Small Kitchen Island… Perfect!

I recently bought this “put it together” unit from Hayneedle.com to use in my now smaller kitchen. Instead of this wooden top, I ordered the stainless steel top. I’m not a handyman, but the whole unit came together in about an hour. They have detailed instructions, and all the parts & hardware (screws, etc.) are individually packaged and well labeled.

The only problem was a defect in one of the screw sockets. The socket was imbedded in a wooden cross piece, and meant for a hex screw to be tightened (affixing a side panel to the back brace. This socket came loose. I think it was either glued or perhaps tightly screwed into the wood (but not tight enough). But, by the time I saw this defect… putting on the counter top which is almost the last step in the whole process, I wasn’t going to take it apart and send it back unless it completely fell apart. Once I got the top on, and screwed into place, the whole unit seemed sturdy enough to satisfy me.

And, this was a perfect as I had hoped. How few things are;-) The storage space is plenty for all the pots & pans I had no place to store, but were sitting on a burner on my stove. The drawer isn’t deep, but was just enough to accommodate a plastic cutlery tray that has my stainless steel and wide enough to supply space for my corkscrew, vegetable peeler, and lime press, etc. *My new kitchen drawers were extremely narrow and wouldn’t fit a tea & table spoon, salad & dinner fork abreast. This unit does. Also, I lost the use of a magnetic (24″ wide) knife holder that I had on one of my walls near the stove in my old apartment because there was no wall space wide enough for it in my new apartment. However, I thought it might be possible, and it seems (if the screws don’t go too deep – and I can get shorter screws) easily accomplished to attach the knife holder at the top back of the counter top. The knife handles would stick up above the back edge of the cutting surface. The cart is about 32″ wide, so the holder looks almost like it was made for this unit. Well, if it had a black finish instead of being made of light oak wood…

I might also attach a hook on the towel rack side to hold a plastic cutting board that I have to good place to store, and it would make it easy to get to.

I can roll this unit against the stove or drawers beside the stove and easily get to the sink or refrigerator, or move it to the middle and get to the stove, or rotate it and work from the counter top and easily moving to my right to the stove.

ADDENDUM:

One of the maintenance men at my apartment complex, Roy, put the magnetic knife holder on my cart yesterday.  He pre-drilled the screw holes so that the wood would not split.  Roy did an excellent job, and here is how the knives look on the holder/cart now:

Knives on magnetic holder on kitchen island, from the workside.

Although, not ideal… ideal being having wall space near the stove/prep area to have the knives so that you can easily tell the blade sizes, this works well.

Knives on the magnetic holder on the island, from the back.

I have at least one knife (a boning knife) whose shape does not attach well to the magnetic knife holder.  I think some kind of non-magnetized bar across the length of the holder would be the extra security that would catch the knives if the magnetic holder fails (or they are jostled against a counter or something else).

Another idea is to have some kind of hook rack (on the inside of one of the cart doors) that I could hang various utensils (e.g. veg. peeler, melon ball scoop, zester, cheese slicer, measuring spoons, etc.).  Another idea is to have a bottle rack on the inside of a door to put less used spice bottles.  *Because the storage shelf is adjustable, it would be necessary to have either the hook rack, or the bottle rack to be adjustable also.  **I ended up using one side of the towel rack, and adding a dozen s-hooks.  The veggie peeler, cheese slicer, and some measuring cups fit easily on the s-hooks.

Cutlery in the kitchen island drawer.

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