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How to Build A Farmhouse Kitchen Island

Would you like to know what Inspired us to Build a DIY Kitchen Island in our new Farmhouse?

Welcome to How to Build a Farmhouse Kitchen Island using re-purposed furniture and the reason we were inspired to attempt this DIY project.

Farmhouse Kitchen Brick accent wall, re-purposed chalk board pantry door, open shelving.

Because we were downsizing from a 3400 sq. ft. home to a 1900 sq.ft. farmhouse, some hard choices had to be made .

So several pieces of furniture would have to go, but one of my favorite rescues was a bow front sideboard. It was being used in our formal dining area but since the farmhouse would not have a formal area, it would be necessary to find a new use for the sideboard.

This post is all about how to use existing furniture as a base for a new Industrial Farmhouse Style Island.

Here is a glimpse of the sideboard in my previous home. As you can tell, I had no photography skills at that time. LOL

The Planning Stage For Building an Island

Since it had been decided that the side board was going to get a new life, she was packed away and put in storage.

As construction began, plans for the sideboard as an island were being tossed around. We were not sure how it was going to work, but work it must.

Another Sideboard??

You’ll never guess what happened next!!! While on vacation, another sideboard, so similar to my rescued one, was found. Immediately a plan began to form. They could be placed back to back and something could be built in between.

Sounds like a great plan and being certain, in my mind, that these two cabinets were the exact same size, it was loaded into the car.

Two pieces re-purposed furniture

The top cabinet is my original rescued piece and the bottom is the purchased sideboard.
Note: I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. All “before” captures we made before I started this blog.

Oh NOOOOO…… It’s not the same size or height.

Once back home, I climbed into our storage area and was able to get the dimensions of the original rescued sideboard. Oh, NO! They were not the same width and even more unfortunate, not the same height.

What do we do now?

Let me tell you, it was such a disappointing discovery! Many thoughts were going through my mind such as “maybe they can be used for bathroom vanities”! . However, because I wasn’t willing to give up my dream and also because the quote for a custom built island was a little staggering, another plan began to form.

The solution to build your own kitchen island

So this is How to Build A Farmhouse Kitchen Island. First, begin by joining the two pieces in an L shape. By using the original cabinet as the focal point and the second cabinet facing the sink, the island would be approx. 6 x 7 feet. Both cabinets provided a lot of storage so it is a win, win situation.

How to build your own kitchen island.

This is a view of the two cabinets as we were working on them in my brother’s garage. You can see how the two pieces fit together and how the 2 inch boards brought the tops even.

How to make the cabinets the same Height?

The solution was to use 2 inch thick boards over the top of the lower piece, leaving the original top on the taller piece. We chose 8 inch wide boards for the project. The top was constructed by using a biscuit cutter, wood biscuits, glue and clamps to attach the boards together. The side board had a curved edge to the front, so the new board was cut to match the curve and cut away the original top and trim so the two pieces would fit snugly together.

Other Materials used to build the Kitchen Island

The next decision was what materials to use for the remainder of the kitchen island. We had tongue and groove boards left over from our ceilings so it was decided to use those to fill in the walls of the island. Since the farmhouse was already an industrial style, we used simple plumbing pipe for the overhang bar area and for additional shelving.

Materials used to build a DIY Industrial Kitchen Island.

Here are some photos of us playing around with the plan in the garage.

Work in progress to build your own DIY Industrial Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

By allowing a slight over hang and placing the pipes as support, bar seating was created along one full side of the island.

Pine boards were used in construction.

By using the same style of pipe, open shelving was constructed under the adjoining end of the island. This allowed for extra storage and didn’t waste any space within the kitchen island.

Time to assemble the industrial island!

Since the farmhouse was still under construction, the island could not be permanently assembled until it was moved to the house. This was a stress point, as we were unable to see exactly how everything would look put together. My biggest fear was, “it would look like we made it” LOL

Under Construction.  The new island is installed in the house.  Great before and after transformation.

Under Construction

Once everything was assembled in the kitchen, the refinishing process began. We painted the new/old cabinet, as well as the tongue and groove boards, with French Linen Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.

The original rescue sideboard needed some sprucing up so the doors, drawer fronts and top all received a fresh coat of stain.

It was finally beginning to look like building our own kitchen island might actually work.

Re-purposed Furniture is the secret ingredient to building your own DIY Industrial Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island Before and After Transformation

Trim molding was attached at the floor to the tongue and groove molding. Low Back Bar Stools work perfectly with the design.

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Re-purposed furniture and faux barn wood are the key to building your own kitchen island.

Because salvaged barn wood wasn’t within our budget, we used a faux technique to make the new island top look like old barn wood.

This technique was repeated for the island shelves as well. You can read more about this technique here.

Replacing hardware on existing furniture pieces are key ingredients to building your own diy industrial farmhouse style kitchen island.

A favorite rug – see here.

Replace Hardware

Next, all the hardware was replaced and since the cabinet hardware was purchased from D. Lawless Hardware, I ordered additional pieces to match. A combination of cup pulls and label holder pulls were used on the island. The above rug, lilac stems and flower bucket are available, but Rudy isn’t for sale. LOL

Industrial Farmhouse style Kitchen   includes open shelving.  Amazing before and after.

By adding industrial bins to the open shelving, additional storage was created but with a clean look. They work well with the industrial bar stools. Since so many people ask about the cow print, here is the link.

Build your own DIY Industrial Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island.
Before and After transformation.

And to avoid hiding the details of the island, a low back industrial style bar stool was chosen for the seating.

Open Floor Plan for a modern Farmhouse Style Kitchen.  The  Island is the heart of the kitchen.  See DIY Instructions to build your own.

The lighting in this area is all vintage industrial style fixtures salvaged from an old gas station. Here is a similar look for the lighting and you can see more re-purposed furniture makeover’s here.

Farmhouse Style Kitchen includes, open shelving, reclaimed furniture and doors.   Chalk Board door serves as a pantry door.  Industrial vintage lighting.

So how do you like it? One thing that makes the island special is the eclectic mix of style and each side has it’s own unique quality. Concrete Pears and Slate Cutting Board accent the top of the sideboard.

DIY Kitchen Island using re-purposed furniture makes for a unique and one of a kind island.

However, here is another fun, easy project you might like. Please feel free to ask questions and as always, your comments are welcomed below.

Update on Farmhouse Kitchen Island

After living with the neutral gray island for almost 5 year, it got a fresh update with green paint. See all the details here.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hopefully, you will be inspired to create your own DIY projects from these pages. This was by far our most challenging DIY Project to date.

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How to Build A Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen Island using a repurposed sideboard.  Before and After Transformation.  Repurposed Furniture, Up-cycled Furniture, DIY Island, Step by Step Instructions, Tutorial, #DIYIsland #farmhouse

How to Build A Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen Island using a repurposed sideboard.  Before and After Transformation.

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Jack Snyder

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

You have made a beautiful piece of furniture out of something that is no longer used and fits perfectly in your kitchen.Beautiful job.

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Jack, Thank you for stopping by and commenting. This means so much to me. Rachel


Tuesday 29th of September 2020

So creative, keep up the fabulous work.

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Diana, Thank you so much for the encouragement and for stopping by. Rachel

Johnnye Farrell

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Thank you for the inspiration. I have been looking for kitchen islands or ideas for 2 years, but never found anything I liked or could afford. This makes perfect sense and I have a sideboard to start the DIY project.

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Johnnye, Oh that's great. We are so happy with ours. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by. Your comments mean alot to me. Rachel

Elizabeth ROY

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Your vision and talent created a beautiful piece. I love your entire kitchen.

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Elizabeth, Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate your encouragement. Rachel

Lora Bloomquist

Sunday 7th of June 2020

This is amazing! Love your kitchen and love this! Great idea. Your bowed front buffet looks very similar to the one I just refreshed and put a sink into for our bathroom remodel. Love using old furniture in new ways!

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Lora, Thank you so much for these kind words. I appreciate you for stopping by. rachel