Kitchen islands are a great help in the kitchen. They give you an extra surface for food prep, serve as additional storage space, and can even be used instead of a dining table. However, they can also be pretty costly, their price reaching up to a few thousand dollars.
To avoid unnecessary vast expenses, here are some of the most interesting kitchen island ideas on a budget that’ll save you a lot of money and make your kitchen look breathtaking.
Let’s dive in.
A Kitchen Island With Open Shelving
Owning a large kitchen island with doors and drawers where you can store all your not-so-good-looking kitchen pots, pans, and tools is perfect. However, such an island will likely cost you an arm and a leg.
Choosing to get a kitchen island with open shelves is an excellent alternative. They can save you tons of money while still looking very beautiful. You’ll just have to put your bulkier kitchen items behind the other cabinet doors to maintain a clean look.
A DIY Kitchen Island With Seating
If you’re not a stranger to DIY-ing furniture, making your own dream kitchen island might be the right solution for you.
This way, you’ll be able to save much on various additional costs. You’ll only have to buy materials (or reuse/repurpose those you already own), which don’t necessarily need to be too expensive.
If you’re dreaming about marble, granite, or Corian countertop but simply can’t afford it, you can always opt for faux marble.
Choosing a smaller piece of furniture (e.g., a practical kitchen cart) as a kitchen island alternative is one of the best small kitchen island ideas for those on a budget and those who don’t have much space at their disposal.
Such pieces of furniture can give you some extra space (though not tons) for meal prep and storage. For example, here you can keep your favorite juicer and other smaller appliances or dishes. This type of kitchen island will save you lots of space while allowing you to freely move around your kitchen.
Use a Tall Table as a Kitchen Island
Many different pieces of furniture can serve as a kitchen island, and a tall table is an excellent alternative!
So, all you have to do is get a table with tall legs, add some chairs or bar stools, and voila! You’ve got yourself a practical seating kitchen island on a budget that you can prep your meals and dine on.
The only disadvantage is the lack of storage space, but it’s a small price to pay for all the money you’ll save.
Thrift and Restore
If you’re determined to get an actual kitchen island without spending a lot of money, garage sales and thrift shops are definitely the places you should check out.
Look for a wooden kitchen island with a well-preserved countertop since those are the simplest to restore. Also, make sure its style and size fit the pieces you already have in your kitchen.
Once you get the pre-loved island to its new home, you can simply sand it and paint it the desired color, and that’s it — you’ve got yourself a new kitchen island! Additionally, you could change hardware to make sure it fits the design of your kitchen perfectly.
Extend One of the Cabinet Countertops
If you have a U-shaped kitchen, you can simply expand one of your cabinet countertops to get an inexpensive kitchen island with seating.
Although it won’t actually be completely separate from other kitchen elements, your (non-)island will still serve the same purpose as a regular kitchen island.
Choose a cabinet with the most space around it and replace its regular-sized countertop with a much longer one. You’ll be able to use the extra counter space for food preparation, dining, or even as a bar.
Get a Kitchen Cart
If you’ve always dreamed of getting a portable island but couldn’t afford it, a large kitchen cart can be an excellent substitute.
They also have wheels so you can move them around, offer a decent amount of storage space, and can serve as a nifty food prep surface. All this for a fraction of the actual kitchen island’s price, so it’s definitely an excellent portable kitchen island for those on a budget.
Repurpose Your Kitchen Cabinets
Using cabinets as a kitchen island is a genius idea for those on a budget. Cabinets are generally more affordable than islands, won’t clash with the rest of your kitchen furniture, and will provide tons of storage space.
You can even use a dresser instead of a kitchen island after certain adjustments (just make sure it matches the style of your kitchen).
Create a Butcher Block Island
Here are some more unconventional kitchen island countertop ideas for those on a budget.
If you want a truly inexpensive but high-end-looking kitchen island, get a butcher block, add some legs, and you’re all set. You can even install shelves underneath for extra storage and the authentic kitchen island look.
If you aren’t a fan of butcher blocks, you can use any wood slab instead and get more or less the same results. Wood is significantly less expensive than marble or granite but still looks high-end and luxurious.
What’s more, statistics show that butcher block countertops can increase your overall home value!
Save and Repair
If you have an old, worn-out kitchen island you’re bored with, you don’t necessarily have to replace it. Restoring what you already have can go a long way.
You’ll be surprised how good your old island can look revamped. Making small alterations is one of the best kitchen island ideas for those on a budget, as it’ll cost much less than getting a new island and look just as good.
So, just add a new countertop, some fresh paint, and replace hardware, and the once dilapidated kitchen island will look as good as new.
As you can see, getting an excellent but inexpensive kitchen island isn’t impossible. All you have to do is experiment with different types of furniture or do a bit of DIY-ing, and you’ll undoubtedly be satisfied with the results.
Is it cheaper to build your own kitchen island?
It’s generally much cheaper to build your own kitchen island than to buy one or order one to be made for you. You can save on materials (by opting for less expensive options or using what you already have), and you won’t have to pay a professional to do all the work.
What can I use as a kitchen island?
Many things can serve as a kitchen island alternative.
For example, you can use:
- A tall table
- A dresser
- A kitchen cart, etc.
How much is a simple kitchen island?
The price largely depends on the materials used, size, and additional features. A simple kitchen island can cost you as little as $100 (but bear in mind that islands like these are extremely small and typically made of low-quality materials).
The average price of kitchen islands ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.
Does having a kitchen island add value?
Yes, a kitchen island can add value to your home.
Additionally, it can make your kitchen look more luxurious and cozy, which most buyers prefer. And you can get it for cheap — just follow our kitchen island ideas on a budget.