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DIY Tales: From Dining Room Set to a Dining Storage Island

By Redo It Yourself Inspirations on Nov 14, 2013

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We had a small kitchen island that functioned more for storage than anything else. It was not high enough for sitting and dining at, nor large enough. I was on an online search for ideas of islands made of furniture makeovers. Most I found were dressers or desks. I scanned garage sales, thrift shops and Craigslist for something that would work. Some desks and dressers needed more materials and money than I wanted to put into it, and some just were not going to cut it no matter what I did with them. Then I turned to used cabinets. I found a few I could put together, but I would need a counter-top too. Forget granite; it was too expensive. Building store counter tops are not as wide as I needed, nor did I want to put two side by side. So I looked around for used tables just to use the top. I stumbled on a vintage pine dining room set for sale locally on Craigslist... hmmm... I can do something with this!

I kept in mind that I would most likely need to raise the buffet section with legs and cut down the hutch to meet the height of the buffet. As I broke down the hutch, I removed the top, and molding trim, and lighting. I gave the 2 sections a dry run put together, back to back to start organizing my dimensions to even out the height when I discovered, I really like the top of the buffet. It would be shame to cover it. So why not keep it as a shelf and the table top would be over it? Bonus! An extra shelf! So all I needed to buy were 8 short wide feet for both pieces. I had extra knobs from my kitchen cabinet renovation. I literally had a few pieces of scrap from doing this, most of the work was done, it was just a matter of assembling differently.

The project went fast, and very easy. This baby is big! We love it. It not only gives tons of storage but it sits four stools comfortably and still lots of table top area for buffet service. I turned it from along the counter top and cabinets to the other side of the kitchen, creating a room divider. Now the eat in kitchen area where our table and chairs are, feels like a cozy nook.


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Dining room set for sale on Craigslist. It was my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me :)


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Dry run put together, just to see how it will go.


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Center door on buffet was non-functional. I removed it to replace it with hinges and door catch.


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Top molding trim was removed first.


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I removed the top of the hutch and then the display light and set aside. The center door on hutch was not functioning. I removed the glass insert first before prying it off. It was glued and stapled.


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The back of the hutch needed to be cut down to be level with the front/face. I trimmed off about 3". Then I relocated the display lamp onto the inside of the cabinet area on the back wall.


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Then, I drilled pilot holes and screwed in feet in each corner of both pieces. Then attached the hutch to the buffet, making it one unit.


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I trimmed to size and attached the original top from the hutch unit to cover the back of the exposed hutch to finish it off.


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I removed the old hardware and put on what I had leftover from our kitchen cabinets.


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I added hinges on the now functional doors. I cut the original trim molding to size and attached it to trim off the glass side of the hutch to serve as a "bumper" against chairs. ( and to hide the old style of the cabinet) Finally, adding the table top over the entire unit and placing it so that the buffet is even with it and the hang over was enough for the stools. The table top has two 12" leaf extensions, but I used one at the wall side. That extra 12" was enough to slide our wine/beverage rack in the front and the vegetable bin on the buffet side.

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We are quite happy with it!

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