Published on July 22nd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


What’s a kitchen without an island

Photo: IKEA.com

Materials: Norden Sideboard, Varde Countertop, Drill, Saw (table or circular)

Description: I have a decent sized kitchen with a poor countertop layout. I combined the Norden Sideboard with a Varde countertop that overhangs to give me a kitchen island with seating. This is something that is sorely lacking from the Ikea lineup.

Here’s how:

Assemble the Norden Sideboard as the instructions say but skip the step instructing you to install the top.

Photo: Varde – IKEA.com

Cut the Varde countertop to approximately 48″ length. Exact length is up to you depending on how much side overhang is desired. Option: If you can find it in stock, get the Lagan beech countertop instead which is less expensive and the perfect length.

From here there are two ways to mount the countertop. The easiest would be to simply use some L brackets from underneath and nobody will see them. Just be sure to drill pilot holes and don’t drill too deep!

I chose the harder way: replicating the mounting holes from the sideboard top on the new countertop. I clamped the sideboard top to the countertop, with the bottoms of each facing up. Using properly sized drill bits with a stopper to not go too deep, I drilled through the sideboard top and into the countertop. This allowed me to utilize the wooden pegs and cam locks/screws to mount the countertop the same way the original top would be mounted. If you do choose this route be sure to do this in the climate that it will exist as to not have wood expansion/contraction issues. I did this in a workshop on a humid day with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. When I went to mount the top in my climate controlled kitchen the holes did not line up very well at all.

The final step would be to add some nice drawer handles, or perhaps some hooks for utensils… anything to make it work for you!

~ Brian Hunt, Richmond, VA

More hacks on IKEAHackers.net

TriFecta Computer Desk
Jara Lamp Shade Over Hanging Ceiling Light

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".

14 Responses to What’s a kitchen without an island

  1. Mila says:

    While i applaud your skills it looks very nice, this is not a hack. This is a waste of money. You can buy an actual kitchen island from walmart with the price of the table and countertop.

  2. I must say i’m amazed at the ideas people come up with, and this one i might actually want to try myself for our kitchen. Now we’re just waiting for the black Stenstorp in 2013 then :)

  3. Danny Boy says:

    Is it possible for the island to tip over from too much pressure on the breakfast bar side? Or is it pretty sturdy compared to the STENSTORP island?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very nice! Ikea Pittsburgh informed me that the Stenstorp island will be available in black in 2013.

  5. Berit says:

    Love this!

    Forwarding this hack to a friend who wants something similar. If only my kitchen were large enough…

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Brian Hunt says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments!

  7. mydecoreview says:

    Your hack is nice. But what I liked the most is the wall colors and floor tiles.

  8. lomr says:

    Every kitchen needs this and having one just ups the look.

  9. Trails says:

    Nice! Love the bar stools too. Where did you find them?

  10. Kelly says:

    If you put those drawers inside the other way..(holes in the back) you have a solid space where you can attach handles like a regular drawer.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great job Brian!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑