In my last post, Anything Can Happen, I briefly shared my adventures of April, and the
chaos blessing of moving into a new place. We have been getting settled in, organizing rooms, and arranging furnishings to our comfort. While the kitchen is a bit smaller, and food, dishes and utensils are in place, there was still something the kitchen needed to make it complete, without overcrowding the available space.
The previous town-home had a large eat-in kitchen where our dining table fit completely in the other half of the kitchen without interrupting the overall flow. Having a separate dining room in this home, we put our dining table complete with its extra leaf, where everyone can sit comfortably especially for larger dinner meals, as it felt appropriate. But doing so left us with space in the eat-in kitchen area that could accommodate a small table, island, nook or something useable.
So I browsed online for ideas, lots of times being redirected to Pinterest which shared so many awesome DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. That only brought out my desire to release my inner DIY-er and search for the materials necessary to make the kitchen furnishing our own, in every sense.
Knowing our interest in having something nice without wanting to spend a fortune, we decided we would trek to Goodwill to see what awesome finds awaited us. Sure enough we came across a few (3) basic bar stools that we knew we could use. Having five children there’s always a need for extra seating, especially when we have guests. The stools didn’t have price stickers on them and our primary hunt was for a table or desk that could be modified into a kitchen island/breakfast nook. So we waited on asking the price and wandered over to the area next door where they usually hold the larger furnishings. Sure enough as soon as we walked in there was a table that caught our attention, but it was sold. 🙁 However, as we glanced up, right next to us was a sturdy really nice looking desk. Right away I said, “That’s the one”.
One of the things that appealed to me was its sturdy design, unique textured top, and the drawer linings that had a newsprint appearance.
Again, this item had no price sticker on it, so my husband kindly asked an employee how much the desk was. She looked at it, slightly lifted it “checking for weight”, and said $12.97. My husband and I looked at each other, I smiled and he replied “deal”. So we loaded it up into the back of the van, where it easily fit with the back seat folded down. We walked back over to the side of the store we first walked into and this time made it a point to ask about the price of the bar stools. We both agreed we would pay no more than $10 for all three. The cashier called the manager. When the manager came out, she said “$2.97. Each.” Score!
We grabbed a nice little glass table while we were at it: $4.97. We figured it could be used in the living room.
After a quick stop at The Home Depot for a few paint samples, we got home and got to work. We chose a dark brown for the legs to match the table top and we planned on lightening the wooden part of the table to match the tops of the bar stools but plans changed as we started painting.
I prepped my stool by sanding a bit first, because I wanted to dull the gloss that was already on the white-painted legs. I wanted to be sure the paint would adhere.
Painting the white legs darker proved to be a bit more challenging than I expected. The white clearly showed through.
After completing the first coat, we went over with a second coat and were pleased with the results.
We took the last stool and simply sponged the legs with the lighter color that we chose initially for the top of the desk. The sponging process seemed to go a lot faster than painting the legs darker. Maybe it’s because the legs were already light and the paint blended more easily. Either way, we were simply trying to finish the project and have the chairs dried and ready to use.
We were quite impressed with the finished product. And the day’s events were certainly enough to keep us busy for a Sunday. We were productive and accomplished half our project. We would stop there. Little did we know Monday would hold new adventures for us.
Hubby was off Monday and although we wanted to lounge and relax, we headed to The Home Depot. It’s probably been the 32nd time in the past two weeks, no kidding. My idea was to add a drop leaf to the desk so it could be used as a table when necessary, but dropped to save space. I looked up how-to articles online and it seemed pretty do-able. We also noticed the stools could not fit underneath. So the idea of adding wheels for a little lift and mobility seemed reasonable.
We found the necessary hardware for the drop leaf support (hinges, etc). However, when it came down to choosing the wood and then sizing it, the guy said my measurement seemed too large, which I measured at least twice, so I decided that was a project best saved for another day.
We settled with adding wheels, so we purchased three two-packs. We also picked up a pack of drill bits (approx. $10) and a newer drill (approx $30). We figured it would be necessary for upcoming projects as well, so might as well have it now.
Now the fun was to begin. With the table flipped onto its top, we marked where we would put the wheels and my husband drilled 1/2 inch holes about 1 3/4″ deep.
With wheels in place, and the addition of a paper towel holder to one side, our thrifty desk became an island! The drawers will be perfect for holding extra dish cloths, dish towels and other kitchen necessities.
The colorful dishware was a Dollar Tree purchase that adds instant Spring vibrancy to our kitchen. And it matches the neutral brown nicely.
So although I didn’t get to add the drop leaf (yet) I am still very happy with our project outcome, and the completeness of our kitchen.
From desk ($12.97) to kitchen island by simply adding wheels (3@$3.49/each) and towel holder (we already had), and stools (3@$2.97/each) for the LOW price of $32.35! That was definitely more worth it than the $100+ mini kitchen carts I’ve seen in several places.
Spending time with my husband creating memories while working on our first joint DIY furniture refurbishing: PRiCELESS. 😉 I look forward to many more DIY projects as we continue to seek feasible ways to decorate and organize our humble home.
Have you converted any furniture items to personalize your home?