Jan 22, 2024

I didn’t want to spend thousands on a kitchen unit… so I built my own with an IKEA table

A DIY-mad mum has revealed how she saved thousands of pounds after building her own kitchen unit with an IKEA table.

Jilly Oliver, 51, always dreamt of a kitchen island, but didn't want to break the bank to have one installed.

However, Jilly, a student support worker from Durham, managed to put her own version of the fixture together in just three days using simple tools.

She explained: "I don't have a big enough kitchen for a free-standing island.

"I had a table and chairs there, but I thought I'd try and build an island out of the IKEA Kallax unit, and so I used it as the base and went from there.

"I've seen people build things with Kallax units before, and once I knew I had the base, I knew I could use MDF [sheet wood] to make the unit style.

"I went to a local timber merchant, but I cut all the pieces to shape and fit for the island top - it was my first time using a jigsaw too."

Amazingly, it cost just £15 altogether, saving her the thousands she would have had to pay professionals for the job.

Jilly added: "It took me a total of three days to do. I did the base in a day then had to sand and prime it for an undercoat and then painted it in an eggshell colour."

No stranger to DIY, she has previously renovated her own porch, carried out a kitchen transformation and remodelled her staircase.

She said: "I love DIY - it's my hobby.

"My husband David plays golf, I do DIY, and I'm always doing something. I love waiting and saving myself money. It makes me forget about my busy life too.

"The island is now one of my favourites. David hates DIY, so I did it all by myself.

"I love the island - it's a lot more sociable than the table and chairs were, and we sit here a lot more."

Modest Jilly claimed that she was "not clever" but simply "practical" and explained that she loves seeing people's reactions to her creative projects.

And she had some top tips for people looking to follow in her footsteps.

She revealed: "My advice to anyone wanting to get into DIY is to start small.

"Try doing something small and see how it goes to build up your confidence. It's all just about trying and doing it."