Effektiv smallspaces

Published on March 18th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Kitchen Island for small spaces

Materials: Effectiv cabinets, Vika Amon table top, Rill locking casters

I live in a two room old farmhouse with very limited storage and absolutely not a single closet at all. Thus I am always trying to find pieces that will hide my clutter. I have matching Effectiv floor cabinets and wall cabinets which I purchased second hand off Craigslist and I wanted to replace my kitchen table and chairs with an kitchen island that would house some food and dishware and take up less of a footprint in my open concept kitchen/dining room/living room/office.

The problem is that most kitchen islands are very expensive and take up a lot more floor space than I have to spare. And I really wanted something that would flow with the Effectiv cabinets behind it.

So I scoured Craigslist some more until I scored two of the 2-door Effectiv cabinets for $30.00 from someone who was moving back to Australia. On the way home from picking them up, I popped into Ikea and bought a Vika Amon table top in matching birch for $30.00 (I maybe could have gotten something cheaper by haunting the as-is bin, but I really wanted to get the whole thing done asap) and two sets of Rill locking casters for $20.00. Then I went to the local hardware store and purchased a 4′X6′piece of birch plywood for the back of the piece, which they kindly cut to my specifications. Next door is a store called Jysk which is mostly just a fancy dollar store with furniture, and for $4.00 each I bought two corner shelves (shaped like pizza wedges) that were 11″ long on each side, to balance out the length of the table top, it being so much longer than the cabinets.

We (Dad and I) stacked the cabinets one atop the other and lined them up via the doors. Once they were attached to one another, we attached the table top with an approximate 2″ overhang along the right and front sides and then affixed the birch plywood along the back. There is an approximate 1′ overhang along the back for tucking your knees under when seated. Then we put the corner shelves along the left side. I was going to use 3 shelves, but from top to bottom the space between shelves was too short to be of any real use so we ended up just using two. The casters make it just high enough, and ensure I can move it around as necessary for cleaning.

Today I scored two bar height chairs off of Craigslist that look like the Franklin bar stool, but come in chrome and birch, for $30.00, to complete the chrome and birch colour scheme.

The result is a functional and small kitchen island with a faux butcher block effect top (which I intend to varnish to prevent staining, as it’s unfinished) that matches the rest of my furniture, and only cost me a total of $120.00 total to cobble together and an extra $30.00 for seating. And the Gorm shelving unit I was using as makeshift pantry is in the mudroom as a shoe rack, since all the food and appliances that used to live on in are now in the island cupboards. I think I will probably tile the back of the unit at some point and put some edging/molding along the sides of the right side to hide the joins, but overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out!

~ Sheena, Vancouver BC Canada

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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".

10 Responses to Kitchen Island for small spaces

  1. Sheena says:

    Just an update – the Rill locking castors failed under the weight of the pantry filled with items, pretty quickly (and disappointingly). They just bent and crumpled. The unit is sitting on wood blocks to keep it off the ground until I get around to replacing the castors with something sturdier. Otherwise, the unit has held up really well and is still in my kitchen :)

  2. sandytoes says:

    Loved this idea. I’m looking for a way to “modern-up” a 1969 mobile home kitchen (10×9.3) and use the current footprint. Hard work, for sure!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Would be neat if the counter top was rounded at the same radius over the quarter circle end shelves.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Food lady!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dexter! scary that I recognize him. oh the internet is a small small place. Great hack!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous hack, but tiles will severely increase the weight of the island.

    You don’t want to put your back out pushing it around!

  7. Ione.Virtual says:

    LOve the hack, and the smiling dog is the best!

  8. I agree with Maria on this one. Cool hack but even cooler is the curious dog sneaking in a peek!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You can get iron on birch veneer tape at the hardware or wood stores or a piece of birch scribe (trim) for the edges. Both would probably be way less than tiling. Tile does not really work very well on on wood anyway.

  10. Maria says:

    I love your hack, but even more so, I love your border collies. :o ) They are the BEST dogs.

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