Making Do: Once There was an Island...

I was reading back through some old blog posts this evening and I came across a post from 2008 which stated I'd been in need of fern stands and had found them in the form of two stools...and that led me to muse upon the story of Making Do.

When we moved here, we were in need of a small island to extend the work surface.  Mama bought me this kitchen island  that came with two stools.  Not only did it serve as an island it was also our craft table, breakfast bar and the spot where we rolled out cookie dough at Christmas time.   That island got a real work out for about 10 years.  Then I decided it wasn't just what I needed anymore.  I purchased a small rolling cart with cabinets underneath that served better for storage which was my main concern.

The tile table and stools went onto the front porch.  The island was used as a potting table and the stools served as seating for cat or people, depending on who was more stubborn at the time.  It worked well for me until we got our first computer.   I lamented the need of a desk but the budget didn't stretch.  Then one day as I was working on the porch, I turned and saw the island as a desk.

I had John cut down the legs to tabletop height and we put our computer on the table and all was well.  It is still being used as a desk today, minus the desk top computer...but just to show you how well the piece adapted, Katie and I bought dry erase markers and used the tile top as our reminder board for appointments, scores, passwords and site addresses.  It was very handy.  When we all acquired laptops, I decided it was a handy planning desk and it's still used in that same spot, though this summer I did turn it so it faced towards the kitchen, which works even better for us as it allows us light on dark  mornings to read Bibles by.

The stools were used outdoors for various things from plant stands to seats.  A couple of years ago I had my son cut the legs of those so that they were two different heights.  One is on the back porch now as my table beside the rocker, so  handy for a cup of coffee.  The other, shorter one, is on the ironing board out front, sporting pretty teapots at the moment but it's also the perfect height to use as a stepstool for the bathroom sink when the grands visit.  That one is  due a little tlc to make it pretty once more, but then so is the whole of the front porch.

So there's the tale of my 18 year old kitchen island and the stools that came with it.  It wasn't an expensive item, just about $89 at that time, but boy has it proven to be a sturdy little work horse bit of furniture indoors and out, in all it's roles!

Last night I saw an island just like it that had been covered with batting and fabric and used as a large ironing board for their craft room.  I thought at one point (and am still thinking) I'd love to have this little table as my sewing table in the craft room, which would free up the bigger table for crafting and cutting work, but those plans are on hold until I find a desk that suits me.  I've contemplated putting it on the back porch to use as a prep table for the grill, too...Oh the many places my mind sees this versatile piece at work.  And how nice it's been for making do with what I have!


Anonymous said...

We have done things similar to this too. A three shelf wire rack was in the kitchen, then in a bedroom cupboard then when it was needed on the patio to hold seedlings intended for the garden when they were ready. Then back into the kitchen! We sit back and think when something is no longer needed to think if it can be reused by us. After a while if not then it is given away. Several decorative things were not used inside anymore but were ok to be outside. My husband said we had already paid for it so we can use it wherever we want so now these things decorate our yards and look pretty there instead. I can't think of the many things now that were repurposed like this. I need to put my thinking cap on! :) Sarah

Linda Shields said...

You are so right. There are so many ways to use an item with imagination. Your covered porch is so wonderful!

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