Decorating: Easy and Affordable Kitchen Islands

 kitchen island

Flickr Photo Credit: Jef Poskanzer

We have an old Coca Cola soda cooler. The kind that sits on the floor and opens from the top. When we start to build our new place, we are going to have it sandblasted, repainted, fitted with castor wheels and putting a larger stainless steel wrapped table top on it. Since it was such an unusual item  to use as a kitchen island and provided so much style, I decided to think for a bit on what other ways you could create a kitchen island on a budget.

Here’s what I came up with.

  • If you’re lucky enought to find a horizontal soda cooler, go for it. We can’t wait.
  • An old farm table or table bench with excellent patina. Decide for yourself if you want to put glass on top and rolling wheels on the bottom. Personally, I like the fact that you can clean the glass more easily and being able to conveniently roll the island out of the way to clean under it.
  • I think I covered this idea tangentially in an other post on re-using these things, but consider finding a dresser of the correct height. You can even put a slightly larger top on it to create more work space. This also gives you some overhanging edges on either side and along the back to hang cup hooks and towel bars. The drawers are also an excellent place to store those things you would otherwise have trouble organizing, like an extra large supply of kitchen linens, holiday platters and depending on the depth of the dresser drawer, your bread maker.
  • If you like the industrial look, consider a hearty rolling tool box with a modified top. Loads of storage and definitely able to stand up to abuse.
  • This is sort of an off-shoot of the idea listed above, but I would think you could use one of those longer, front opening legal file cabinets. Or, back to back regular file cabinets attached on the bottom – do two sets of these and attach them on a rolling platform with a solid base. Paint the unit your desired color and place a rectangular top on it. You’ve got something really unique with loads of functionality.

Have any other great ideas, pictures or links to other fabulous frugal kitchen islands? Feel free to post!