A mix of new and thrift materials gives this kitchen island character that store-bought pieces lack. Follow these instructions to build one of your own -- and don't be afraid to change the sizes to suit your space and your salvage finds.
- 2 hollow-core doors
- 4 upper cabinets
- Assortment bins and cubbies
- 4 secondhand drawers
- 4 drawer pulls
- Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
- Paintbrush, sprayer, and/or roller
Sketch exactly where each piece will fit. Jeni placed a pair of narrow upper cabinets back-to-back on each end of the island, then filled the center with drawers and bins. Lay the entire project on the floor and measure. NOTE: Jeni made this island the standard counter height of 36 inches. Make sure the door your use is tall enough to accommodate your desired island height.
Use MDF to create the island's shelving and drawer unit. Cut pieces to fit the drawers and bins, then prime and paint your desired color. Let dry, then apply a second coat. When the paint is dry, assembly the island. Jeni used MDF with a solid back so the reverse side of the island can be used for towel and utensil storage.
Create the top and sides of the island from two doors (see laminating instructions on next page). One door will become the island's work surface; cut the other door in half to make the side supports. Note: When cutting hollow-core doors, be sure to cap any open ends with a piece of wood lath cut to size and stained to match the laminate. Inset the cabinets at least 8 inches if you want stools to slide underneath and out of the way. This also makes legroom for more comfortable seating when the island is used for homework or at snacktime. Insert the boxes and bins, and affix pulls to the drawer fronts.
Continued on page 2: How To: Laminate