This hack installs shelves on the seating side of the island.
Why? I don’t like sitting on barstools and I need storage.
(BTW – it looks like IKEA may be planning to discontinue the Stenstorp soon.)
The Ekby shelves (large size) fit almost perfectly, just need to cut notches in the corners. The bottom one can rest on the frame without additional support. The upper shelf is supported with a strip of wood screwed to the back of the inside wall, and 2 small angle brackets screwed to the inside of the legs. For greater strength you could run an aluminum angle bar from leg to leg across the front.
Ekby comes in several materials – one is laminate-covered particle board, Hemnes is solid pine that comes in a white or clear stain. The white is fairly close to the Stenstorp white. I painted mine but I’m thinking about stripping the paint and staining them to match the Stenstorp top.
Also, the seating side of the island doesn’t have a wood rail under the edge of the counter like the other 3 sides do, so I cut one from scrap wood and painted it to match. It fits between the legs and is attached from behind with splints.