New Kitchen Eating Area: The Plans

I know it has been a little quiet around here recently but I busted out the good old blog planner today and started planning out some great projects.  Hopefully that will get us back on track!

So why not get the ball rolling with one of the biggest projects we’d like to tackle: our lack of counter space and storage in the kitchen. Walker and I love to cook but all the prep work has to be done from the kitchen table, since we have practically no counter space (and the space we do have is mostly used and very inconvenient for cooking).We have tossed ideas around about using a kitchen island on the wall between the door and kitchen table.  Right now I have a leftover bookshelf to use for additional storage but it is in no way a good use of the space.

However, all of the kitchen islands we have seen are either too small (like our microwave cart- shown above) or too long (and crowd the kitchen table) and they all cost a fortune. So then we started talking about perhaps running a counter along the entire length of that wall and building in an eating area under the window with stools underneath. Here is the only image I was able to find that was similar to our idea:

Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

We would aim to make ours a little roomier but we love the concept! When we didn’t need the space for a table, it could be a giant 8 foot counter! WOOOO! That is 200% more than we already have.

The big question now is: How do we achieve this idea without spending a fortune or doing anything too “permanent” to our rental? Enter Ana White. I have become recently obsessed with her amazing website and was able to find free building plans for a kitchen islandthat I feel comfortable modifying for our needs.

Photo Source: Ana White via Domestic Jenny

This is a beautiful kitchen island that is fairly simple to make (famous last words…) and would only require minor modifications in order to fit our space.  By shortening the piece as a whole, lengthening the tabletop, and adding a third pair of legs under the extended tabletop (and maybe a few brackets to the wall), we can create the idea we are aiming for. I drew up a rough (very rough haha!) plan sans measurements (because this genius lost her measuring tape…) in order for you to visualize what I am poorly explaining.

We like this approach because it gives us what we need (storage and counter space) while remaining fairly temporary. Even if we move in a couple years, we can always cut the extended tabletop back and have a good old-fashioned kitchen island like in the original plans. We’ve also talked about adding shelves to the right side as well instead of just a set of legs depending on the final measurements (because my drawing above is quite squished!).

Once I can get my hands on a measuring tape, I will happily build out a more solid plan with measurements and expected costs. In the meantime, I would love your input! What do you think of this small space solution? Are you afraid of the idea of me building furniture? You should be… ;)

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15 Responses to "New Kitchen Eating Area: The Plans"

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  1. Melanie

    November 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    So excited about this!

    • Erika

      November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Haha me toooooo! We are going to cook a celebratory feast once this is built! :)

  2. Christine @ Casa-de-Christine

    November 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This is a great idea for your space!! I planned out a bunch of posts for almost a month awhile ago and it kind of helped- haha. I usually try to plan my posts for the week over the weekend so I have an idea of what I need to accomplish. Sometimes it works… sometimes not so much.

    • Erika

      November 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Christine!

      Yeah same here! But I find that when I don’t plan, I don’t miraculously come up with ideas and get posts done. So it is good to at least have a structure, even if I don’t quite stick to it 100%. So fingers crossed. ;)

  3. Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno

    November 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Love this idea!! I think it’ll be just what you need! :)

    • Erika

      November 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks so much Gabbi and welcome!

      I love your blog! I have added it to my reader :)

  4. Maria @ Redecorate Blog

    November 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I think this idea is AWESOME! Like, this has to happen. See? That’s why you’re going to be an amazing interior designer — I don’t think I would have thought to do it that way, but that is genius! And you totally can build this bad boy, my friend. I know it! ;-)

    • Erika

      November 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much Maria! And thank you for the vote of confidence on both accounts! You are so sweet! xoxo :)

  5. Mom

    November 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    You can get pre-made counters at Home Depot or lowes. Great idea!

    • Erika

      November 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks Mom! Great idea… I’ll have to check if they make them long enough! :)

  6. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    November 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Love me some Ana White! I actually just got her book recently and we are using her plans to build our new dining room table!

    • Erika

      November 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Ahhhh yes! I saw the picture of the progress on twitter! So awesome!! I can’t wait to see how it turns out! :)

  7. Ryan Sandford

    November 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I really enjoyed this topic! I helped my mum in creating our kitchen, it has kind of same layout with the stools! We live right next to the beach so we have a gorgeous view of the waves and sand, it is officially my favourite place to sit haha, the rest of your place is amazing! Thanks for sharing :) -Ryan

    • Ryan Sandford

      November 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Sorry was meant to say “the rest of your place will look amazing” haha, haven’t quite woken up yet.

      • Erika

        November 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

        Haha I feel your pain… I never allow myself to comment on people’s blogs until after my first cup of coffee! ;)

        That sounds AMAZING! I wish my kitchen looked out over the beach! But at least I can watch the dog in the yard… almost as cool?


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