Kitchen Island with drawers: An IKEA HEMNES hack

It’s hard to find a kitchen island with drawers vs. some random wine rack and open shelves.

So it was time to get creative and make my own.  After digging around on Etsy for what seemed like a million years I still couldn’t find one that provided enough storage.

And …

Was also small enough to fit into the limited space I’d have once my kitchen was renovated.  So, enter the HEMNES dresser. And out came my kitchen island with drawers (and on wheels too)!

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Kitchen island with drawers: Getting the wheels on

First order of business was to do some measurements.

Because I was using the dresser in the kitchen, it needed to be adjusted to accommodate wheels and a different counter top.

I wanted to use stainless steel for the top as it would be durable and would match some of the decor in the kitchen re-design.

So after finding some cool iron wheels, and measuring the thickness of the counter top I cut 4 inches off each leg. That leaves the finished height equalling 36″ which is a standard height for a kitchen counter. (FYI, I also got the countertop from IKEA – the SANFRID)

Kitchen island with drawers: Reinforcing the drawers

Then I put the drawers together.  This was a two-step process:

1. As anyone who has used IKEA dressers before, you know the bottom of the drawers don’t exactly stay put. Especially once they are loaded up with items. So the first order of business in putting together the drawers was to secure the bottoms.

I started off using some hinges but it didn’t really work so I decided to Liquid Nail around the edges of each drawer. Both inside and out. That way the bottom would not fall out.

Keep in mind I have never intended to place heavy items in the drawers. It works perfectly for plastics, textiles and utensils.

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

2. I didn’t want the regular knobs/pulls that come with the HEMNES dresser so I went to Lee Valley and ordered these wide, forged steel pulls.

That would make the drawers more accessible and give the island a more substantial look.

I had to drill one extra hole for each pull. But as you can see, it really turned out well and makes all the difference in the look of the island.

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Kitchen island with drawers: Installing the top

Then, the stainless steel counter was added to the top.

I personally didn’t install this. My carpenter did so I can’t give you any tips as to how they mounted it.

But, if I was going to do it I would have used a combination of screws and some type of commercial glue (Liquid Nails or PL3000) that was effective for metal applications.

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Kitchen island with drawers: Covering the back

Once the counter was on I needed to deal with the back of the dresser.

Obviously these are normally up against a wall and never seen. But as a kitchen island, all angles of the dresser had to be addressed.

I used the product Stikwood to cover my custom range hood and had some of the weathered wood left over.

To match the design of the range hood and the colour of the steel countertop, I decided to use the left over wood to cover the back of the island.

The product is super easy to use. It goes on with sticky strips on the back. I also used more Liquid Nails, just for good measure.

I decided to leave the red strips on the ends exposed. But if after looking at it for a few weeks I decide I don’t like it, I still have more wood left over to cover that part up.

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

The finished kitchen island with drawers

I’m VERY happy with how this kitchen island with drawers turned out.  It provides tons of space for the kitchen and looks really cool too.

The kitchen is not quite finished but once it is I can see this island fitting in very nicely.

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers

Hemnes Kitchen Island with drawers