Photo: Twitter/yattazml, Ikea Singapore website

Buying a home is a big investment in Singapore. And you can’t do without renovation and furnishing costs that are upwards of $20,000 for a 4-room HDB flat. 

So if there’s a way for us to get our dream home at a fraction of a cost, you can be sure we’ll jump at it. 

One Malaysian woman has found the perfect solution for homeowners who desire a kitchen island but are limited by space, and their budget.

For those not in the know, a kitchen island is a free-standing piece of cabinetry that is an extension of the kitchen countertop. Some larger designs are also able to accommodate stove tops or a sink, and it’s usually placed in the middle of the kitchen.

Twitter user @yatt_azml who goes by the moniker HY, shared: “Wanting to have a kitchen island but your kitchen’s not that big? Not that much of a budget either? It’s ok, just DIY.”

HY added that she bought the components from Swedish furniture chain Ikea to make her own kitchen island, with the cost coming up to RM300 (S$98).

The items you need for this DIY project include a large chopping board which doubles as the countertop, a shelving unit as its base, with some metal feet. 

Photo: IKEA Singapore

From her photos, the kitchen island looks like it was built from scratch and customised for her kitchen, with the colours blending in perfectly with the rest of her kitchen.  

One important element to make it work, according to HY, is applying wood treatment oil to the chopping board. The oil prolongs the life of untreated wood and the one sold by Ikea is safe for use on surfaces where food is prepared. 

“Just use cloth or tissue to wipe the treatment oil at least once a month. If you’re using the kitchen island every day, just wipe once a fortnight,” wrote HY.

You’ll need this to make it work.

A quick check on Ikea Singapore’s website shows the items coming up to a total of $102.80. 

And yes, while you can get a kitchen island of a similar size and function at Ikea, it would cost you at least $249, and you’d still have to assemble it yourself.

Photo: IKEA Singapore

According to information gathered from a local interior design site, it costs about $75 to $80 per sq ft to make a wooden countertop and $110 to $180 per sq ft to build a kitchen cabinet from scratch, so the savings from this hack is definitely significant. 

Would you try it?

This story was originally published on AsiaOne.