|Wow...Nice legs...or are they?|
I have a lovely farmhouse island in my kitchen. It is the most useful and utilized piece of furniture in my home. While there is another table in the kitchen and a full desk area as well, that island is the place where my family eats most meals, prepares food, makes Christmas cookies, decorates Easter eggs, carves pumpkins, plays games, does homework and gathers for conversation.
It is the physical and emotional center of the kitchen and a beautiful, decorative focal point as well ~ the perfect combination of form and function.
Of course we cheated our way to this fabulous look. How you ask?
We faked the legs.
You see, this piece didn't start its furniture life out as an island.
Many years ago, I worked at Pottery Barn and with my stellar employee discount I was able to get a farmhouse table for next to nothing (almost free ~ really!!). The table was returned and supposedly damaged, although I have never seen any imperfections. We used it for years in our first house, but when we moved, I wanted a round table and my lovely farmhouse (almost) freebie was retired to the basement.
When our kitchen renovation was complete, the space was clearly missing an island, so I started shopping, but couldn't find one to suit my taste and my budget. Then I remembered my table.
We brought it back upstairs, as the style was perfect, but obviously the height was all wrong. We figured if we replaced the legs with longer ones, we would have a fabulous island.
We looked for furniture legs online and in stores, but again, they were very pricey and very ornate.
So we cheated!
One day while shopping in Home Depot, we walked by the stair balusters (newel posts) and realized that if we turned them upside down, they looked exactly like furniture legs.
Even better, they were cheap, came in a variety of sizes and had the simple style we desired.
We cut them to the proper height, notched them so that the bracket from the old legs would fit, stained them to match the table and we had an island!
The table is pine and the balusters are oak, but you would never know. To make the piece a little more functional, we picked up some cheap wooden towel bars and screwed them into the table. They came prefinished and the stain was a perfect match.
I had one red Pottery Barn barstool from the discount days, I picked up the second one at the outlet. The two backless stools are from Bed, Bath and Beyond, $30.00 for both, I had a coupon (of course).
To buy a solid wood, farmhouse style island would've cost me hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars, for a fraction of the price I was able to convert my old table into a really great piece, that actually still has my kids' carvings in it...something I couldn't pay for anyway!
It's been a few years since this project was tackled and honestly, the table is in desperate need of a refinish. We are hoping to get that done this spring/ summer...although I still want to keep the kids' artwork intact!
We liked the look so much that we returned the legs that came with the desk, from the cabinet company, and used the balusters there as well. We turned them upside down again, painted them to match the cabinets and voila, custom furniture legs!
So if you're looking for a rustic farmhouse workspace, don't pass up that yard sale table. It could be the kitchen island of your dreams.
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