27 DIY Kitchen Island Ideas to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen space feeling a little stale? Freshen it up with one of these 27 DIY kitchen island ideas to update your current kitchen island, build a new one, or make an upcycled kitchen island.

Before you make any big decisions, check out these 5 must-read tips for remodeling kitchens and see our favorite kitchen remodel ideas!

DIY Kitchen Islands Ideas

Whether you need a little extra storage space or you’re trying to bring your kitchen into the 21st century, there are so many DIY kitchen island options out there! In this post, we’re breaking down the best DIY kitchen island ideas to help you find the perfect addition to match your style.

Add Moldings or Trim to Existing Islands

Adding molding or trim is an inexpensive DIY kitchen island idea. (It will work wonders to transform blank walls, too!)

Source: The Happy Housie on Remodelaholic

Update a Plain Kitchen Island with Planks and Corbels

Loaded with farmhouse charm, this is a great DIY project for someone in love with that Fixer Upper style.

Source: Frazzled Joy on Remodelaholic

Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Island Tutorial (Only $25!)

This super simple design is inexpensive and requires minimal DIY skills. Simply cut your reclaimed wood at an angle and use liquid nails to attach it to your cabinet.

Affordable Board And Batten Kitchen Island Renovation To Remove Breakfast Bar Serene Swede On Remodelaholic
Source: The Serene Swede on Remodelaholic

Budget-Friendly Board and Batten Kitchen Island Makeover 

Maybe your island just needs a little trim and a change of color! This simple update turns base cabinets into something extra special. (Kendra also got rid of the breakfast bar that wasn’t useful for her family, if you want to see that!)

black board and batten kitchen island makeover with corbels
Source: Remodelaholic

DIY Board and Batten Kitchen Island with Corbels

It’s amazing how a little wood, some trim, and corbels can make an ordinary island look luxurious! Having corbels support the overhang of the island countertop makes it so visually appealing.

Extend Sides Of A Kitchen Island For Support Vs Corbels, Thrifty Decor Chick Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Thrifty Decor Chick

Give an Existing Island a Custom Look 

This large kitchen island with sink was already pretty great. But this DIY is perfect proof that a little plywood, screws, a fresh coat of paint, and some creativity can transform any island into something luxurious. The extended sides visually support the counter overhang so beautifully!

Updated Countertops that Refresh a Room

Sometimes a serviceable island needs a new countertop to refresh the kitchen. Try these ideas or read more in 15 Top Cheap Kitchen Countertops Ideas.

Source: zevy joy on Remodelaholic

DIY Marble Tiled Island

This kitchen looks so expensive with this new countertop and updated island. Look again, though; it’s all marble tiles! You can install tile right over the existing countertop.

Paint Your Island Countertop

The verdict is in! Most of our reviewers who tried painting their kitchen countertops are still pleased with the results years later. 

DIY Kitchen Island From Cabinets, Updated With Paint And New Countertop, Artsy Chicks Rule Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Artsy Chicks Rule

DIY Kitchen Island Update

This tutorial is a reminder that it’s okay for your style to change over time! This island made from cabinetry was repainted and got some fresh hardware & the perfect quartz countertop. Love that there’s room for a microwave and lots of storage!

6 Total Kitchen Remodel With Custom Range Hood, Glass Door Pantry, And Reclaimed Wood Island, By SoPo Cottage Featured On @Remodelaholic
Source: SoPo Cottage on Remodelaholic

Reclaimed Wood Modern Kitchen Island

We love that these folks turned the old stud boards from their reno into this gorgeous, rustic counter. Substitute any salvaged wood you can find for your own island. You can also build your own faux reclaimed wood countertops using new lumber.

Diy Kitchen Island Update, Contact Paper Countertops DIY, The Handyman's Daughter Featured On Remodelaholic
Source: The Handyman’s Daughter

DIY Contact Paper Countertops

If you’re a renter or aren’t ready to commit to a full island upgrade, try using contact paper! This tutorial makes it super easy so you can get this upgrade done right away!

Upcycled Furniture as a Kitchen Island 

Ikea Hack Bookshelves To Kitchen Island Upcycle Golden Boys And Me Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Golden Boys & Me

Bookshelves to Kitchen Island

A couple of basic bookshelves from IKEA added so much storage and look great in this creative DIY kitchen island idea. Store bins, appliances, kitchen essentials, pots and pans, and cookbooks easily in an old bookshelf – just secure it to the floor and add a countertop

Small Rolling Cart To Kitchen Island Ideas Sit Relax And Read On Remodelaholic
Source: Sit, Relax, and Read on Remodelaholic

Small Kitchen Cart Rolling Kitchen Island

Get a little extra storage space and another work area even in a tiny kitchen with this small kitchen cart island project.

Source: Sweet November on Remodelaholic

Turn a Colorful Dresser into a Kitchen Island

This is a great way to save a little money and add a bunch of storage space! Hit those thrift stores or estate sales for the perfect vintage dresser.

Source: 2Perfection Decor Blog on Remodelaholic

Upcycle a Vintage Desk Into Kitchen Island With Storage 

This is such a great way to maximize your storage space and repurpose an old piece of furniture!

Antique Sideboard Into Kitchen Island Ideas Gray Island With Butcherblock And Corbels Harts Desire On Remodelaholic
Source: Hart’s Desire Creations on Remodelaholic

Make a Kitchen Island From an Antique Sideboard

We are so here for repurposing antique furniture around the home! This updated sideboard adds a unique look you just can’t buy at Home Depot.

How to turn a table into a rolling island | Teal & Lime for remodelaholic.com
Source: Teal & Lime on Remodelaholic

Turn a Table Into a Rolling Island Workspace

Jackie may have made this for a laundry room, but this modified table is the perfect portable island for larger kitchens! Use this for extra storage for your baskets, stools, vintage fruit crates, and more.

Budget Friendly IKEA Kitchen Island, Welcome To Heardmount On Remodelaholic
Source: Welcome to Heardmont on Remodelaholic

New IKEA Kitchen Island 

This is one of the best kitchen island ideas because it’s super convenient (just hit up IKEA), has extremely functional open shelves, and has a butcher block countertop.

Kitchen Island Ideas Upcycled Dresser Featured On Remodelaholic
Source: Binkies and Briefcases on Remodelaholic

Convert a Vintage Dresser into a Simple Kitchen Island 

Converting an old dresser into a functional kitchen island is an ideal way to get a unique look, especially on a budget. Use legs to extend the countertop beyond the original dresser top size.

Pre-built Kitchen Cabinets Made into a Customized Kitchen Island

Adding A Custom Cabinet Kitchen Island House Four On Remodelaholic
Source: House Four on Remodelaholic

Transform an Outdated Island

This new island is loaded with additional storage, is the perfect size for meal prep, and even has room for 4 bar stools plus a mini fridge!

DIY Kitchen Island, House By The Bay Design Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: House by the Bay Design

Step-by-Step Modern Kitchen Island

Built from the frame up, this DIY kitchen island has step-by-step instructions to set you up for success. Plus, this thing is loaded with storage space, !

Extend Kitchen Island Size Bliss Bloom On Remodelaholic
Source: Bliss Bloom Blog on Remodelaholic

Extend and Transform Your Current Kitchen Island

The before for this project wasn’t bad, but the after is absolutely amazing. It’s enormous with enough space for the entire family and is now the focal point of this gorgeous kitchen.

Source: Eating in the Shower on Remodelaholic

Join Multiple Cabinet Bases Together for the Perfect Kitchen Island

This is one of our favorite kitchen updates for a reason! Start with your existing cabinets, add some stock cabinets or custom pieces if necessary, choose a matching counter, and adjust to your preferences.

Building a DIY Kitchen Island from Scratch

Source: Everyday Enchanting on Remodelaholic

DIY Marble Island

This large island looks glorious in this white kitchen update! It offers a ton of counter space for food preparation and is ideal for hosting parties.

Source: Rain on a Tin Roof on Remodelaholic

Custom Kitchen Island from Salvaged Materials

This DIY kitchen island project combines salvaged wood, table legs, and other materials for a totally unique look. Substitute out the salvage finds by converting a a long, skinny table instead

DIY Concrete Island
Source: Petite Modern Life on Remodelaholic

DIY Concrete Kitchen Island How To

This sleek concrete overhanging countertop is perfect for a modern look. It’s an easy way to hide old, outdated cabinets, too.

Rolling Kitchen Island with Storage and Drawers

Justin and Cassity used this rolling kitchen island with fold-down wings as both a small dining table and a kitchen island in their tiny kitchen. A movable island is a great way to add countertop prep space to your kitchen.

Diy Chunky Farmhouse Kitchen Island, Shanty2Chic Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Shanty2Chic

DIY Chunky Rustic Kitchen Island

Get the DIY kitchen island plans for this gorgeous chunky, rustic rolling island! It looks so expensive, but you can make it yourself!

Diy Kitchen Island On A Budget, Via Ana White Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Ana White

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Island

This gorgeous piece looks like it was pulled out of an old barn, not made with brand-new wood! Customize with your own color and hardware for a personalized look.

Diy Pallet Kitchen Island, Noting Grace Feat On Remodelaholic
Source: Noting Grace

DIY Pallet Kitchen Island

Can you believe this kitchen island was made of salvaged pallet wood? This piece has just the right amount of rustic charm thanks to the intentional mix of vertical and horizontal pieces.

How do you make a homemade island?

There are so many options to get the perfect island for your kitchen even on a budget. The best place to start is by updating what you already have. You can add trim, plywood, planks, corbels, or other details to give your current island a totally updated look.

If you don’t have an island, the easiest option is to find an existing piece of furniture you can update. Try repurposing an old piece of furniture using some of the ideas in this post.

Finally, you can either build a kitchen island from scratch using some of the DIY plans from above or purchase premade cabinet bases. Secure them to the ground, paint or stain them to your liking, and add a nice countertop.

All of these options will give you more storage space, room to prep meals, and a place to gather around.

What can I repurpose to make a kitchen island?

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to make your own custom kitchen island is to update a piece of vintage furniture. Get creative! With a little paint and a new or salvaged counter, you can make almost anything into a kitchen island!

  • Vintage dressers
  • Old sideboards or buffet tables
  • Antique washbasins
  • Old bookcases
  • Vintage desks
  • Old tables
  • Cabinets
  • Shelving
  • An old butcher’s block
  • Fling cabinets
  • Old pallet wood
  • Salvaged floorboards

Get inspired to transform your kitchen

If you’re still trying to nail down your style or need a little more inspiration, visit these posts.

The heart of most modern kitchens is the kitchen island. We hope you found everything you needed to design the kitchen of your dreams with these DIY kitchen islands ideas! Be sure to share your before and after shots with us.

27 Diy Kitchen Island Ideas To Update Your Kitchen On A Budget Remodelaholic

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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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