Friday, April 17, 2015

Adding a Freestanding Kitchen Island

There's so much you think you know - but you don't really know - when you set out to build a house.  I knew I wanted a wide open kitchen, and I thought I didn't want a kitchen island.  Of course now: I wish we'd built that island.  If I had it to do over again, it would be the big wide open kitchen, with a square island including shelving and storage underneath, with a small sink.

There's no do-over with the build, but there are many great options for kitchen islands if you consider a piece of free standing furniture.  After a great deal of online shopping and reading every single review on every item that looked interesting, we ordered this island from

The assembly instructions were simple to follow and it took about 2 hours to put together.  It's 36 inches tall, and the top measures 42" x 24".  We're so happy to have another work surface, particularly one that doesn't have cabinets above it.  

I love that it has both open and closed shelving.  I pulled all my favorite stoneware into it, which freed up cabinet space, always a good thing!  The island has doors on both sides, so everything is accessible from either side of the kitchen.  The drawer also pulls all the way through to either side.

In the kitchen reorg that happened after the island came, I moved my pots and pans to an upper cabinet.  It felt like breaking some long standing kitchen law, but when my son Ben made a passing comment that the pots and pans would be so much easier to access in an upper cabinet, I tried to think why they must be housed down below.  I love how young people think outside the box ... why not put pans in the upper cabinet?  Ben was right, it works so much better!  If you'd like to see how I organized the pots and pans, click } here { - it's super easy!

Moving things around also gave me a chance to better organize the casserole dishes.  It probably makes me happier than it should that they're all in their own place and not stacked all up inside each other.  

I love everything about this piece of furniture!  It's a great focal point, and it's fun to have shelves to accessorize.  Another positive, pointed out by my mother-in-law, is that it forces a traffic pattern in the kitchen.  We were all milling around aimlessly in there ... now there's a flow!

Here's a with and without pic for you (the color of the cabinets looks different, but it's just the lighting).  
The wide open space still appeals to me, but functionally, having a dedicated work surface is fantastic.

The one downside is that the island woodtop scratches fairly easily - which I was prepared for, thanks to detailed reviews and suggestions from other buyers on Amazon.  

We have a solution for that coming any day now and I'm SO EXCITED about it ... can't wait to share it!

Most people are pretty opinionated when it comes to whether or not a kitchen island is the best thing since sliced bread.  What's your opinion?

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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