A Clever Island With Drawers
This slick storage solution is a small-kitchen space saver.
Synopsis: In this article, Joseph B. Lanza shares his design for a kitchen island in a carriage house he recently renovated. The upstairs is dominated by the kitchen, so to make it as efficient a space as possible, Lanza designed an island with drawers that allow it to be used as workspace as well as a food-prep and eating area. Not wanting to include table-style legs on the island, he had to figure out how otherwise to support the drawers. His solution was to build two plywood base cabinets with substantial tops and backs to support a frame of 5/4 poplar glued and screwed together and skinned with a piece of 1/2-in. birch plywood. This structure was strong enough to support the 6/4 maple countertop and the drawers. An exploded drawing shows how the pieces fit together and how Lanza fastened the island to the floor.
I recently renovated a carriage house that was to be used for entertaining or for extended stays from my clients’ family. On the upper level, more than half of the 20-ft. by 24-ft. space was taken up by the kitchen. To make the kitchen efficient, the clients and I wanted the island to be a space for working as well as for gathering and eating.
A few issues came up as I designed the rest of the kitchen. For example, positioning the sink and the major appliances along the outside wall wouldn’t leave much space for storage. To have room for seating, the island needed an overhanging counter on three sides, which left room for only two base cabinets. I knew that the big overhang would create space for drawers below the top, a detail seen on many tables. Table-style legs on an island of this size, though, would look bulky and would interfere with seating.…