Country Sampler Special Edition



Sometimes the major renovation you desire just isn't in the cards. Whether the roadblock is time, money, necessity or otherwise, your dream project isn't happening anytime soon.

When circumstan­ces keep you from going big, you can still make small changes to transform your surroundin­gs. Look for projects that aren’t a major time or money commitment but that will make a big visual impact or improve the functional­ity of your space. Even if your long-term goal is a whole new kitchen, focus in on a couple of elements to tackle right now. Think about refinishin­g only your island instead of all the cabinetry or installing inexpensiv­e wall shelves rather than building a stand-alone pantry. Sure, these types of projects aren’t easy or free, but you’ll get a great return on your investment. And in the process, you’ll learn new skills (even if it’s just managing a contractor). Plus, these small successes will give you the courage to take on the next project and the one after that. Before you know it, you might even have that totally renovated kitchen!


Kati Farrer at Houseful of Handmade says her original kitchen island was functional but boring. Instead, she wanted a custom furniture look that also solved the issue of a long counter overhang that children always seemed to run into. Kati found her solution in premade country table legs that were affordable and could reach counter height with a boost from a 1 x 6 board base. A couple coats of blue paint and new gold hardware, and her island was ready for action. Follow her instructio­ns to take on your own project:

STEP 1 Remove your island's doors and drawer fronts.

STEP 2 Sand the finish to prepare for painting and wipe away dust.

STEP 3 Paint the wood with a paintbrush and foam roller.

STEP 4 From 1 x 6 boards, cut pieces to build out each side of the island base. Use wood glue and a nail gun to attach them together.

STEP 5 Predrill holes in the assembled base pieces and attach the legs with wood glue and screws.

STEP 6 Measure and cut a board to trim the bottom of the island between the new base/leg pieces.

STEP 7 Apply two coats of blue paint to the new wood pieces (as well as doors and drawer fronts if you haven't painted them yet). Let dry.

STEP 8 Nail the base/leg pieces into place on the island and replace the doors and drawer fronts.

STEP 9 Install brass cup pulls on the drawers and brass knobs on the doors.

STEP 10 After the paint cures, finish with polycrylic, if desired.


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