Transform An Old Dresser Into A Kitchen Island & Don’t Forget The Lighting!

If you have a large kitchen and have dreamed of having a kitchen island, make that dream come true with a DIY project. Renovate an old dresser and transform it into a kitchen island! Install lighting right above your refurbished kitchen island and instantly create a new workhorse in your kitchen. Here's what you'll need to do.

Create your kitchen island

Sturdy old dressers work great as kitchen islands. You can increase the height of a dresser with leg attachments that can be purchased from any home improvement store. The drawers and compartments in a dresser can be used for storage of food, utensils, and small cooking appliances, depending on the sizes of the drawers and doors. Therefore, select a dresser that will meet your storage needs. You can refinish the dresser to match or contrast the colors in your kitchen.

Top the dresser with a countertop, which can be wider and longer than the dresser as long as the countertop is properly secured. The side of the dresser without the drawers can be used as a seating area, so offset the countertop so it hangs further over the dresser on that side so you and your family and guests can sit comfortably while enjoying each other's company. Secure braces underneath the overhang for support. Cover the backside, or the seating side, of the dresser with wainscoting or any other kind of wallboard. Be sure that this covering is thick enough to withstand accidental kicks and kneeing when someone sits at the kitchen island. 

Choose the location

Choose the exact location of the placement of your new kitchen island. You'll want to consider the traffic flow you already have as well as the traffic flow after your project is complete. Additionally, take a look at the ceiling and find suitable locations for your lighting. You'll want the lighting to be centered directly over the kitchen island for the best in aesthetics and functionality. It's a good idea to consult with an electrician who can offer suggestions and recommendations as to exactly where the lighting can be installed.

Consider the center of the countertop with the overhang when determining the exact location of the kitchen island so it can be centered directly underneath the lighting. Your new kitchen island will be used in many ways, from meal preparation to enjoying a cup of coffee to helping your children with their homework. Therefore, install a dimmer switch for the lighting so you can set the appropriate mood for your needs.