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Expand storage and counter space with kitchen island cart

Updated on February 25, 2015

How I created more counter space and storage for my kitchen with an island cart

Baking and cooking in my kitchen has its share of issues. Not because there are not enough counter space, but because the counters are too far apart. Walking back and forth to grab prepared ingredients from one counter to the cooking area is inefficient. A mobile and sturdy kitchen cart between the counters can solve this problem.

There are so many kitchen island carts available in the market and finding the one that fits my needs was key. After I found and bought the kitchen island cart for our kitchen, life has never been the same.

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BEFORE: Kitchen without island cart - PROBLEM: Kitchen counters were too far apart for cooking convenience and too narrow for a fixed kitchen island

Our kitchen looks like a galley of a ship or restaurant with two long parallel counters, except the aisle between the counters are too far apart. The aisle between the counters measures 6.5 feet wide which makes it a tad too far to fetch raw ingredients from one counter to the other. Food preparation is usually done on the left counter near the sink where washing, peeling and chopping take place. Not all the bowls of prepared vegetables and meat stove can be set near the cooking area due to lack of counter space.

The stove on the right counter takes up most of the space with four burners and a grill, plus the microwave, leaving only about two and half feet of counter space to set down prepared meat and vegetables.

SOLUTION: Add a kitchen island cart - A perfect find for my kitchen

I saw this kitchen island cart on display as a sideboard for a dining area at a store and bought it online. Made of sustainable rubberwood and industrial grade casters, this cart was the perfect find to solve my counter space issue. It measures 44.24 inches wide which matched the length of our stove, 36.5 inches high which is the same as the kitchen counters. The most important thing was the drop leaf option which expands the 20.5-inch surface to 30.5 inch deep for ample space. It is portable and the wheels can be locked to keep it from moving. My son did a great job assembling the pieces even if it took him a good 4 hrs.

Belmont kitchen island cart was purchased online here

Kitchen island carts come in a range of styles and prices - There is one for every kitchen

AFTER: Kitchen with island cart - Mobile and so versatile

When our house guests come to visit, the first thing they would notice is the kitchen island cart. It is heavy and extremely well-constructed of self-sustainable rubberwood, with deep drawers and spacious cabinets. Most of all, it gets a lot of compliments.

Island cart offers more than just a helping hand

Extra work space for baking and cooking

Perfect place to roll out dough

Perfect place to roll out dough
Perfect place to roll out dough

A perfect place to chop and slice fruits and vegetables

It is not recommended to use the kitchen cart rubberwood surface as a chopping block. I use a bamboo chopping block to slice fruits and vegetables. Bamboo is another self-sustaining wood material.

The kitchen cart can quickly turn into a buffet table

Drop-leaf expands the kitchen space to use as a buffet table for gatherings. There is ample room to move around the cart so food is within reach on all four sides.

Hot food straight from the oven to cart - Acts like a giant trivet or serving area

Serving our guests during the 2012 Thanksgiving dinner was a breeze because they served themselves. With the new kitchen cart, our guests could mill around on all four sides without crowding each other. They would come back for seconds without the need to pass the food around at the dining table.

Lots of room for buffet-style parties - Easy to clean

I hosted a mini class reunion for my alma mater and the kitchen cart saved the day. With the added space created by the drop leaf up, there was ample room for the chicken satay, Thai fried rice, egg rolls, Pad Thai noodles, pickled cucumber salad and sauces. There was enough room to move around all four sides of the kitchen island cart to "dig in."

When the party is over....

The kitchen island cart is a good place to relax and spend quiet time.

A place to read and organize recipes

A place to read and organize recipes
A place to read and organize recipes

A quiet nook to share afternoon tea with someone

A quiet nook to share afternoon tea with someone
A quiet nook to share afternoon tea with someone

Swiveling 24-inch bar stools for breakfast bar - a great addition to the kitchen island cart

Kitchen cart creates extra storage

Extra drawers for baking and serving utensils

The island kitchen cart has deep drawers to store my baking and salad serving tools. Moving them here made them within easy reach when baking, prepping, or tossing a salad.

Keep your island kitchen cart drawers organized - Find your what your looking for at a glance

Roomy cabinets to organize small baking and kitchen essentials

Roomy cabinets to organize small baking and kitchen essentials
Roomy cabinets to organize small baking and kitchen essentials

Hide slow cooker, toaster racks, trays and tupperware - Another way to declutter the kitchen counters

Large kitchen applicances are usually difficult to store due to lack of storage space, as in the case of this Krups slowcooker which used to sit on the side of the stove. Now it is neatly stored in the spacious cabinet of the kitchen island cart.

Mobile and versatile

The four industrial-grade casters (wheels) allow easy movement of the kitchen island for various reasons:

1.Move the cart near the oven to use as a cooling station for newly baked goods.

2.Move the cart to make it easier to mop the kitchen floor.

3.Relocate the cart to create a separate eating area for guests. Just add two barstools.

4.Create a buffet table to let guests help themselves during get-togethers.

A place to ripen fruits

A place to ripen fruits
A place to ripen fruits

Kitchen carts come in many shapes and sizes

Find the one that fits the bill.

Photo Credit: Target.com

Medium-sized kitchen cart with drop leaf which can be used as breakfast bar, sideboard or extra prep space in the kitchen. I bought this model as a sideboard for the breakfast nook as it was the perfect size for the space. The top is made of sustainable rubberwood. Two ample drawers hold paper napkins, wine and bottle openers, and the two cabinets with pull-out drawers hide cookies, biscotti, chocolates and other goodies---- all within easy reach when one has a craving. There is a towel bar on one side for convenience.

This cart is portable and can be wheeled to wherever you need it. Casters have a lock to keep the cart from moving.

Do you think a kitchen island cart is useful? - Let me know what you think.

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    • ItsMeEmilyD profile image

      ItsMeEmilyD 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea for increasing kitchen storage - and functionality. Was very much tempted to buy one of these at Ikea the other day to improve both storage and counter space. Good lens!

    • ItsMeEmilyD profile image

      ItsMeEmilyD 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea for increasing kitchen storage - and functionality. Was very much tempted to buy one of these at Ikea the other day to improve both storage and counter space. Good lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We are in a one BR apt, and the kitchen/dining/living room is all one open room. I have often wished for an island for more counter-top space. This might just serve the purpose.

    • toshia lm profile image

      toshia lm 4 years ago

      nice lens very informative

    • scrapquilter profile image

      Myreda Johnson 4 years ago from Ohio USA

      A kitchen cart would really be a help in my kitchen. Even though it is small the countertops are still far apart as they are in your kitchen.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I think they are very handy.