Kitchen Update - Aint No Party Like An Island Party

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Ladies and gentleman, you're invited to the island party!
Location: In My Kitchen
Date and Time: All Day, Everyday 

This kitchen update was (kind of) free, extremely convenient, and very, very functional. The "kind of" free part includes reusing an old piece of furniture we didn't think we would need again.

When we lived in Chicago, we purchased a kitchen island. We wanted to have a non-permanent piece (we were renting) that would give a focal point to our kitchen and provide a space for people to congregate around.

We ended up purchasing the "Threshold Kitchen Island" from Target. It was (and still is) an unbeatable price at $249 plus my wonderful mother's 10% Target discount for having a Target Red card.

On top of the price, we loved the hidden storage. While open-shelving kitchen islands are pretty, this one offers a way to store things out of sight, and the inside drawers even pull out, in case you are putting something heavy on it.

Additionally, the "bar" side of the island can be extended or folded down (it's up in the picture above, and down in the picture below), which gives you the option of having a two person breakfast bar in your kitchen.

When we moved out of our Chicago apartment, we had a little debate over whether or not to keep it. We weren't sure if it would fit with the rest of our mid century furniture, and we didn't envision needing it. But, I assured my husband that, even if it wasn't in a kitchen, it could be a temporary piece in a guest bedroom or office. If you put the bar flap down, it seems a bit like a short dresser.

Little did we know how handy it would turn out to be.

When we bought our new house, we realized it would fit perfectly. Between the simple white cabinets and the butcher block top, it was going to be a perfect or almost-perfect fit for the space, without us having to shell out any cash.

Once the island was set in the middle of the kitchen and our dishes and other appliances were put in place, we transformed this room into a functional work space that allows multiple chefs to be in the kitchen at once. It made a huge difference in the amount of counter space we have to work with.

Another thing I love about this island is that it allows my husband to be sitting/drinkingcoffee/eating at the counter while I am still moving around in the kitchen. This house has a separate kitchen and dining room, so we would have otherwise spent a lot of mornings with me making my breakfast in the kitchen while he is eating or drinking coffee in the dining room.

Instead, we can enjoy the morning coffee/breakfast ritual together, in the same room. Huzzah!

For the sake of comparison, here are some before-and-after shots of the stove and island transformation.

Quick Note: These "before" pictures also leave out the much more fitting stainless steel stove/oven we purchased. If you missed that, you can check it out here.

  • What do you think about the change?
  • Do you like kitchens with islands, or do you prefer to keep the space open?
  • What do you do with all of your kitchen appliances? Clearly mine are sitting out on the counter, because I use them a lot, but I'm trying to figure out a cleaner way to display them.

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