Upgrade Your Space With A DIY Kitchen Island

Do you have a large kitchen and know all the tips to organise it? If you’re fortunate enough to have an open kitchen, you may find yourself with some extra space to fill. The most typical solution to this problem is to build and install a kitchen island. The kitchen island and countertop are the two elements that make a kitchen look attractive and fashionable. They give the house a fresh, modern look.

Kitchen with wooden island

They also function as social gathering spaces in addition to assisting with culinary tasks. So, are you ready for a kitchen makeover? You’ll learn how to make a modern DIY kitchen island in this article, as well as get some tips on how to prepare for such a project.

Things to consider before starting your project 

1. The cost of the island

The cost of making a kitchen island is mostly determined by its size and the materials used to build it. So, if you’re building a custom-made island and want to include a sink, stove, seating places, and other features, you’ll need substantial cash in hand.

You can still build a cheap island if your own kitchen already has a sink and a cooktop, but you want it to act as a storage space or a minibar. Installing a stylish but small kitchen island without plumbing and electrical fittings lowers its price a lot.
You can even repurpose an old piece of furniture, such as an old desk, tabletop, bookshelf, or bookcase and use them to save some cash. Moreover, depending on your custom island design and decor ideas, the prices may vary a lot. Keep in mind that if you want a really large kitchen island, then you won’t get away with a few pounds.

2. The storage space

Another common reason for kitchen islands is to provide additional space to your hard working cabinets. The type of base cabinets that will fit your kitchen island project, however, is determined by the island’s purpose

If your island includes a stove, the drawers can be designed to contain things like spices, cooking utensils, and culinary gear, such as nonstick pans, which can save space in the rest of the kitchen.

It’s also a good idea to have a dishwasher and a pull-out rubbish bin within the kitchen island if it’ll house the washing sink. You can also provide extra kitchen spaces for storing detergents and dishcloths.

Interion kitchen with island and wooden floors

3. The shape of the island

The next step is to decide on the purpose and frame of your kitchen island after choosing its size and placement. The size, shape, and layout of the room define the shape of your island initially. 

Then, there’s the traffic in and out of the doorways, as well as the pathways around the room. It’s a good idea to set your kitchen island on a few caster wheels so it can be easily movable.

Also, is there going to be a stove on the island, or will the countertop just be a place to eat and/or socialise? Once you’ve figured out the layout, you may choose whether your kitchen island will be L-shaped, T-shaped, or rectangular, with an open shelving unit. In general, rectangular islands are the most popular choices for a convenient kitchen remodel

4. The size and location of the kitchen island

When exploring some creative kitchen design ideas for your project, start by determining the size of the island first. Is it going to be a big farmhouse style kitchen island? or perhaps a smaller one? The size of the island will be dependent on the surroundings too.

Ideally, a 90 cm to 130 cm access room should be created around it. If you place it too close to the other kitchen cupboards, it will feel claustrophobic. If it’s too high, you and the other people in your house can have trouble reaching the objects on the other end.

Investing in a project like this is supposed to improve the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. Before implementing your DIY kitchen island plans, think about the type of base cabinets that will best fit your storage needs. 

Ordinary cabinets with a depth of 60 cm will serve the purpose, while 120 cm will be enough for back-to-back base cabinetry. If you wish to use your counter as a breakfast bar, leave about 25 to 40 cm of overhang room for legs.

5. The function of the DIY kitchen island

This will determine if you have a hob built into the island, if it will act as a breakfast bar, or if you simply need one to improve the look of your home decor

So, if you want to include a hob in your DIY kitchen island ideas, you’ll probably need 35 to 40 cm of countertop space.

You can make it a raised coffee table, a breakfast bar, or just a conventional table-high surface. Allow for an overhang so that bar stools can be slipped underneath.

How to make a DIY kitchen island step-by-step

Here are all the materials needed for this DIY project:

Man sawing a wooden plank

  • Chop saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Stock cabinet
  • Nail gun
  • Industrial adhesive
  • Wood screws
  • Pencil
  • 2×4 wood blocks
  • Table saw
  • Power drill
  • L-shaped brackets
  • Plinth
  • Countertop
  • Spirit level

1. Mark the location where the kitchen island will be installed

To begin, you will need to tape the location where the DIY island will be placed and measure its dimensions.

2. Assemble the cabinets in your kitchen

You can either build a cabinet, re-use your old cabinets, or buy a stock cabinet from any home improvement store. Buying fresh ones is inexpensive.

Then, place them where you want your kitchen island to be. Also, use a spirit level to make sure the cabinets are flat and sturdy. You can alter their height by twisting their feet if they’re not level.

3. Join the two kitchen cabinets with screws

Before you begin, use a G clamp or any other makeshift clamp to secure both cabinets. Then, using pre-drilled holes, secure the cabinets together by screwing through the portion where both sides of the cabinets meet.

4. Now build the outer walls 

You will cut plywood to fit the length and width of both sides to make your side panels. Then, do the same thing with the front panel. 

5. Attach the side and rear panels to the cabinets and the floor

Place the three panels adjacent to the cabinets. After that, attach two L-shaped brackets to each of their feet (the spot where the sidewalls will meet the floor). These sidewalls will have the best support this way.

After that, secure the side panels to the cabinets and place the rear panel in the gap. Duct tape can be used to secure the three panels to the cabinets. The brackets should be put within the space that will be enclosed by the island, not behind or outside the island, to make your island look nice.

To make sure they’re plumb and level, use a measuring tape and a spirit level. That is, so they are all the same height, and the rear panel’s breadth does not extend beyond the placements of the side panels. Make slight changes if they aren’t level.

Woman putting panels together using screwdriver

6. Attach the panels to the floor with screws

After securing the sections using duct tape, it’s time to put the sides and centre walls together. Remove the kitchen cabinets from the panels by sliding them out, leaving only the outer walls in place.

The L-shaped brackets are then screwed to their feet. You will need at least six L-shaped brackets, two for each of the three panels.

7. Place the new kitchen cabinet in place

Slide the cabinets in the open space between the sides and back panels, With your nail gun, attach the cabinet to the back panel with extra L-shaped brackets.

8. Attach the side panels to the base cabinets

To do so, drill through the cabinets from the inside using the pre-marked nail holes. Because the thickness of both the sides and the cabinet combined is 3 cm, you can drill to a depth of 2 to 2.5 cm. 

A crucial point to remember is to use a drill with a diameter that is not as large as the screws. This ensures that the screws are securely fastened to the holes. It’s now time to screw the end panels in place. You can also attach the doors with beadboards to your cupboards if they have any. You will start installing the plinth at the bottom of your kitchen island once you’re finished.

9. Fit the plinth to the cabinet’s bottom

The plinth must be placed in front of the cabinet’s feet, which is the area where it will be fitted. Then, mark the centre points on the board. That is, the board will be installed with four brackets: two at either end and two in the centre.

After that, screw the brackets halfway up the plinth’s ends above the marks you just created. Then, secure the plinth to the legs using clips. If you don’t want to use a plinth, you can make a baseboard out of 24 woodblocks. However, mitring the baseboard will be challenging.

10. Assemble the countertop

Get your hardwood worktop, lay it on the cabinet, and adjust the position to your liking. You can choose to leave 20 cm extra space for seatings. Use your measuring tape to get everything right.

Then, drill holes near the points where the countertop joins the cabinet. This should be done underneath the wooden worktop. To finalise, just use brackets in the shape of an L to attach the worktop to the cabinets.

Mother and daughter using kitchen island

Congratulation! You’ve just finished creating a stunning work of art with this tutorial. You can take a step back now and enjoy your precious hard work! Paint it whatever colour you like and your new kitchen island will steal the spotlight for sure!

Next challenge: How to connect two different styles of baseboards.

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