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May 18, 2011

Kitchen Island | DIY Kitchen Island with Built-In Refridgerator

We're finally getting settled into our new house.  While we still have some work to do on the outside (finishing the patio, landscaping, new grass, etc.), we have completed one of the biggest projects we had planned - The kitchen island. 

Originally, kitchen looked like this : 
The kitchen is a good size for this size house... but, it just wasn't quite big enough for everything I needed (wanted). I needed more storage space, a bigger work surface and a place for in-kitchen dining. 

My handy-dandy husband whipped up this amazing island this weekend.  You might remember, he also built the hutch that holds our white dishes and platters.  I love how the island and the hutch make the once bare kitchen feel complete - almost like a brand new custom kitchen.  And the best part is...

It houses our refrigerator, microwave and storage for all of my All-Clad pots and pans.   We only had one open wall that could have been used for our refrigerator, but I wanted to use that wall for the hutch to have extra and open storage.  So, we decided that this built-in undercounter refrigerator would work great for us.  I read that the Barefoot Contessa uses undercounter refrigerators in her NYC apartment - I figured if she could make it work, so could we.

We had a full size refrigerator installed in the basement (the stairs are just through the door in the kitchen) to use for over flow, beverages and parties.

Keep Reading : DIY Kitchen Island >>

We created this wooden counter top out of stain-grade wood planks that were laminated together (similar to butcher block).  We framed out the board with 1 x 3 wood pieces to create a very thick looking counter.  Everything is stained in Dark Walnut (as you might remember from the hutch).

These lilacs were picked from our yard - this pitcher was my Granny's.  I can remember her putting lilacs and peonies (when in season) in this pitcher, so I do the same thing.   I found a larger version of the same pitcher at a tag sale - they make a great pair.

I used the same framed botanical prints that I used in our old house - I like the white flowers for the kitchen.

I'm in the market for some more interesting stools - but for $20 each from Target, these will do for now.  I would like some vintage wooden and metal industrial looking stools - does anyone have any leads for me??

I am so excited that all of my pots and pans have their own spot.  I lined the shelves with cork - I like how it protects the bottoms of the pans from the paint and they slide easily.  

I like to keep these small pots of herbs on the windowsill by the kitchen sink because it helps me to remember to water them... Here I have my favorite (left to right) Rosemary, Thyme & Basil. 

I've propped up this cow platter with my marble rolling pin.  It kept rolling away, so I put these adhesive rubber stoppers (typically used on the bottom of furniture as 'feet') in front of it.  They stick right to the counter - works great.

This is our 'stuff' corner - where I can drop everything when I come in the door... and where Mr. Darcy's food bowls are.  Ideally, this chalkboard would be full of my to-do list, but I haven't made it to the hardware store for some chalk... guess that should be the first thing on my list.


  1. what a team you two are! looks great, so stylish and the fresh clean look both your home and food have....well done!

  2. I was just at Cost Plus this morning and saw vintage looking metal barstools. I am not in the market... so did not check them out to closely or notice the price.

  3. Thanks, Stephanie - I'll check it out!

  4. Jenny, these aren't wooden, but has some pretty cool galvanized metal ones, and cheap too. Only $58!

  5. Anonymous5:57 PM

    i love the color of your kitchen and was wondering if you could tell me what it is. thanks brenda

  6. It looks so beautiful! Love the transformation.

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  8. LeAnne Canton5:27 PM

    What are your countertops? They are beautiful!

  9. ashley wise2:37 PM

    i, too, would love to know the color of the kitchen :)

  10. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Can I ask, where did you get your under the counter fridge?

  11. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Can you post the plans with the dimensions? I would love to build one of these myself.

  12. Very nice! How did you get power to the microwave?

  13. hey there i love your blog please check out my too

  14. Jaime3:47 PM

    What colors are the walls in the kitchen and the adjacent rooms. Love it!


    1. The island looks great! It looks like it was always meant to be there:) Can you tell me the dimensions of the island? We are just about to do a kitchen redo and this looks about the size we need for our kitchen. Thanks!!

  15. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Agreed! We're looking for one too..

  16. Anonymous11:45 AM

    What is the paint brand/color you used in your kitchen? Would you describe it as a light green?

  17. Hi! Looks fantastic and I am sure you are loving the extra space. How did you get power to the island?

  18. I just found your blog and have really enjoyed it! I loved the whole "how to" for the beautiful hutch you built. I was just as excited to see you built your own kitchen island but was sad to find no directions for how you built it. Any chance you will post this as well?

  19. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Where did you find the cork to line your shelves?

  20. Jenny Steffens Hobick6:46 PM

    Rosie - I intended to share the building process, but I accidentally deleted them from my camera : )

    Anon - the cork can be found at Target.

  21. What a lovely home!! Can you please share what color your dining room walls are... It looks like a type of gray. I also adore your china, where is it from? Very cute blog! thanks for sharing!!


  22. Jenny Steffens Hobick8:20 AM

    Lisa Marie Wells- The paint color was already painted when we moved in! All of mt everyday dishes are from Williams-Sonoma.

    The refrigerator is from Home Depot, $399.


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