Kitchen Prep Table

3rd Place Winner; Arts & Furniture (2016)
Terence Chang

I am very proud of this functional and decorative piece. The project began with our plan to move to an apartment with a small kitchen and limited counter space. Looking for a project and noticing the pricey-ness of store-bought tables, I decided to make my own. I designed the piece to fit snugly next to the fridge in the tiny kitchen. The hope was to create working space for cooking (hopefully with lighting), add additional storage space, and add some character. This was done in January 2016 during the blizzard.

I started by dumpster diving in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in DC. A 90-year-old home under renovation rendered the primary materials for the table. I pulled out old gas pipe, beautiful old dimensional pine lumber, and a few 4×6 pine pieces. I planed the dimensional lumber which was quite rough.

Next steps were to glue and clamp. Not shown is me taking a shower with the 4×6 piece that came to be an upper shelf. I couldn’t wash this beast outside because of the season and so got in the tub with a bucket and brush. Sorry – no pic!

I sawzalled the gas pipe to size – my first time using this tool – and it worked great. The pipe received a coat of chalkboard spray paint.

Meanwhile I was working on sanding and staining the table top.

We moved in Feb. 1, amidst blizzard aftermath, and after the bare bones were settled in, I started assembly.

I bought Quik Klamps to join the gas pipe. The next pic shows a natural light photo at the stage of arranging hooks for hanging pots.

The piece fit perfectly into the space next to fridge. This is without the final top shelf.

In the summer months when it became too hot in our non-air conditioned apartment, in conjunction with realizing the space between the prep table and stove top was too tight, we moved the prep table just beside the kitchen. We’ve kept it that way because the piece essentially elongates our kitchen and maximizes an otherwise awkward small open space of the apartment layout.

The top shelf is chalkboard spray paint on plywood that was gleaned from a dumpster and the two bottom shelves are old, rough walnut left over from a dining table project. I really loved the variety of the painted shelf and natural wood with different textures and tones.

I added strip LED lights to the underside of the tabletop and first upper shelf, which provides excellent functional and mood lighting for working and lower shelf storage. At night, it sets a great mood and show piece.

The overall functionality fits our needs very well. You can see the storage of pots, pans, knives on magnet, hanging fruit hook, radio/mp3, homebrew equipment, scale and plants. It is our prep station, breakfast bar and coffee station. It is the command center for all the time and love we give to each other through food and drink.