Today I’m sharing this unexpected but very welcome addition to our farmhouse kitchen renovation- our DIY Furniture Style Kitchen Island! Everything about the construction of this island seemed to be charmed. There is usually a lot of trial and error that goes on behind the scenes of our projects- but everything here seemed to just kind of fall in to place. We enjoyed it while it lasted, since we know it won’t be that easy again! ;)
I hadn’t actually been planning on having an island during this phase of the project. When our heating project required a vent in the middle of the room, we were suddenly scrambling to figure out what we wanted to do to cover it up. We knew that a vent just sitting there would either be tripped on, or would soon be stuffed with cheez-its and goldfish, courtesy of Cooper. So we began discussing options.
I originally had this awesome plan in my head for a future island that included a built-in microwave, storage, and a barstool bench. After getting out the measuring tape and making a painter’s tape silhouette, it was pretty clear that we did not have enough space for any of my grand ideas. Long story short, there would not have been enough room to maneuver and open cupboards.
I really loved the idea of a furniture style, and Mack and I agreed that it would be the best fit for our space. He went on a marble hunt while I tried to find some plans and legs. Honestly, we are always kind of on the hunt for marble on Craigslist. Since it has become more popular, a lot of people know what they have and the prices become more ridiculous than a brand new slab.
That was not the case with this listing. The seller was only asking $250, but there were no photos or dimensions. Mack emailed him asking for more info, and we got a grainy photo of a corner of the slab with the disclaimer that it had a scratch- but the dimensions were absolutely perfect, I kid you not.
I was still feeling pretty skeptical when we drove out to look at it. It was about 45 minutes away. We drove up to a pretty farmhouse (which I wanted to photograph, but Mack said that would be creepy) and I suddenly got a really good feeling about the whole thing. They obviously had good taste! The marble slab was tucked away in the corner of the garage, and it hadn’t moved in the years since they had it. The edges were unfinished and a bit damaged, but the scratch was actually on the bottom of the slab- when we turned it over the other side was perfect! The seller hadn’t realized there was a difference between the top and bottom. Other than being a bit dirty, it was a real find! Mack was even able to talk the seller down to $200 since the edges would have to be finished. The owner was just happy to have it out of his garage!
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While the slab was having it’s edges finished, I began comparing island legs. The ones I decided on came from Osborne Wood Products, and are available here. I chose them based on the dimensions, customer reviews of the company, and the fact that they were just the most pretty! I liked the chunky style in order to support the heavy marble. We are so so happy with the quality of the legs that we plan on using this company for all future furniture building projects.
For the specifics on how to build the island, we were a bit stumped. We decided to wing it. We studied a lot of building plans in the process, but ultimately the plan ended up being a unique build. I created a free PDF of the building plans, which you can get here! We ordered a Kreg Jig, and I have to say- I love it! I am still overcoming my fear and aversion of saws (particularly the table saw), but drilling and assembling pieces is so easy now!
For assembling the island, we really recommend following our plans, but here is a quick tip: to make sure the apron is completely centered on the legs, cut spacers and clamp everything together. That way it won’t shift as you add the screws!
For the shelf, we opted to go with a piece of butcher block. We cut notches out for the legs using the circular saw.
Here she is in her final home, waiting for finish. I will share that tutorial another day and update this then!
Here she is waiting for her marble top!
We are so pleased with how it turned out! I think it added just the right amount of contrast to the kitchen project. I get asked quite often where it was purchased- and a lot of people guess Restoration Hardware before I tell them it was a DIY build! Also, I can’t stop petting the marble… someone is going to have me committed. I’m pretty sure every new countertop in the house will be marble before I’m done. Especially with Craigslist finds like this one!
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