Published on August 20th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Inexpensive kitchen island from Ikea Akurum

Danielle fits in a kitchen island with some handy hacking.

“When we bought our home 6 months ago the kitchen was a total mess without much storage or work space.

I love to cook so this just wasn’t going to work for us. The budget was tight so we obviously thought: Ikea! We couldn’t really afford to replace all of the cabinets in the kitchen so we went with the Akurum cabinets with the most inexpensive Arlig finish. We purchased 2 base cabinets and one upper for the shallow depth (to create a niche where my wife could watch me cook) and two tall cabinet units to flank the refrigerator. We painted the existing cabinets to match in white and with the money we saved were able to get granite countertops and a new floor installed.

We added white wainscotting to the back end of the unit from Menards and some corner trim to finish the whole thing. I just used some penny nails around the exterior of the bead board molding, just like the instructions say in so many other Ikea projects. 5-10 on the top, bottom, left and right holds them sturdy. I also ran them through the area where the stool goes just to finish it off (I couldn’t get enough light down there to take a decent picture, but trust me – its there). We recently added the corner pieces with some adhesive meant for installing crown molding, it worked great and they didn’t slide down the edges at all.

We’re thrilled with how it came out, we were able to tuck the microwave and toaster ovens into the large cabinets by the fridge to keep a less cluttered look and the seat at the island really comes in handy.”

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

17 Responses to Inexpensive kitchen island from Ikea Akurum

  1. Danielle says:


    You should definitely go for it, I can’t imagine the kind of money we would have spent for this reno without help from our Swedish friends ;)

    If you do an island setup just be sure to “gang” the cabinets together so that it’s all one nice solid piece. We used 4 nuts/bolts on the left and right sides of the center cabinets for support.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I’m in love!! I’ve been trying to convince the hubby to do something similar in our kitchen. We have an almost exact layout. He didn’t think it would work. Your job just might convince him! It looks great!

  3. Molly says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Anonymous says:

    that is good ide and will be enjoy in your live.

  5. foobella says:

    This is a fantastic hack. I think I especially love the little nook with the chair. That would be my command station. =)

  6. Danielle says:

    Thanks everyone for the amazing feedback! It’s great hearing so many positive responses :)

    The flooring is a laminate made by Tarket, their sea grass pattern. We really wanted to go with bamboo flooring but the price just didn’t work for us. Cost about $1.50 sq foot, it comes with the underlayment attached and I was able to install it myself. (We also installed it in our Ikea furnished, but not hacked renovated bedroom)

    We installed the sink ourselves, the granite guys measured for the placement and size of the hole. As a suggestion, if you plan to replace both sink and countertop be sure to have the template for your new sink available when they measure so the new hole will be the right size. We had to dig through a mountain of DIY stuff to locate it when they came to measure.

    I love the granite, but there have been a few casualties. I’ve butterfingered a coffee mug (it broke clean in half), or turn around with a glass container too fast and CRASH, you’re standing in a sea of glass ;) We’re learning to be vewy, vewy careful!

  7. wow…your ideas worked i can see the kitchen beautifully remodeled. Smart choice using granite countertops..thanks for sharing….good luck with the recipes in your new kitchen…:)

  8. lucky6666 says:

    wow, I have been thinking of using Ikea for ages too. now using free standing units. how did you install the sink? get it professionally done or diy?

  9. pollyhyper says:

    aHA! I get it now – thank you!

  10. pollyhyper says:

    Thank you for posting it – I’ve been mulling something similar over in my mind for ages now.

    Just one question re: this part of the post:
    “and one upper for the shallow depth (to create a niche where my wife could watch me cook)”

    Where is this niche you speak of?

  11. MyFuZZyButtZ says:

    This looks professionally done! Really nice, now when can we all come for dinner?

  12. Anonymous says:

    What kind of flooring, BTW?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! You might be able to use some simple photo editing software to brighten up the photos to show more details. Anyhow, thanks!

  14. Danielle says:

    The island is connected together by nuts and bolts on the interior of the cabinetry (4 to each side). The cabinets are Akurum, two base units (24″ depth) and one wall cabinet (12″ depth) at the center. The niche is where you see that stool, without it there wouldn’t be anyplace for your legs to fit.

  15. Willem says:

    Looks great, but I could be wrong, but nowhere is the island hack described… except for the granite counter. What did you use as a base?

  16. Danielle says:

    We found a great deal on the door at home depot ($180) and just couldn’t refuse! Next time you’re in Ohio be sure to stop in for dinner :)

  17. Liz says:

    wow, outstanding! Major change!

    It looks like you traded in the windows for some doors, too?

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