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IKEA Kitchen Island with Seating and Storage: A DIY

I made a kitchen island with seating for 3 to 4. The IKEA product I settled on was the IKEA KARLBY walnut countertop and HEMNES chest of 8-drawers to create my own unique kitchen island.

Kitchen island with seating for 3 to 4

IKEA items used:
  • 1 Karlby countertop for kitchen island (oak or walnut)
  • 1 Hemnes 8-drawer dresser with white stain
  • 3 Ekby Stilig shelf brackets (the largest size)
Other materials:

How to hack IKEA Kitchen Island with Seating

1. First, assemble Hemnes dresser per IKEA instructions but do not add the included top.

2. Then, install the 3 Ekby Stilig shelf brackets. I placed one on either end and one in the middle of the dresser.

3. Once that’s done, add the Karlby countertop in place of the dresser top.

4. After you’ve placed the countertop how you would like it, attach with screws through the Ekby shelf brackets.

Note: I did not use L-brackets or other attachments anywhere else since wood tends to expand/contract depending on temperature and humidity. The screws in the shelf bracket keep the top from sliding around but still allow for expansion/contraction.

5. I also finished the backside of the dresser with beadboard. But you can finish it the way you like it — eg. wallpaper, paint, etc.

Kitchen island with seating. IKEA hack with HEMNES chest and KARLBY countertop

I haven’t found the barstools I want, but you can see there is plenty of room on the backside of the kitchen island for 3 to 4 barstools.

The drawers offer so much storage and I just love my new prep area.

It’s easy to transport to. When I moved, I just unscrewed the countertop and removed the brackets from the dresser. When I reached my new place, I simply reassembled the kitchen island with seating.

~ by Lori E

Update: The EKBY STILIG is discontinued. You can use the EKBY VALTER in replacement of the STILIG brackets.