If you live in Switzerland, you’ll understand the struggle that is decorating an apartment with furniture other than IKEA. My place has a fairly big kitchen and I wanted to find a kitchen island that could double up as extra worktop space and a breakfast table but didn’t cost a bomb. Talk about a challenge! We ended up getting creative so I thought I’d share this IKEA hack so you can personalise your own unit.

Here’s what we came up with and I’m in LOOOVE!

DIY kitchen worktopCan you tell I shot these photos just before a Christmas party? I don’t normally have that much champagne.

This DIY kitchen unit is actually made up of two IKEA desk legs which I also used in the office at my last apartment.

Sofia Clara - DIY kitchen islandAll you need to make this kitchen unit is:

  • 2 IKEA Finnvard desk legs 
  • 1 120cm x 80cm plank of wood for the top
  • 2 90cm x 35cm planks of wood or 1 90cm x 70cm plank (the supplier I went to didn’t stock 70cm width planks) for the shelf in between
  • A kitchen worktop wood protection rub that’s food safe


  • Fine sandpaper
  • An electric drill
  • A rasp (which is like a giant nail file for wood)
  • A rag or an old cotton t-shirt to rub on the wood protection

Method: start by mounting the legs following the instructions in the manual. Once they are mounted, I taped out where I wanted them to go to get an idea of the width of the wood I wanted to buy. If you want a smaller unit, you can do this too or, just buy the same size planks as listed above and skip this step.

Homemade kitchen unitSand the wood with fine sandpaper to make sure it’s smooth and then follow the instructions to rub the kitchen worktop protection onto the wood using a clean cotton rag. Leave to dry and repeat. I only did the top and the sides of the planks.

Once dry, carefully mark out where the bars sticking out in the image above need to go through the two smaller planks of wood.

DIYUsing a drill, drill several holes inside the area you marked out and then use the rasp to file down the area to get a clean rectangle.

DIY2Once you have checked that the holes are the right size, you can piece your unit together like this:

kitchenThe top board is actually just sitting on the two legs. I put little grippy circles which you can see in the GIF above to hold it in place and it’s heavy enough to stop it from moving.

I love how it turned out and it’s a really nice height (90cm) for a worktop. It’s also really nice when people come over, they just kind of group around the unit and snack on appetizers.

I’ve still got to find a couple of stools that go with and change the photos in the frames for something a little more foodie but so far, the kitchen is my favourite room in the apartment.

DIY kitchen unit

Sofia Clara's kitchenFor another kitchen DIY, check out this idea for vertical kitchen storage that you can see in the background.

DIY kitchen utensil holderDecorate with some pretty flowers and you’ve got a spruced up kitchen!

Sofia ClaraWhen I first moved in, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the little muddy brown tiles or the 70s cabinets that you just have to live with in a rented apartment but this piece of furniture has actually made me love the kitchen!

What piece of furniture are you lusting after but not sure you’re willing to splash out on?

Have a lovely day! xS