teal kitchen mclovin (DIY).

A few months ago, I came to the realization that even though I really, really like open shelves in the kitchen, I can’t necessarily really, really have open shelves in a kitchen with a toddling, waddling “Is this glass vase a football?” little man.  I also realized that we have about 2.5 inches of counter space in our current living situation, and could stand to have an inch or two more.  

So, I rummaged through the landlord’s collection of odd items in the basement (of which we’ve been given permission to use – see also: I wasn’t going to paint one of the extra toilets lying down there and use it as a kitchen island), and stumbled upon this unpainted wooden cupboard: 

Love me some teal paint.
Love me some teal paint.

It was also around that time that I decided that we have altogether too many dark wooden objects in our house, and needed to add a bright and splendid splash of teal paint.  Done.  Behr Ultra Aqua Waters, you are magical, I say.   

Eventually this bad boy was hoisted upstairs, where it sat, ready for finishing, in our kitchen for the past three months.  [See also: Apparently burglars do not like teal-colored DIY projects, because they did not steal this in-progress piece of art.]  

That is, until this past week, where in we make lemonade out of lemons to take our minds off the lurking fear!

Now, part of why this project sat unfinished for so long was because I envisioned a tall and narrow kitchen island (as pictured above), with wheels affixed to the bottom for easy moving accessibility.  But then, as Neighbor Kara reminded me, it’s silly to have cupboards open incorrectly (and we’d have to drill new holes for the shelves, and cut the wood accordingly, and well, that’s just a lot of work).  So why don’t you just raise it off the ground to the correct level AND gain more counter space while you’re at it?  Brilliant.    

But how does one raise it up?  

Neighbor Kara pulled out her brilliancy again: raised swivel castorsand even found the perfect match at The Container Store.  So Cancan and I braved downtown traffic, all to realize when we got home, that there’s absolutely no way to attach said raised swivel castors to your fabulous teal kitchen island, unless you’re using their system.  

Of course.  Fail.  

That, and The Container Store DIY queen said it’d look janky, even if I did figure it out, and suggested I hire a carpenter.  

No way, lady!  I own an electric drill for a reason! 

Finally, we – me, myself and I – landed at good ol’ Home Depot again this past Sunday, where a slightly inebriated employee with rather bloodshot eyes gave me the step-by-step tutorial on how this was gonna work.  He was, after all, a carpenter for 30 years before cruising the orange aisles.  

Here’s what he came up with: 

Top plates.
Top plates.

That’s right: add top plates to the bottom of the cupboard and screw wooden legs into it.  I did have to give up the wheels at the bottom, but I think the island would be the epitome of JANK had I tried to make them work.  

Four top plates, affixed to each of the corners.
Four top plates, affixed to each of the corners.

Then, we added the wooden legs (left over from a defunct bench I made a couple years ago): 

14" wooden legs (from Home Depot), stained dark brown.
14″ wooden legs (from Home Depot), stained dark brown.

And then we got to flip it over and add the fun finishing touches: 

First, two hooks (similar to this) from Restoration Hardware when its San Mateo store was closing a couple years ago: 

His and hers aprons.
His and hers aprons.

And then, two knobs from Anthropologie (similar to this), also marked down significantly – did I mention I really, really believe in the clearance section of extremely overpriced stores?  Cough cough.  

Just lovely.
Just lovely.

Finally, so the Little Man can have an area all his own in the kitchen, I painted an old piece of wood with chalkboard paint, and screwed it onto one of the sides.  [See also: wherein Cancan begins painting every wall in our house.]

He wrote "A b C," but the scribbles are mine.
He wrote “A b C,” but the scribbles are mine.

So, but for the childproof locks that still need to be installed, the kitchen island is done, and I love it!  I’m still debating whether or not I should cover the entire top with a butcher’s block, or just leave it as is.  Your thoughts?  

Cancan "drawing" this morning.
Cancan “drawing” this morning.
Keep the current (smaller) butcher's block, or go for something bigger?
Keep the current (smaller) butcher’s block, or go for something bigger?
Recipe for disaster?  Glass, glass, glass.  Ball, ball, ball.
Recipe for disaster? Glass, glass, glass. Ball, ball, ball.

And finally, in all its DIY glory, the finished product: 

And did I mention our kitchen window now has bars?  Safety first!
And did I mention our kitchen window now has bars? Safety first!

What can I say?  I love it, and it serves our space well – but enough about me, what about you?  What are you making and creating right now?  Do share!  

xo, c.  


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