DIY, Homemaking, minimalism

I Ripped Out My Kitchen Island: Adventures in Minimalism

Maybe you have a kitchen island and you love it and can’t imagine life without it. I, however, HATED mine. Our house is a little quirky and I think the layout is odd. Nonetheless, it’s our house and I love our house. God provided our house to us in an amazing way. But the kitchen island HAD to go. I wanted to rip it out from day one, but my hubby was hesitant. He thought we just needed to do a better job keeping it clean, but no I wanted it gone SO bad. It was awkward to walk around from entering the house through the garage and it created a lot of wasted wall space.

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Island before we took it out
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Cluttery pic!

I happened upon a dining room set for sale in my towns online garage sale site. It was a huge old world styled table with hideously large chairs and a hutch that I fell in love with. The finish was quite 1980s with orange dark oak stain and black speckles. It was dark and pretty dated looking. But I felt the piece speak to me. I recently had gotten into DIY furniture upcycling and when I first saw this set I could feel my heart in the furniture and it was like it was asking me to paint it. Is that weird to feel that way about furniture? Maybe, but I went for it. I ended up buying the huge table with a leaf in the center that could fit up to 8 people and I bought the hutch for $300 total. In fact, to get the money I needed to buy it I went around my house selling random stuff and I got my $300. The furniture had been marketed to be sold for about 2 or 3 weeks and miraculously it waited for me until I had enough money.

Unfortunately, my kitchen island remained for much longer than I would have liked. So my new giant hutch and table was crammed into my small dining room for several months. It was pretty awkward for a while, not going to lie. My space was not big enough for this furniture. But I was committed now.

In another sweet provision from the Lord our laminate flooring had been peeling up, bubbling up and discoloring. We contacted the company who put the flooring in who  then checked with the manufacturer. There was no obvious cause environmentally for why our flooring was behaving so badly. We didn’t have a flood or a spill and it was very mysterious. So because they determined it was a manufacturing error in the product they were willing to let us pick a new floor and get it for free. We were floored! (Pun intended).

The only thing we needed to pay for was the install. When it came to that step, we decided to have a friend help us install it ourselves to that we could also save money on the install. So we got a new floor for free. Amazing! Because we were getting a new floor it definitely was the right time to rip out the island. The hutch would then go on the wall where the island used to jutt out from and we would have a more open kitchen and dining room with extra floor space.

Island Ripped Out
After the island got ripped out. Before the new floor went in and walls and trim were painted. Hutch and table in progress of being redone.
New Floor
My husband putting in the new floor
Dining Room/Kitchen Project
Old floor, island ripped out, walls/trim painted.
Flooring project
Before old floor taken out. After taking out the island and painting walls.
New floor!
After new floor was installed. Hutch almost done. Walls painted.

I was so excited to get rid of the island. It immediately felt bigger in the room. The island was just too big for the size of the kitchen in my opinion. Before ripping it out I had to declutter and purge like crazy though. This is when a minimalist mentality came through for me. I had a handful of odd kitchen gadgets I never used, I had an entire car trunks worth of food storage containers that I also didn’t need! I laid everything in the island onto the floor and decided to get rid of over half of it. I didn’t need all the tupperware, I only needed a few things. I also reorganized my upper cabinets a bit and purged a little bit of everything so that everything in my kitchen had a proper home. Half of my glass jars went into recycling. The broken or damaged things went into the trash. It felt so good! I couldn’t believe how much STUFF I actually had inside that island that I never ever used or needed.

I got these super cute wire baskets off amazon. All my kid dishes fit into one, and the food containers fit into the other. Both baskets fit perfectly into the lower cabinet of the hutch. One drawer is for adult silverware, the other drawer for kid utensils. The bottom drawers are for arts and crafts supplies and kitchen towels. The upper half of the hutch is dedicated to glassware, jars, and other frequently used things that I don’t necessarily want my kids having easy access to (like sharpies, tape, chalk for the chalk wall, and fine china).

Hutch Organization
Not super organized at the moment, but you get the idea!

Everything I needed and everything that I actually used fit into the hutch perfectly and that island is not missed at all. Seriously. We don’t miss the extra counter space because it was always so messy and full of junk that I rarely used it to prep food on. My kids can now run back and forth from the corner of the kitchen into the living room to get out their wiggles without having to worry about bumping their head on the corner of the island. We can host people and actually have space to walk around the table or stand in the kitchen to chat. The view of the kitchen from the couch in my living room is picturesque. I can sit on the couch and instead of seeing an ugly over cluttered island I see a beautiful hutch that I painted and restyled all by myself. The space is pleasing to be in and easier to take care of. The kids can go get their cereal bowl and spoon all by themselves and they can help me unload a lot of the dishwasher because they can reach where things go. We also bought some sleek industrial metal chairs off amazon to replace the bulky chairs the table came with. I LOVE these metal chairs!

Dining Room
Not the best quality picture, but here the floor is done and the hutch is in place

Kitchen

Painted hutch
Completed hutch.
Hutch
Completed hutch

So there ya have it. We are loving our reworked kitchen and dining space. I love my hutch and table. I love our new floor. I love not having that island. If you want a post dedicated to how I painted the furniture here and what I used let me know in the comments below!

*Here are a couple affiliate links to some items mentioned in this post in case you want to check them out. That means that if you click on the link and end up making a purchase I will make a small commission. This helps me in my goals to earn a little income from doing what I’m passionate about: blogging! Thanks for your support.

Metal Chairs: https://amzn.to/2pZ3K8S

Wire Storage Baskets: https://amzn.to/2InlBgk

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3 thoughts on “I Ripped Out My Kitchen Island: Adventures in Minimalism”

  1. You are brave to tear the island out! It looks great! I have a couple pieces that need a do-over. I’d love to learn how you remade your hutch.

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