I acquired this desk through a friend and I just knew it was asking to be special (and for those raised eyebrows, no-I don’t hear voices- but the furniture does have a way of communicating with you if you are willing to listen).
The desk is very heavy and extremely well-constructed. What better transformation than to a kitchen island? It provides plenty of storage and is just the right size.
I got to work by removing the desktop. As I needed a sturdy base, I just reattached it to the bottom. From there I needed to raise the height of the desk to be standard counter height. I achieved this by building a platform under the desktop (which is now the bottom) and adding large locking wheels.
I decided that instead of keeping all of the drawers, I would open up the space of three of the drawers to create a cabinet space for a pull-out garbage can. An old cabinet door from a different project turned out to be the perfect size.
Now I just needed to build a new top. I planed and attached the boards together to provide enough overhang for a seat or highchair.
To create a little texture and interest on the sides and back, I spaced and applied 1/4″ plywood to create a paneled effect.
The top was stained deep gray and sanded back a bit for a distressed look. I applied several coats of polycrylic for durability. Finally, the body of the island got a coat of creamy off-white paint, while the base and drawer fronts were painted charcoal gray.
I added useful details like a custom knife block inside one of the drawers, hooks on the side for towels and potholders, and a bottle opener.
All it takes is a little vision and a tuned-in ear to convert a desk into a mobile island that provides plenty of extra storage and counter space.