Monday, February 3, 2014

great ideas for your kitchen island

I don’t think I’ve told you yet about my one, brief experience house hunting in Huntington Beach have I?

Well don’t worry, because I can quickly sum it up for you in four easy words:

“Are.You. Kidding. Me?”

At least this is what Mr. Moss tells me I kept repeating throughout our time with the nice realtor. I don’t remember, but I think I can blame it on shock.

  Let’s just say I’ve been spoiled for a loooong time and I didn’t realize it. But my current kitchen with its big, lush island will be a thing of the past unless we win the lottery very soon (hard- to-do-since I don’t play), or we stumble into an incredibly rare situation.

Every kitchen I saw in our price range was very small although

(once I got over that sinking feeling in my stomach),



…I could feel my creative juices start to churn.

So today I thought I’d share some unique ideas for adding counter space to your kitchen because not everyone is lucky enough to have a built-in island.

And while I’m not sure these all work for tight spaces, they sure
inject some fun and personality into a boring kitchen.


my kitchen today

Sigh, so goodbye to my huge kitchen island…

and hello to all you eclectic, free-standing possibilities




Let’s see. How about

an antique baking table with Pottery Barn baskets…

in a very cool color?


Or an island painted in Paris Gray by Anne Sloan Chalk Paint.  I honestly included this one because I love how this antique dealer transformed her Sonoma, California home.



I wish I knew more about this creative island. But source is unknown….



…Hmm…the reason I should keep going to flea markets and antique shops…what a great find.


Very pretty, wish I could see the back side though…


…in Country Living’s 2013 House of the Year

they used this affordable table from Cost Plus’ World Market.


And here’s a simple idea…

putting your butcher block on casters offers more flexibility in a small kitchen…



I like that shelf below for added storage…



…included this because it’s my favorite turquoise colored island ever.

By-the-way, would you ever paint your island in a bold color?



Here is a late 1800s Belgian butcher’s table paired with Carrara marble counters…

in case you’re wondering what materials can go nicely with Carrara marble.


and for all those DIYers out there…

this is a basic chest that has been transformed to fit against a kitchen wall. Click HERE to see this impressive tutorial.

(You can see the back side too)


And oh look. An impersonation of me.

In my slightly-crazed, emotionally exhausted mood after house hunting.

It’s ok friends…don’t worry,  I’m better now.

(me thinks)

 BTW--Which island was your favorite? 




…sharing this post with these friends:



Art and Sand said...

I am voting for the chippy yellowish cabinet with all the drawers. I was in my favorite local antique store when I saw a friend buying something similar and she said it was going to be her new kitchen island. I have been in love with the idea ever since.

We have no island since there is no space. We are talking about knocking down a little wall to create an "islandy" feeling - as in kitchen island, not tropical island.

I think house hunting must be crazy today. My daughter's best friend and her husband married 18 months ago and have lived with her parents in Mill Valley for 3 years while they looked for a house. They kept being over bid and finally bought a total fixer upper - for $750,000 in Novato.

Gypsy Heart said...

I can certainly understand your dismay ~ you have such a beautiful kitchen and spacious island now. I wish you the best in your search! I like the island that looks like a piece of furniture...can't see the back side. :)

My daughter painted her island a deep red and it's gorgeous! Her cabinets and counters are white and she wanted something to break it up. My sil put beadboard as a backsplash on one side of the cabinet area and it is lime green. Sounds weird I'm sure but its funky and fun and pretty!

Patty Rumaker said...

I love free standing islands, it is an opportunity to make a statement in the kitchen, especially in a not-so-special kitchen. I love the blue painted one with the butcher block or wood top, but I also really like the idea of the more formal dining room buffet in the kitchen - I don't think I have ever seen that before.
Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Oh my gosh they're all beautiful Leslie!! I love that first one and even the smaller one in the 5th pic down. I know you'll work your magic in your new home and make it just as beautiful as this one!!

White Weathered Hutch said...

I love free standing islands as well.
I know the house that you will find will be just as beautiful as your posts...
Love that wailing girl.....

Pamela said...

I love freestanding islands they add lots of personality. I had the most gorgeous french style island. Oh it was heaven. I had to part with it this last summer when we moved across Canada.
These images are all beautiful. What fun to plan a kitchen!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh how I wish I had the space for an island. Visually, my favorites have open shelving, but I'm guessing the closed cabinets are more practical. You've shared some lovely options. Hope you find the one of your dreams in your new home. I know it's out there waiting for you!

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

I really like that super chippy white one with all the drawers and of course the turquoise one would be my favorite too! I'd love to have room for an island and I feel your pain over having to give your's up. I sure hope that you can find a kitchen with one or one that will accommodate one! Hugs, Leena

michele said...

hmmm. i think the narrow one with the wood top and shelf underneath. it could be in a farmhouse style, cottage, or even modern kitchen.

my first kitchen was tiny and i loved it. we had just a tiny area to squeeze into to eat, and i remember it fondly. we gutted the thing and remodeled it ourselves, and i swear it only took like 3 hrs. that's the beauty of small!



Leslie said...

Your kitchen (today) is beautiful Leslie and I can see why you are having the .. anxiety over all this;) We are selling and building (no one knows;) and so I'm thinking how to make the most of the space I'll have and the kitchen is SO important. I can't make any mistakes!! We've been looking at new and used property trying to get ideas and one of the things that bothers me is the odd configuration of some of the rooms and kitchens. One million dollar home we walked through did not have a formal pantry. There was simply cabinet space which is what I have now and dislike tremendously. I'm also rethinking the island. There are so many wonderful options as you point out here. YOURS will be perfect Leslie:) Can't wait to see where you settle in. xxL

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love the aqua one and the first one especially! I know you'll do something great!

Holly @ Down to Earth Style said...

Leslie...You are going to have way more fun creating an island of your own. I ripped ours out at our old house and made a free standing one with an open shelf. Worked much better - and gave the kitchen a great look. Good luck hunting for the right place!

Andi's English Attic said...

I went from a large kitchen to a galley kitchen (in a large house). It's too narrow for anything down the centre of the room. Tell yourself, at least there're less worktops to clean. Good luck.xx

Laura said...

I love them all, but what I really want to ask is, what if in planning to move someday, after remodeling and living in our home for 20+ years,
I want a house just like the one I have???

Phew...that sounded crazy I know, but how are you changing your thinking?

Our move isn't anytime soon, but it is coming.

I will be following your story- as I am your blog.

White Spray Paint blog

Carla from The River said...

I love the butcher block with space on the bottom for baskets or other. :-)

Heather Lindstrom said...

Hello Leslie,
I'm glad I popped back by since I was trouble getting my comment to save the other day. Your words really resonated with me. You are in a lovely community now and, though you will gain many positive things moving to the beach, space isn't one of them. Scott and I have thought the same thing if we move from Chico to the wine if we could plop our home/pool on a hillside in Sonoma we'd be in heaven. You are a huge milestone of a life adventure here. I would definitely feel some anxiety too. Hopefully you are also feeling some bold empowerment. I see that in your creative planning for your new digs. Wonderful. I love following this story girlfriend. Cheers to courage!
xx, Heather

Lori said...

I would love a free standing island if my kitchen had the space! Looking at new spaces when you love what you have can be disheartening. Love that you included Shannan's turquoise island ~ she so eclectic and fun! Here is a link to her post:

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Yay!!! I'm glad you love her. :)
I'm drooling over tons of the shots you shared. That recent shot with the wicker baskets underneath is one of my faves!

I will say, for me, the island was what I started with in our kitchen. I needed something functional (ours houses the trash can) but also something that would make a statement, because our kitchen is tiny! Once you decide, it's much easier to go from there with everything else.

Good luck and thanks for the feature!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I love the one you liked... the turquoise one, plus those stools, would love to get some like those one day.
We don't have an island, no room for one, but I do have a bar with three stools so I'm happy with it. It will be fun when you finally get the home you like...honest it will:)

Bennie Graham said...

House hunting can really be daunting. It’s a good thing that it’s all over now, and you’re feeling much better. And with regards to the kitchen design, it all looks wonderful. And my personal choice would be the second to the last one. How about you, what’s your favorite?

Bennie Graham @ Golden Group Real Estate

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