As previously mentioned, a few months ago my husband and I purchased our first home and much of our time has been spent settling in and trying to best utilize our house’s cosy 92 sqm footprint.
It’s a small space for a small family and we’ve loved making it our own.
One of the first things I went in search for after we moved in was some extra space in our kitchen.
We have a small U-shaped kitchen which, while updated and in good condition was still a little small for our needs.
What I never realised until we moved in was how many gadgets I have.
It’s very fortunate our new kitchen has a large pantry and several pot drawers but I still found that my benchtop space was cluttered with appliances, jars and canisters.
I have a small alcove at one end of my kitchen which is technically described as a “dining area”. It’s essentially an empty space for a dining table which makes it an eat in kitchen.
To be honest the space is only big enough for a small 4 seater table at best so instead of placing my bigger 6 seater dining set in there I decided to fill it with extra bench and storage space.
I like the rustic, country and industrial looks and while I would have loved to have purchased a beautiful kitchen island bench made from reclaimed timber and a solid timber top, my budget simply wouldn’t allow such an extravagance.
You can get beautiful timber kitchen island benches from places like My Deal and Living Styles. If only I had a spare $1000 lying around. *wistful sigh*
My budget friendly alternative came in the form of a stainless steel kitchen workbench from Real Smart online department store.
These are similar kitchen benches to the ones you might see in a commercial kitchen.
The design is simple; a stainless steel rectangle top, 1524mm long x 610mm wide.
It stands at 890mm high with a shelf at the bottom which can be set at whichever height you like for storage.
I love that it was easy to put together, even on my own. You might want to get someone to hold the bottom shelf at the right height off the ground so you can secure it to the table legs.
As I was assembling this piece by myself, my solution was to rest the bottom shelf on a box that was roughly the right height off the ground before slotting the legs in and bolting them in place, although I imagine you could also use G-clamps for this purpose too.
The end result is sturdy and practical. I love that I can rest a hot pot or baking sheet straight out of the oven right on top without having to use a trivet.
I’ve prepared pastry, bread and cookie dough on it and it works a treat because it’s a colder surface to work on than my laminate kitchen benchtops.
I love that the surface of the benchtop is starting to show little scratches and marks from consistent use. It adds to the rustic industrial charm.
The grade of stainless steel in this bench is 430. The grade apparently relates to the metal compounds in the steel and affects things like corrosion resistance. You can search for descriptions of the different stainless steel grades for further information.
In terms of cleaning there are several resources on the internet about how to properly clean stainless steel worktops which tend to involve things like baking soda, vinegar or dishwashing detergent.
If find that if I’m in a hurry then wiping the bench down with a damp cloth will do and I find glass cleaner is good at getting rid of fingerprints.
For the purposes of kitchen prep it’s holding up quite well and at the moment the bench serves as our tea and coffee bar which I’m absolutely in love with.
It was an absolute steal (no pun intended) at less than AU$150.00 plus delivery and one of my favourite purchases for my house to date.
I have great plans for this space including under bench storage baskets, rustic wall shelves, a splashback and wainscoting to the wall behind.
I’m looking forward to sharing this with you so watch this space!
- Lady V xoxo