cabinet as a base. Nothing was square, even, or solid. It was too late to turn back now, and the cost would have been significantly higher, so I kept on working. I made custom-sized shelves and slots for the things we needed to store, like pots and pans, our KitchenAid mixer, silverware tray, and cutting boards.
I wanted a nice wood top on the island, preferably a big butcher block, but they were too expensive, so I decided to make my own. I made it overhang the edges of the island a bit so that we could use stools to sit and eat at it. In hindsight, I should have made it overhang a little farther, but I still like it. I put long drawer rollers on the drawers so they would pull out far enough that the tabletop would not hinder you from seeing what was in the drawers. Genius! After a few glitches and on-the-fly modifications, I finally finished it. The photos are below.