How to build a kitchen peninsula with IKEA

how to build a kitchen peninsula

Add a kitchen peninsula or kitchen island is one of the best ways to add storage space and counter space to the kitchen. Depending on the layout of the kitchen you can opt to have an island or a peninsula.

A peninsula may work in smaller spaces where there isn’t room for an island. It’s also a good choice for an open plan kitchen, demarcating the space between the kitchen and dining room or living room.

What’s the difference between a kitchen island and peninsula?

A kitchen island is usually an individual unit detached from other kitchen cabinets. Whereas a kitchen peninsula (though it may also be popularly referred to as an island) is attached to the kitchen base cabinets or wall on one end.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s see how we can build a kitchen peninsula with IKEA furniture.

Use a Kallax shelving unit

how to build a DIY kitchen peninsula with IKEA KALLAX.

We needed a kitchen island that matched my existing kitchen, with drawer and cupboard access on both sides. Our plan was to hack an IKEA KALLAX unit to complete our L-shaped kitchen layout. It was relatively easy with no major hacking.

IKEA item used:

Other materials and tools: 

We built a kitchen peninsula with IKEA KALLAX: Here’s how

1. Put together a KALLAX unit and attach legs to the KALLAX. We used 6 legs for the 2×4 IKEA KALLAX unit.

(Tip: Measure the height of your existing cabinetry and get furniture legs that lift the KALLAX + countertop to about the same height as your kitchen worktop. We used 4″ tapered legs.)

IKEA KALLAX DIY kitchen peninsula with drawer storage

2. Flip the KALLAX unit over to stand on the legs. Now, attach the countertop to the surface of the KALLAX unit. (I used Gorilla Glue to fix the butcher block to the KALLAX.)

IKEA KALLAX DIY kitchen peninsula matches kitchen base cabinet height

Install KALLAX drawers and KALLAX doors inserts. Move the KALLAX into position next to kitchen cabinets.

IKEA KALLAX DIY kitchen peninsula with drawer storage

To cover up the backs of the KALLAX drawer inserts, we pasted wallpaper/ decals onto the squares. Lastly, we added ceramic knobs to the drawer fronts.

And our L-shaped kitchen peninsula is done. It has provided additional storage space and counter space to our kitchen.

The project costs us $841 + tax.

Watch out for the KALLAX door inserts. They are kind of impossible to install evenly!

~ by Julia K

IKEA HEMNES sideboard to DIY kitchen peninsula

IKEA HEMNES kitchen peninsula in green with bar seating

The IKEA HEMNES sideboard was chipped and looking shabby after an international move. At the same time, our kitchen table and chairs were equally shabby. So we replaced them with this IKEA HEMNES kitchen peninsula hack and countertop stools.


IKEA HEMNES sideboard
  • IKEA HEMNES sideboard (bought pre-loved, approx 50 USD)
  • Paint and varnish (approx 10 USD)
  • Custom made stained wood top (approx 100 USD)
  • Sandpaper 


First, we sanded the assembled HEMNES sideboard. Then, painted it with several coats of Jotun Silk Sea Emerald.

I painted three coats of emulsion and a two coats of varnish over 3 days, letting the paint fully dry before the varnish.

Once I got the custom-made stained worktop I placed it on top of the HEMNES sideboard, adjusting the overhang to where I want it to be.

Then, drilled four screws from under the top of the HEMNES sideboard into the wood of the worktop. We drilled at each corner of the HEMNES, from beneath.

overhang for countertop screwed in from below

The countertop is very heavy and doesn’t move when placed on the HEMNES. But as a precaution, (I have kids), I screwed it in because I didn’t want it to tip.

The worktop measures 160cm x 75cm. The countertop overhangs on one side more than the other so the drawers can be accessed.

Lastly, we moved the the HEMNES peninsula into position And that was it.

side view of kitchen peninsula island hack


The colour.

I think I will get the bar stool tops replaced with the same wood as the counter top.


Seal every part with varnish since it is being used in a kitchen/wet area.


I would have made the top slightly wider — it is now 75cm × 160cm.

~ by Bridgee Dunn 

Peninsular kitchen integrated with dishwasher

IKEA KALLAX peninsula kitchen island hack integrated with kitchen appliance

So.. my kitchen design was kinda dull. And I had no space for a dishwasher and had a lack of cabinet-space, so I decided to build a “peninsula” to close up the kitchen area and make some space for the dishwasher.

I was thinking long and hard on how to do this in a stylish and creative way to match the rest of the apartment without messing with the “feng shui” …

Then it hit me like a bullet from a fine tuned hunting rifle. KALLAX from our beloved IKEA.

So I ran the idea by my girlfriend, which also love the KALLAX series from IKEA. The idea was simple, but it took some know-how and handyman skills to pull it off. Not be mistaken, this is a piece of furniture you can’t move, obviously, because of the dishwasher cabinet that is integrated with the peninsula.

What I needed was:

  • KALLAX 2X4 shelf-unit
  • A countertop from IKEA (I chose EKBACKEN two sided countertop cause of the design and part wise the cost)
  • Silicone – black
  • Some different sized screws
  • IKEA kitchen cover panel
  • KALLAX inserts with door
  • Some door knobs from a hardware store
  • 1 large pine oil coated 3mmx24cmx120cm
  • Some two-by-four inch construction  wood

So I started with building a base from the 2×4 inch wood to lift the KALLAX unit to the same height as the dishwasher cabinet.

painting the KALLAX unit grey

Then I painted the unit in the same color as the kitchen. This color was chosen by my girlfriend when we renovated the apartment, H08 oxidized gray. I also closed up the back of the KALLAX unit.

Preparing the supports for the countertop

Then the a-bit-more-complicated work starts. Finding the perfect place for the unit, measuring-moving-and measuring again till I got it where I wanted it. This took some back and forth to get good clearance for the countertop and the dishwasher.

Once that was done, I installed the KALLAX inserts with doors. It was easy as always with the clever IKEA solutions.

kitchen peninsula island integrated with appliance, dishwasher

Then I installed some brackets on the wall for the oil-plate to get attached to. I fitted brackets on the wall and on the side panel for the countertop to rest on.

I had some issues with a socket and had to move it and also make a new circuit for the new socket on the counter-top. Because of this I lost one of the KALLAX shelves to cabling.

Now the rest was straight forward. After aligning the KALLAX with the dishwasher cabinet and setting up all the brackets, I mounted the countertop on top. And screwed it down. Then I masked and painted the rest of the unit. I cut some toe kick molding and attached them. Then I silicone where it was needed.

The final result of our IKEA kitchen peninsula hack

Now all we need are some bar stools and we’ll have ourselves a breakfast bar.

~ by Krene

Need more hacks and ideas for kitchen islands?