Gaby Kitchen Island

Hello busy busy busy summer!  So much has happened this month.  Between us going to Tucson to visit my Dad for Father’s Day, working, training, having birthday parties, planning bridal showers, and being the most dutiful matron of honor to my best friend Brina that I can be, there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for building.  But, with some very special new building friends, I am so proud of this new kitchen island we built!

Gaby and Andres, two of the kindest people I’ve ever met, needed an island to add storage and functionality to their kitchen.  Gaby loves all things Restoration Hardware (which automatically means that we are soul mates) and really liked the look of Restoration’s Salvaged Wood Kitchen Island.  There were three problems with the island: 1. It’s $3000.  Holy crap.  2. It was way too big.  3. They really wanted drawers for additional storage.  So, together we came up with this project plan.

One of the best parts of building this island was that Gaby was able to find this stunning reclaimed wood.  We used a mixture of pine and oak for a  ”patchwork” look.  We wanted it to feel like someone really took whatever they had to piece it together.

Check out this detail on the top from the milling.  You can’t fake that!

Here’s another angle so that you can see how the drawers seamlessly fit in:

On a side note, we also had a very helpful assistant, their pup, Africa.  Poor thing pooped out about 5 minutes in.

I had so much fun building with Gaby and her husband, Andres.  Even though this was their first build, within about an hour it felt like we had been building together forever.  I can’t wait to have them back to build something else!  (There are talks of a bed in our future…)  But, man, they’ve gotta whip that dog into shape!  Then again, this is about how much fun Piper has in the garage:

Yeah.  That’s a yawn.  She is clearly her father’s daughter.

Estimated Cost: $75-100


Dimensions as listed above.

Shopping List:


2 – 1×4 @ 8 ft
1 – 1×6 @ 8 ft
1 – 2×4 @ 4 ft
7 – 2×6 @ 8 ft
2 – 4×4 @ 6 ft
1/2 – sheet of 1/4″ plywood

Hardware and Supplies:

3 – Knobs or Drawer Pulls (optional)
3 – set of 12″ Bottom Mount Drawer Slides
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Finishing Nails
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Medium Grit Sandpaper
Primer or Wood Conditioner
Paint or Stain


Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Circular or Jig Saw (For cutting plywood. You could also use a table saw.)
Countersink Bit
Finishing Nailer
Measuring Tape
Carpenter’s Square
Safety Glasses



2 – 1×4 @ 14″ – Short drawer inside back
1 – 1×4 @ 14 1/2″ – Long drawer inside back
4 – 1×4 @ 16″ – Drawer interior sides
1 – 1×4 @ 47″ – Top Support
2 – 1×6 (Ripped to 4 5/8″ wide) – Short drawer front
1 – 1×6 (Ripped to 4 5/8″ wide) – Long drawer front
2 – 1×6 (Ripped to 4 3/4″ wide) – Drawer Support
2 – 2×4 @ 21″ – Leg Support
1 – 2×6 @ 47″ – Long Apron
2 – 2×6 @ 14″ – Short Apron
2 – 2×6 @ 55″ – Bottom Shelf
4 – 2×6 @ 56″ – Top Plank
4 – 4×4 @ 34 1/2″ – Legs


2 – 1/4″ PLY @ 16 3/4″ x 14″ – Short drawer bottom
1 – 1/4″ PLY @ 16 3/4″ x 14 1/2″ – Long drawer bottom

General Instructions:

Make sure to re-measure and check for square after every step.  Sometimes when building your measurements can be off very slightly, and it’s important that your numbers are exact.  (Especially when working with doors and drawers!)  Measure your available space before building this plan to make sure that it will fit.  Please read through the entire plan before getting started.

Step 1:

Notch out the bottom of your legs as shown above.  Before you get started, make sure that your 2×4 leg support is exactly 3 1/2″ wide.  If it’s larger or smaller, make sure you’re notching out enough for it to fit inside in the next step.  Ana has a great tutorial on how to very easily notch boards.  I’ve included that below.

Step 2:

Add leg support.  Make sure when you’re nailing and gluing that you clamp the boards together while they dry.  Since we were using reclaimed wood and the glue wasn’t sticking as well as new boards, we also added 2 2 1/2″ screws from the back side to further secure them into place.

Step 3:

Add side aprons to the top of the leg piece.  It should be flush with what will be the inside of your island.  Repeat steps 1-3 to create the other leg.

Step 4:

Now is when it starts to look like an island!  Attach the back apron and top support to your two legs.


Step 5:

Screw the bottom shelf boards into your leg support from the top.  You could also attach them from your leg support using a Kreg Jig, but we liked the more industrial, rustic feel of the exposed screw.  Remember to countersink your holes!  Also, feel free to get create with your placement.  Gaby preferred for there to be a gap in between the boards, but you can also keep them touching.

Step 6:

Attach drawer supports.  We cut a scrap board to use as a spacer to make sure that the drawers were spaced correctly.  Take note that the center drawer is 1/2″ wider than the two outside drawers.  It’s very important that this step is exact.

Step 7:

Create the insides of your drawers.  Make sure to re-measure all of the gaps in your island to make sure that they will fit – sometimes things can shift a little!  You want to make sure that the drawers are exactly 1″ narrower than the space to allow for drawer slides.


Step 8:

Install the drawer slides as per your manufacturer’s instructions.  Make sure that when your drawers are installed there’s a small space underneath them so that when your drawer front is attached you can reach under the drawer and pull it out by the lip.

To attach the drawer fronts, center them into the space, leaving about 1/8″ on the top and both sides, then add a few nails to temporarily keep them in place.  Then, pull out your drawer and screw it in using your pocket holes.

Step 9:

Attach your top boards together using your Kreg Jig before screwing it into the base.  We used pocket holes to attach it from underneath, but you can also screw it in from the top using 2 1/2″ nails.


Finish your project as desired.  Make sure to sand it down with medium grit sand paper and fill in all your holes with wood filler before tackling that paint or stain.  For more tips on finishing, visit The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Finishing.


Filed under Building Plans

20 Responses to Gaby Kitchen Island


    Hi. I LOVE what you did here
    I was wondering if you could outline what you did with the reclaimed boards. I’m working on a project at the moment with threshing floor boards and trying to decide how I want to sand/ stain/ seal them.


    • Hi Jackie! What we did was pretty simple. We sanded… a lot. (Well, actually Andres, Gaby’s husband sanded a lot, haha. Poor guy…) We used 80 grit sand paper to really get all of the gunk off, focusing primarily on the areas that would be touched the most. Then, we sealed it with Deft Sanding Sealer, which is a matte finish spray lacquer. We did 2 coats on the entire piece, and then I did about 4 additional coats on the top, sanding with 180 grit in between coats. It’s incredibly thin, so you can still see the beauty of the wood, but we know it’s protected. Best of luck with your reclaimed wood! Please keep me posted with your project and let me know how it turns out! I’m sure it will be stunning :-) .

  2. Jo

    If you don’t mind me asking, what did the total cost of making this end up being? I absolutely love it!!

    • Hi Jo! Thanks so much! I’m not exactly sure what the final cost was for ours since Gaby purchased the fancy reclaimed wood, but if you were to build it with standard pine it should round out to about $75.

  3. American Heritage Lumber Company

    Hello Jo,
    Based on the cut list provided, the table requires roughly 64 boardfeet(BDFT) of reclaimed lumber, plywood materials excluded.
    These materials are generally priced at $3.00+/ BDFT, depending upon species and whether the material is being sold as-is, or whether measures have been taken to clean and kiln dry the wood.
    When using for furniture, despite being reclaimed, the wood should either be kiln dried, or ample time allowed for the material to acclimate to the indoors. Otherwise, it is susceptible to splitting/ warping once introduced to the drier indoor climate.
    The thicker planks will require more drying time than the thinner 1″ material.
    I hope you find this information helpful.

    Mike Rohkohl
    American Heritage Lumber Company
    Howell, MI

    • Shelli

      I don’t know of any places local to get reclaimed wood (N. Florida). Do you ship your wood? Can you tell me what costs would be for wood for this table and shipping?


      • American Heritage Lumber Company

        Hello Shelli,
        Yes, I do ship materials nationally and I have a couple questions before quoting. What zip code would this be shipping to and are you interested in pine or hardwood materials for your island?
        My email is if you’d like to contact me directly.

        Thank you,
        Mike Rohkohl
        American Heritage Lumber Company
        Howell, MI

  4. Sorana

    What a fantastic project! I’m going to build it, and was wondering if I can do it with just a circular (and a hand) saw, but no miter saw.

    • Thanks, Sorana! Yes, you can absolutely use a circular saw to build it. It might be a bit slower than using a miter saw, but it will absolutely work! My husband and I built our first project ever, our guest bed, using only a circular saw and a drill :-) .

      Good luck with your project! Please show it off on Ana’s brag blog and OPD’s FB page when you’re done – I’d love to see how beautiful it turns out!

  5. Beto

    Lovely job! Where did you get the reclaimed wood from?

  6. Shelli

    We are novices at building furniture….how would the plans need to be adjusted to make this 8ft long? Is it just the length of the top and shelf that needs to be cut longer, or do other modifications need to be made for structure strength?

  7. Steve Zee

    That truely came out beautiful! I have been looking for something to build from some lumber that I milled myself with a chainsaw mill. It’s cedar, some tamerack, and some red oak that I have had drying for about 4 years now. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Steve Zee

    Shane, I’m in the process of building this and had a question on that cut list. It states 4 -1×4″-16″ interior sides. That should 6, as there is 3 drawers correct,.. Or am i missing something?

    Thanks so much,

  9. Thank you so much for posting this plan!! I did this project and it turned out better than expected :) The design was really simple and your directions were very clear. For the material I used driftwood that I had found on the beach after a Tropical Storm came through and washed it up. I altered from your plans by putting up a hand towel rail instead of drawers and I added a bench using the same design as the Island but making it smaller. I made a video of the building process that can be seen here: and pictures can be seen here:

    Thanks again for your GREAT post!!

    • That is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! Your island is stunning – I love the blue at the bottom! I can’t believe you made that all out of found driftwood. Beautiful work!

  10. mckenzie

    Hello! What a gorgeous island!! This is sort of a broad question, but I’m wondering if you have directions on your site for the safe collection of abandoned or old wood? An old barn collapsed on our property and I’d love to use the wood, but I haven’t the slightest idea how to begin taking it all apart, or if it needs to dry inside for a specified amount of time. Thank you!

  11. Christina

    Hey this is probably a dumb question, but I am a beginner and I was just wondering what steps and materials I would need to leave out if I didn’t want the drawers? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Steve Zee

    As a beginner that is exactly what you should do since the drawers are the most complicated part of the project. All you need to do is follow the plans and omit them and add another “back apron” as in step 4. Disregard that strap also in step 4 across the top front.

  13. leo whylie

    I’m missing one of the dimensions of the Long drawer front.
    I know it’s 4 5/8″ wide but I don’t know how long. The sort drawers are 14 3/4″ long [I saw the measurement in image of Step 8]

    Can someone please tell me the length of the Long Drawer Front?

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