DIY Kitchen Island Makeover (made with big box store cabinets!)
This built in DIY kitchen island made with big box store cabinets has had several makeovers since it was first built. Sharing its latest makeover today!
Yep, we made this built in DIY kitchen island out of ready to go, big box store cabinets.
That was pre-blog so unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of a tutorial OR photos.
I am just so glad I thought to at least have taken the small amount of “before” photos of our house!
And a few along the way with the makeovers. I sure could’ve had more, though. Darn!
Oh well, who knew I’d have a blog at the time…I sure didn’t.
So today I’m going to try to share a little bit about how we made the island with the few pictures I have to share.
AND our very latest makeover it got for our recent kitchen remodel.
If you missed it, I shared our DIY Coastal Kitchen Makeover (REMODEL) on Tuesday.
You can see it here >>> DIY Coastal Kitchen. (also, pop back over and take a read as I added a bit more info that I forgot to include…about the cabinets we used)
DIY Kitchen Island
Let’s go through the evolution of the island and then we’ll talk about how we put it together and the latest makeover.
As you know, this kitchen started out with full walls on each side and a little eat in kitchen….
We proceeded to take the walls out on each side of the kitchen a few years after that first mini-makeover above.
And instead of having a table here, we decided to do a built-in DIY kitchen island.
Which originally looked like this…
Terrible old photo but you get the idea.
These were off the shelf, ready to go in a cherry wood stain.
Since they were big box cabinets, they were not finished on the back so we had to come up with something there.
I tried to stain a piece of cabinet-grade wood to match but I wasn’t having much luck with that.
So we ended up just adding beadboard and painting it black.
Again, no blog at this time so just sharing the photos I did have.
At some point, I decided to paint the entire thing black.
I actually really enjoyed it black for a time.
But soon after, (and now, blog time) I decided to give it some color in the form of Duck Egg Blue.
I really enjoyed this color for many years.
But as my decor style changed, so did this island.
To this, its latest rendition…
And I have to say, my favorite so far!
It got a major facelift this time with all new doors and panels going all the way around.
We found the shaker door panels online. There are many to choose from.
If you are looking for some, just do a search and try to get them as close to you as possible. (for shipping or pick up)
We considered making our own and certainly could have, but time was against us.
The holidays were fast approaching and we really wanted/needed to get this kitchen done.
I absolutely love how the panels look going all the way around the island and the cohesive look with the rest of the cabinetry.
Just thrilled with how it turned out.
Info on the countertop can be found here >>> Quartz Countertop
Info on the flooring can be found here >>> New Flooring
To shop for any of the other items in the room (or in our home), click here.
Another thing we changed this go-round was adding that wood trim along the base.
We wrapped it all the way around the island and got rid of the lip on the front side.
Love the new look!!!
Here are the paint details:
Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams (ProClassic Waterborne Acrylic Enamel)
Sprayer (I sprayed the doors)
I love the Oyster Bay color. It’s on the same paint card as Sea Salt and goes wonderfully with it.
Okay, before we get to the question I have for you (I mentioned in Tuesday’s post) let’s talk about how we made this DIY kitchen island.
We used 3 cabinets for our DIY kitchen island.
- The one on the left had a door and an upper drawer.
- The one in the middle was a little larger, double-door cabinet with an upper drawer.
- The one on the right was, and still is, 3 drawers.
We took the hinges off the door to the left and added a waste receptacle that glides in and out.
In the middle, we took the drawer that was at the top and moved it to the bottom.
Then my husband made another drawer to match it. (we were able to get a matching drawer front from the manufacturer)
That drawer went in right above the drawer we moved from the top to the bottom.
He added the wood piece in the middle of the 2 drawers to close that gap.
And then built a shelf for the microwave and added a trim piece on the front there as well.
On the two sides of the “box”, he added small, flat, curved trim to make it look a little more finished. (these were originally finished trim pieces that can be purchased separately for finish work on these types of cabinets)
I painted the inside of the box, black, for the microwave.
You can see here, the 3 cabinets from the back.
We then added the new trim all the way around. (for this latest makeover)
As well as some of the sides trim to attach the new panels to.
We had to add that extra trim because some of it will show afterward so I had to paint it to match.
You can see here (above and below) where we carried the trim all the way around to close up that open area at the bottom in front of the cabinetry.
Caulked and painted, ready for panels and doors.
Here’s a shot of the back to show the trim we added for support…and because some of it will show after the panels are in place.
And this is how we made sure they were all level and at the right/same height. (I held onto the outside while he screwed from the inside of the island)
Everything is in place, pre-hardware…
So thrilled with how this turned out.
Looks like a brand-new island!
Okay…here’s the question I had for y’all.
My original vision for the island makeover was this…. (and I still love it…painted and finished, of course!)
They will be painted in the same color as the island and obviously shorter, back further, and under the island top.
But I really, really wanted to put in columns on each side.
They would be more about here…. (location-wise)
We found these columns >>> here, by the way.
Okay, so here’s what happened.
We ran out of time to install them and we put them to the side until after the holidays.
In the meantime, we really enjoyed having 3 bar stools here. (we previously had 2 and had only planned 2)
The reason we have an extra bar stool is because one of them was damaged and Wayfair sent me another set. (they only came in a set of 2)
I just LOVE Wayfair. They have always been so good to me. Highly recommend them.
(here’s the link to the bar stools)
Anyway, I used 3 as seating at the holidays and I do like how open and easy it is to sit there without the columns.
BUT I really like how the columns add a little design element to the island.
They may end up being back far enough that they might not impede the seating arrangement.
I’m just not sure what to do.
So tell me, what do you all think?
Yes to the columns or no to the columns?? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below, please!
Decisions, decisions. And you all thought we were done!! haha
Well, we are….almost. ;)
But again, when are you ever done?
We still have the upstairs master bath/closet to remodel. And the outside of our home this spring.
Quite a few plans out there. Plus new windows…new front and back French doors, etc etc.
We are a work in progress still. One day we’ll be completely done!! Maybe, lol.
At least the inside is the closest it’s ever been! Yay!
Every single surface has a fresh coat of paint, too. Doors, trim, board, and batten, ceilings, everything.
So it really helps to make everything feel super fresh in here.
I’m ready to sit back and enjoy all the pretty now.
And we surely have been so far. It’s like living in a new house without having to move.
(as long as you don’t count all the “moving” we did to prepare for and do this remodel and flooring, of course!)
I kinda felt like we moved. lol
If you are considering a change, or maybe adding an island in your own kitchen, consider doing this.
It’s a really great way to get a beautiful, “custom” built island for less!
More home DIY tutorials we have shared here:
- DIY Faux Shiplap (get the look, without the expense!)
- DIY Faux Board & Batten (simple and quick!)
- How To Make a DIY Wood Countertop
- Build Your Own Kitchen Island With Big Box Store Cabinets (you are here)
- How To Install Laminate Flooring (tips and tricks)
- DIY Crown Mold (easy way to get that wide custom look!)
- Build Your Own Built In Bookcase – Tutorial
- Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets
- How To Use Gel Stain On Your Stairs
- How To Paint Light Fixtures Without Removing Them
- How To Build a Permanently Attached Wall Coat Rack
- DIY Floating Shelves Tutorial
- How To DIY a Tile Backsplash
PIN it to save it!
If you like this DIY, you might like this! DIY WIDE Crown Molding.
See it finished (and the how-to here!)
I’ll be back next week with something other than house stuff.
I have NO clue what it is yet, but it will be something! I’m thinking it’s time for a new furniture makeover.
I’m itching to do some painting…plus I have a new product I can NOT wait to try out. Stay tuned!
Keep the seating!!!! You can always use the columns somewhere, maybe a table makeover?
I think columns would look great, however, if you actually use the stools I think it would be hard to slide in and out without bumping into them with your knees. If you are eliminatind the benches they go for it. Love your info. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Penny! :) Yep, that is indeed the issue with the columns and what I’m afraid of. Thanks for the input!! xo
first of all, i love the island! the color is gorgeous and so it the lighter top!
about the columns, would they look out of place closer to the island? maybe some corbels would give you a look you’d like without the bruising of your knees! that, or just use two stools more centered and away from the columns.
Thank you Gwen! :) I think closer to the island may be an idea or even halving them like someone suggested. Bruising knees is what I’m afraid is going to happen if I use them though!! lol Probably mine! ;) Using only 2 stools would probably answer the question but I am really loving having 3. I guess I need to figure out which one of more important to us! Thank you for your input on this! :) xo
Thanks Mary!! Yes, I’m sure I can do something with them!! ;) xo
I love the island just the way it is. The columns are too fussy IMHO. Plus….. the option of having a heart to heart with an extra person in the kitchen would outweigh columns any day in my world. There’s just something about hanging out in the kitchen that opens people up.
Thanks Jan! I can totally see that. They are kinda fussy. And that is so true about the kitchen, I agree! :) xo
LOVE the newest makeover on this island!
In answer to your question, columns or no columns, my vote is no columns. The look is cleaner, and there will be more room for the people using those beautiful stools without feeling crowded.
Thank you Sheila! :) I think you might be right, it is probably a cleaner look. I do love having more room for 3 stools there (and 3 people)! xo
Love,love,LOVE your island makeover – stunning. Did you happen to say where you got the new top? I am having such a hard time finding just a new countertop for our island. And I simply love it without the columns. While they are gorgeous, I think you will always love being able to sit 3 comfortably. Thank you so much for sharing your how-tos on this. Really helped me a lot with my island makeover.
My ooopps, just saw the Big Link pop up for the counter tops – Wilsonart. Got it.
Oh no, not your oops! I popped in real quick to update the post after I read your comment! Thank YOU! :) xo
Aw thanks so much Andrea! :) I meant to add that info! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It’s been updated. We absolutely LOVE the new countertops. They are literally the icing on the cake of this makeover. Thanks also for you input on the columns! I think you are probably right there. xoxo
Thanks Debra!! :) xo
Looks awesome! I can relate to having 3 bar stools instead of 2 when company is over. We solved that problem by taking a post and cutting it into two and screwing it to the island. it looked great. We had the look of columns, and room for 3 stools.
Thanks Judy! :) I love this idea! I had seen that done but hadn’t even considered it with these. Hmmm…more to think about! xoxo
I dont like the column idea either…sorry!
Okay, thanks so much for the input Brenda! :) xo
I just love your new kitchen. As for the columns on the island my vote would be no. Your entire kitchen is clean lines and I think the columns, while very nice, would look out of place aesthetically. I also think that they would make sweeping the area even more work. Im sure with your talent you will find the perfect reinvention for them.
Thank you Catherine. :) I do love the clean lines of everything, so you might be right on about that! Thanks so much for chiming in on this! xoxo
Love the new makeover Nancy. I say no columns. It is a cleaner design, I think the columns would be too busy and if you don’t get them right up against the cabinet it will be hard to clean around them. Love reading your blogs and seeing the transformation of your home.
Hey Sherry!! Thanks so much! :) I am thinking it would probably be a cleaner look (and easier to clean too! lol) too. xoxo
I love the reno…it turned out really nice! The color in the island is gorgeous and I like how you finished it with the wrapped trim. To answer your question, I would not add the columns. I agree they are beautiful but I can guarantee they will be in the way and end up getting beat up as a result. Can’t wait to see what you do with them if you don’t use them in your kitchen!
Thanks Barbara! :) Yes, I think that’s why they are still not on. I probably already know the answer. (they will most likely be in the way) It’s been pretty unanimous here…no to the columns! ;) I just really loved them and it’s hard to switch gears sometimes. Thanks for your input on this! xoxo
Wow, great evolution of your island! :) No to the columns on so many levels. I think they would look great on a much larger island with a larger overhang that needs support. Others had great points on no columns as well.
As for being done or not… who cares if you are enjoying the process!:)
Thanks Christina! :) Yep, it seems to be pretty unanimous…no columns! lol It’s just sometimes hard to switch from that original vision of mine. My husband will be happy to hear the “no columns” was a win, though!!haha And yes, love that! xo
Gorgeous island! Love the paint color. No columns!
Thanks Linda! :) I’m thrilled with how the paint turned out! Thank you for the input! xo
Personally,I think the columns would be too much..too “busy” for the eyes!! Love the nice n calm look you have!!
Yes, you are probably right, Rosanna! :) Thanks so much for the input on this! xoxo
Love the island and kitchen makeover. I would not do the columns. Keep the extra seating. The island looks fabulous as is!
Okay, thank you Jennifer!! I am seeing that you guys are pretty much all in the “no columns” camp…and are “seeing” it better than I! I am struggling with my original vision for it that is getting in the way of how it looks in real life! ;) xo
The kitchen is so crisp and of course, the color is perfect! (I’m an aquaholic). So, you don’t have columns anywhere else and they really don’t add anything appealing to what you already have. I think they would look bulky and distract from the clean lines and sleek appeal you have now. What about pretty corbels on each side, maybe iron or some from an old house to give it a little interest without being too heavy? I found some online and when the carpenter came to install them I was out of town. I didn’t mark where I wanted them to go and he put them up without measuring at all. All 5 are different spaces apart!! It’s another one of life’s little bumps in the road. You and your husband are so talented and everything looks great!
Yay for aqua…and aqua lovers! ;) And no, no columns anywhere else, you are right. Corbels are an idea! And one I hadn’t considered because I was one track mind on the columns! ;) I might have to think on that. And no way did they not measure to space yours correctly! That is so crazy! But so right, small in the grand scheme of things!! Thanks so much for your input, Cecilia! So appreciated!! xoxo
The island looks amazing like everything else you did in the kitchen. I have to agree with the majority and say a big NO to the columns. It would be overwhelming to the space.
Aw thanks so much, Julie! :) I am so thankful for all of your responses!! It helps me to see it in a different light. (which is sometimes hard to do when you are right on top of it!) Thanks so much for your thoughts and input on this. xoxo
I like the columns but my first thought was that they really don’t match the sleeker more modern look of the new island. I would have said yes on your blue more farmhouse style island for sure. The added seating with the chair you already have pushes me over the top to suggest to leave the columns out. Love the island makeover transformation.
Hmmm, you might be right about that Tammy. I hadn’t considered that. I do love the extra seating and open feel. Thank you, Tammy! xoxo
Wonderful transitions on your island. It is just great. You don’t have to give up on having the columns in your kitchen. I think the style of the columns is sleek and in keeping with your style. I agree with Judy Lewis… She suggested cutting those columns down by half. Actually, I think you can cut them down even more making them slimmer and still achieve the look you want. You can then use the remaining pieces by attaching them to the end of your kitchen cabinets. Good luck.
Thank you, Maureen! :) Yes! I do love the idea of cutting them in half. We may just have to try it. At least cut one in half and see how it feels…looks. (I’m sure my sweet hubby will be thrilled with that new idea! ;) hee hee) Great ideas here! Thank you so much for the input on this! So appreciated! xo
The color is AMAZING!!! This version is certainly the best so far and very classic styling. I think it will last many many years.
I prefer the island without the columns. I agree that they would add interest, but I like the clean look and extra seating you gain. Plus, no one will be banging their knees on the columns when getting off the bar stools – which are adorable BTW.
Thank you for sharing your kitchen remodel journey. Love it!!
Thanks so much Kimberly! The color really is! I just love that color card…Sea Salt, Comfort Gray, Oyster Bay…all great colors!
Yes, I’m guessing the columns are a big, fat, no! It’s pretty much unanimous! It is a much more clean and open look without them, I agree. And I already know it will be more comfortable sitting there without them, I probably already knew the answer!! lol And probably why they are still not installed but it’s hard to switch those gears in this ole brain of mine! lol xoxo
Wow, everything looks great. The column question is a good one. I usually don’t like when overhanging countertops are floating in the air, but it your case, the overhang isn’t very big. Can you paint and dry fit the columns to see how it would look, and then decide? I think either way will look great.
Thanks so much, Lizzy! You and I both! And we actually had the countertop made with a little extra overhang on the sides just so I could use columns!! lol But it really could go either way because we didn’t go too far out and they are still tapered in on the sides somewhat. Although it’s been mostly a unanimous NO here in the comments. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up just yet! I think we may do just that. Cut them to the right height so I can see how they look “in place” and paint them to see how they look and feel. Someone suggested cutting them in half…might try that if they still seem too bulky. Thanks for your input on this, much appreciated! xo
No columns. Stubbed toes hurt. Dirt and dust accumulated in the nooks & crannies especially where food drops. A pain to clean. Extra seating is always preferrable.
OH yes, all really good points!! Thank you so much for your thoughts on this, Robin! xo
I love how your island has evolved! Very nice work! We did our island with big box store cabinets too and I love it. We have three stools and am happy that there are no columns to block the seating entry and exit. I think columns would be like sitting on a crowded bus. I like it that if the kids need a little more space they can scoot out to the corner. Those columns are lovely, but I think your island would look and function better without them. I know that you will put them them good use and can’t wait to see what you do with them. I was thinking corbels too, if you really wanted something, but it is so lovely as is!!! Thank you for sharing with us!
Thank you so much Paula! :) Oh how awesome is that? Such a good way to build one, isn’t it?! Ha, I absolutely love that example…you are right, it probably is a bit like a crowded bus! Yes, that’s what I was thinking too, better functioning, for sure. Corbels are a thought too…hmmm, decisions! Thanks for your input on this one! xoxo
Love your work. I love it just the way it is. You’re like me when I do a project. Sometimes I just look and think -what about this? It’s beautiful.
Thank you Cindy! :) Yes! And it’s hard to switch gears sometimes. Or to even “see” the project as objectively when you are right on top of it. I appreciate your input on this!! xo
I agree with Judy Lewis’ idea about cutting one post in half & mounting it to the island. This will give you the appearance of the posts without the added bulk! Your kitchen remodel is incredible!
I kinda like that idea too! :) Thank you so much! xoxo
!st love the makeover…color is right up my alley! As for the columns…I say nope I like the 3 stools much better. I’m sure you can use the columns somewhere in the future. Thanks for the Island makeover from start to finish 3 times over.Sometimes your tastes change..but it’s always fun.
Thanks so much Rita! :) Yes, my tastes surely do change over time but you are right, it’s fun going through it! xo
You really did a beautiful job on your kitchen!!!! I like the columns but also like the extra seating. Ha! How’s that for help?! :) . I would ask how often do you or will you use the extra seat? If the answer is a lot than I’d choose that over the columns. Sometimes function has to outweigh design – so they tell me – haha!!!! I love it just like it is (but the columns are pretty to ;)). Well done!
Aw thanks so very much, Wendy! :) Haha….sounds like me!! You are no help at all!! LOL ;) Darn! haha I do love those columns but I also love having 3 seats there and it would be too tight really with 3 AND columns. Soooo…I just don’t know what to do just yet! Mulling a few things over. Thanks for the input really though, it is appreciated! xoxo
Ok so I was thinking. You could always try the three seats for awhile and if you don’t use the third one that much than add the columns. ?. Also, my “to” in my first comment was supposed to be too (I like the columns too – haha. Surely I can blame autocorrect for that ?). What does your husband think? Or your kids?
That is a great idea Wendy!! We’ve kind of been doing that actually….and nope, we haven’t really used it! ;) And yes, autocorrect! haha Always! My husband likes the idea of the columns but would rather “not mess with what’s not broken”. ;)
Hi Nancy, What a beautiful island makeover, on top of the entire kitchen remodel! You and your husband make a great team! Enjoy this beautiful kitchen and making tons of memories in it!
Thank you, Kaycee! Aw, yes, we sure do! And we’d have to with all we’ve been working on over here for 15 years, right?! lol Thank you again, looking forward to enjoying our new spaces even more! xoxo
I think you should add the columns since you wrote that you “really, really wanted them”. Follow your dreams!
Aw yes, I really had them in mind when we redesigned everything. It is hard to let that go! We’ll see what I can come up with! :) xo
Another Aqua-holic here!! This is a beautiful piece. I was just looking for a place for my microwave in a new house that doesn’t have an island or a place for my trash can! I have a question, Do you have a base that all 3 cabinets sit on? With wheels under it or is it stationary?
Thanks so much for sharing this!! No on the columns too ?
Aqua lovers unite! :) Thank you JoAnne! And no, this is completely built in, not on wheels and not moveable. It could have been though! Thank you for the input, also! xo
Hi again. We’re getting ready to paint our kitchen and like the larger doors you added to the island. What type of hinges did you use to fit. Can you open a door and take a pic of the hinge. I love you have a handy husband. I don’t. Lol. I have a desk husband.
Hi Cindy, we actually didn’t have to use any hinges on the island doors. The doors/panels going around the island are just being used as “panels” and don’t open. The front side of the island are all drawers. The one that looks like a door on the front is the pull out trash can, so again, no hinges on that one. You can have these doors pre-drilled for the hidden hinges and what I’d probably have used if I needed them. And yes, it is good to have a handy husband! He’s become more handy through the years as we’ve DIY’d our way through this house! ;) xo
After much consideration on this, I have to say no to the pillar ends. I think the overhang where you sit is too short to have the pillars under it. If the pillars were smaller around then it would look ok but they are pretty big. It also takes away from the seating area.
Yes, you are probably right about that! We haven’t even circled back around to see what we will do, but I’m guessing they will not go up! ;) xo
Beautiful! I like the island as it is and theyre too much. Dont add them in my opinion.
Thank you so much, Dana! :) I appreciate the input! xoxo
Curious as to where you ordered the shaker doors from online? Can you recommend a good, reasonably priced source?
There are many online, but here is where we settled on getting them. I am very happy with them.
Love your island! We are looking to do something similar. How long is your island what sizes are each of the cabinets that make it up?
Hi Lindsay! Thank you! It is approx 70 inches across. We used 2 – 18 inch cabinets and one 30 inch cabinet. One of the 18 inch we turned into a trash drawer. (removed the hinges and attached the trash bin) And on one, the 30 inch in the middle, we moved the drawer to the bottom, my husband built a second drawer to match and we created the opening at the top with trim for the microwave. It’s been a great and well used addition to our kitchen!
Hope that helps! :)
Good Morning! Kitchen looks beautiful! Was wondering where you got the rug? I just did a makeover myself and I love the rug!!!!
Hello! Thank you! The rug came from Rugsusa. (I also answered over on Instagram) :)
This is just gorgeous! I have a question about the microwave. Obviously you have an outlet somewhere…but where?
Thank you, Amy! Yes, there is an outlet inside the cabinet (it’s on the left back side) that we had an electrician install.
You have inspired me to try this! Thank you!
Hello! I’m hoping you still get alerts for comments on old posts! My fiancé and I are in the process of buying our first home and the kitchen is begging for an island, but while we’re also planning a wedding we just can’t afford it. I stumbled across your post as we aren’t afraid of DIY and getting our hands dirty. I really love how you transformed basic cabinets into a beautiful modern island! And I especially love how you put the microwave inside the island. My question is, how did you get electrical to the island?!
Hi Alysia! The electrical came up through the subfloor. We hired an electrician to put in a receptacle for the microwave and on the side of the island. Good luck! You can totally do it! :)
I agree! Looks so much better without columns. They look out of place with the style of the island (actually any island).
Thanks so much!!