Two Updates I’m Loving in the Kitchen

Well I think it’s safe to say that Colorado is really, really confused about what season it is right now. Since Friday we’ve seen snow, rain, and the weekend ended with 60 degree temps yesterday afternoon. Crazzzzzzzzzy! But I guess it’s pretty typical for this time of year—spring is always a rollercoaster in Colorado. Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind. Anyway, enough about the weather. Let’s talk about today’s post! It’s a fun one because I want to share two easy peasy updates I am loving in the kitchen. The first one is a simple little improvement to our kitchen island that has made it so much more useful and functional. And the second is an easy fix I did to cover up our old tile that I am honestly so tired of looking at. I’m also sharing an important lesson I was reminded of in the process of doing these two projects. Ok, let’s get started with the kitchen island. You might remember that our island was pretty simple, but full of character because it was made from reclaimed barn wood. We actually had it made for us about nine years ago after we moved into our first home, so it has lots of sentimental meaning. But it wasn’t exactly the most functional piece. I mean, there was zero storage space. None. Zilch. Nada. Here’s a shot of it in our kitchen from a few months ago:

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

See? No storage whatsoever. We talked about replacing it with something new, but since this island has so much sentimental value I really wanted to hang on to it. Plus it’s the perfect size for our kitchen, so I decided a little shelf would be a great fix. My sweet father-in-law was kind enough to whip one up for us and I took a couple photos so you could see how he did it.

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

He started by screwing these wide support beams to the legs on either side of the island. Then he simply cut out an insert that would sit directly on the beams. Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

BOOM. A little shelf in a matter of minutes. I added a coat of stain to match the top and that was it. A much more functional kitchen island in one step. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

Soooo much better, right?! This was a small change, but it’s totally transformed this island into a functioning part of our kitchen. And I know it may sound silly, but just having our plates so accessible has been a game changer. Whether it’s unloading the dishwasher or making lunch for the kids, I LOVE having a stack of plates on the island and ready to go. I never realized how convenient that would be! Ok, so that’s the update on our little island. Let’s move on to the simple way I hid our ugly kitchen tile, which you might have already spotted–an area rug!

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island with Small Shelf

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island

Now I realize it may seem a bit odd to put a 5×8 jute area rug in the kitchen, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this change. Like I mentioned earlier, I am not a fan of our tile. I actually hate it and I’m dying to replace it, but that’s probably not something we can do for a while. Soooooo this jute area rug was the PERFECT solution to hide the tile for now. I actually tried to do this little trick a few weeks ago with this area rug, but it was way to thin and it kept sliding around like crazy on the tile. I tried again with this jute rug and it worked so much better. This rug is heavier, so it doesn’t slide around as easily and it totally warms up this space. Plus I’ve had this one for a while so it didn’t cost a dime. And best of all, now you don’t notice the old, ugly tile quite as much. Yaaaay!

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Island with Small Shelf

I know these are simple little changes, but I think the lesson here is that sometimes you don’t have to make big, huge, expensive changes in your home to love it. It’s a good reminder that sometimes all you have to do is get a little creative and a little resourceful to work with what you already have–especially when you’re on a budget like most of us are. The island is such a good example of that. Sure, we could’ve bought something new and fancy, but this one is special to me and I love that we were able to change it up to make it work better in this space. And the rug too–it’s an easy fix that works perfectly until we can update our tile some day down the road when we’re ready to spend the money. Until then, this works just fine. Anyway, these changes were a really good reminder for me and I hope it inspires you to work with what you can and love the home you have. Because at the end of the day that’s all that really matters!

I’m so glad you stopped by the blog today!! Heres a few other posts you might like:

Painting Update & Lessons Learned

Something Exciting Happened!

Our New Living Room Light & Farmhouse Style Wood Chandeliers

Leave a Comment

26 Comments

  1. Jan wrote:

    Your island is adorable! What a perfect solution! It cute and so functional! The best combination! Rug is a perfect idea! Also looks amazing! Thanks for your always great ideas and amazing inspiration!

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Jan!! I love that little island–it’s been with us many years now. xo

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  2. Linda wrote:

    I so understand your feelings about the rug in your kitchen. My floors in my living room and dining room need to be replaced but not in my retirement budget right now. Invested in two area rugs and with most of floor covered they don’t bother me at all anymore. Previous blog helped me pick the rugs! Thank you.

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh great!! That sounds like the perfect fix and much more budget friendly. And I’m so glad that previous post helped you Linda!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  3. Alicia wrote:

    Sarah what a difference those two small changes make!! And I have that same tile in our kitchen & bathrooms-it drives me nuts..but I added a couple of jute rugs about a year ago & it doesn’t bother me as much!

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      It’s a great little fix, that’s for sure Alicia. Anything to distract from the flesh colored tile!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  4. Stephanie wrote:

    I’m so unobservant, I could kick myself. I’ve been loving on your island and the stack of colorful plates for awhile. Every time I’ve seen it in a post I always say to myself that is so cute, I just love the simple addition of color yet being very functional. I love when things are functional while also being cute. I also love your love for area rugs, and I want to start adding some to our apartment, just not sure where to start, but your post from the other day will definitely be a reference. Everything in the apartment is carpeted and I hate the carpet, so will area rugs transform our space the same way even though we don’t have hardwood floors?

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      haha yes I’ve had this done for a while but never got around to sharing it. Good eye Stephanie! And I totally think area rugs can work over carpet, just make sure they’re thinner and low pile–I think those work a bit better than thick rugs.

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  5. Jenifer Scherlin wrote:

    Those plates just pop! I love my FiestaWare and I keep hoping for a pretty way to display it. My kitchen has no glass-door cabinets but I keep hoping!! Love the changes!

    I’m in Wyoming and our weather has been just as nuts! Yesterday and today – glorious! However, the wind will be blowing another system in and the rest of the week will be a lot colder and wetter! The wild, wonderful Wyoming weather!

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Jenifer, I’ve been collecting FiestaWare for a looooon time now. I love it! Hope you get some calm, wind-less days soon up there in Wyoming!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  6. Maricela Hinojosa wrote:

    I’m loving your island shelf update and those plates are perfect. The stool under it is a must-have in any kitchen, where did you find it? I’ve been looking for one just like it.

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
  7. Jodie wrote:

    Everything is lovely, as ALWAYS!
    Have you ever thought of painting your tile?
    I have similar tile and after I painted it, I was SOOOOO glad I did!
    It really works, even in the kitchen with all the traffic! You can still put your rug on top of it
    and when you finally get what you really want, it is no harder to remove! I just use a swiffer wet mop on mine
    and it cleans up great!

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I HAVE thought about that actually. I might just have to give it a try!! What kind of paint did you use??

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  8. Dianne G wrote:

    Love your updates.

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thanks Dianne!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  9. Deedra wrote:

    Such a timely post! My husband and I had decided to replace our floor tile in our mudroom/ half bath and laundry room which is a hideous peachy beige tile. However after we learned the estimate of just having it removed and the mess that it was going to leave throughout our home, we decided to get a couple of large rooms and live with it.
    Sarah, your tile is so much better looking than what we have and I love your rug in there! Island is great looking as well! Thanks for the post!

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I hear you Deedra, we could rip it out but that will probably be a very expensive and timely ordeal! Maybe one day, but for now this rug is a good little fix. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  10. Deedra wrote:

    I meant to say large rugs, not rooms, lol.

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
  11. Sandra wrote:

    I had the sweetest little portable island in my previous kitchen. The kitchen was small and I was thrilled when I found a small butcher block island with a shelf and drawer to sit in the middle of the kitchen without overwhelming the minimal space. I left it for the new homeowners, but I’ve never forgotten how much I used it and what a change it made for me. I also like the jute rug. It looks just perfect.

    Posted 4.17.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw that’s awesome Sandra–and so nice of you to leave it for the next owners too! Sounds a lot like our little island. It’s just the right size for our small kitchen!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
      • Delmy Mayorga wrote:

        Thank you for your inspiration
        What is the size of the island
        Love it

        Posted 4.18.18 Reply
  12. Chels wrote:

    It looks really beautiful Sarah! I love that island so much! If my kitchen wasn’t shaped the way it was, I would throw something like that into the middle too!

    Posted 4.17.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks girl, I really do love our little island. It’s stayed with us for many years now!

      Posted 4.17.18 Reply
  13. Sheila wrote:

    First of all want to say I look forward to your posts everyday!! My question is when I make a wood sign and go to sand my letters to make it look distressed the colors bleed onto the painted sign…I’ve been using paint markers for my letters….any suggestions? thank you

    Posted 4.18.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hmm well maybe it’s the paint markers that are the problem?? How long are you letting it dry before you sand it down? Maybe the paint needs longer to dry. That could be the issue!

      Posted 4.18.18 Reply
  14. Shayna wrote:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cute little island! My kitchen is not very big and I’ve been dying to add in an island since we moved in over a year ago, to make my kitchen a little more functional as i do not have a lot of counter space. Something like this would be perfect. I came across your Instagram and then your blog and have been obsessed ever since. Would you mind telling me the dimensions for your island? I would love to build something similar and that size would be perfect.

    Posted 11.15.18 Reply

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