A kitchen island adds an additional food prep area to a kitchen. Islands often have open shelves or cabinets for storing dishes, cookbooks or other items. Portable kitchen islands are on caster wheels, making them easy to move. Some islands have an extended top with bar stools tucked underneath for additional seating. Converting a buffet table into a kitchen island gives new life to a discarded piece of furniture, allowing for custom changes to suit your personal preferences.
Things You'll Need
- Interior latex paint
- Painting supplies
- Caster wheels
- Towel ring or bar
- Drawer knobs and handles
- Wicker baskets
- Cutting board
- Bar stools
Apply a fresh coat of interior latex paint to your buffet table if you want to change the color. Since an island is a primary focal point in the middle of the kitchen, an aesthetically pleasing appearance is desirable. Also, all sides of the buffet table will be visible, so you must paint or stain the unfinished back of a buffet table.
Replace floor protectors on the bottom of each leg of the buffet table with caster wheels. These create a mobile island that can move easily from one part of the kitchen to another. Use caster wheels designed to roll easily on your floor surface.
Install a towel ring or bar at one end of the buffet table. Match the hardware finish to what you have in your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen has a burnished bronze faucet and cabinetry hardware, select a coordinating burnished bronze finish for a towel holder. Replace any drawer handles or knobs on your buffet table with a similar finish.
Position wicker baskets on open shelves of your buffet table. Baskets are ideal for storing smaller kitchen items or cookbooks. If your buffet table doesn't have open shelves, you can create a large shelf to fit over horizontal support bars. Purchase a custom-cut piece of plywood to fit over the bars, paint or stain it to coordinate with your island and attach it securely.
Hang a tightly gathered fabric skirt around the underside of the perimeter of your kitchen island countertop to create a French country look. This works well for an island that is open underneath, without cabinets, drawers or shelves to provide a concealed storage area under the island.
Place a large, attractive cutting board on top of your kitchen island to protect the surface from cuts and scratches when preparing food. Rubber pads on the bottom help keep it from shifting when in use.
Arrange two or three decorative trivets on the top of your kitchen island. Set hot pans and dishes on the trivets to guard against damage from heat.
Tuck a pair of bar stools under the kitchen island for additional seating, if there is adequate room underneath the countertop. Backless bar stools that store compactly under the island when not in use allow ease of movement around the kitchen island's perimeter.
Tips & Warnings
- Open a window or door for ventilation before beginning to paint.
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