A Grand Kitchen Island Made From A Grand Piano

Repurpose / Refurbish

It just appeared. In my email inbox, I found this outrageously fantastic project submitted to me by HomeJelly friend Tom Harber; an every day DIYer who decided to tap into his own Mozart and thus compose, or in this case, construct a masterful piece of art that turned into something special. Instead of the conventional kitchen island, Tom was inspired to build this:

Understandably, I was curious about a few things, so I asked him a few questions:

Skaie: Did you personally construct/build this island?

Tom: Yes. I saw the non-functional piano in a local used furniture store and was attracted to the intricate legs. There was no top to the piano.  I had to remove the heavy metal “harp” inside that has the piano strings in order to accommodate the cooktop.  I sanded all the wood and added a silver leaf around some of the detail and put a finish on.  The butcher block top is two separate pieces that came from IKEA and were glued together. The gas and electrical connections are within copper tubing that follows the curve of one of the legs.

Skaie: Are you a professional craftsman or designer?

Tom: No.

Skaie: How much, even a ballpark estimate, did this project cost?

Tom: The piano was less than $200. The top was new and was probably $150 for both pieces. The KitchenAid cooktop was a yellow tagged Lowes’ return item.

Skaie: Were you able to use new or used materials, (i.e. the piano)?

Tom: The furniture store owner bought the piano from a guy who pulled it out of the landfill. It had a signature from the maker in the 1880’s if I remember correctly. The butcher block top is new, and so is the cooktop itself.

Skaie: The obvious question: Does the piano still play?

Tom: No. I needed the space inside for the cooktop and gas and electrical connections. For some reason, in my mind, it would be tacky if it still played. I know, some people probably think its tacky anyway. The biggest hurdle was that the piano was extremely heavy to get into the house.

Thank you Tom for sharing this fantastic project along with these great photos.

If you’d like to be featured on HomeJelly, please email your photos (and if you can, please send “before” images as well) to: [email protected].

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Written By Skaie Knox

Skaie Knox is a storyteller on a quest to provide sparkling content through copywriting, songwriting and video production. She is founder of HomeJelly, Ruggable.com's key copywriter, a published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). For doable DIY video tutorials, subscribe to her HomeJelly YouTube channel (for link, click on my nose!).

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  • Cindi Lelsie

    I have that piano bottom! OMG! My grandfather took it and made a very ruff work bench out of it. Put wheels on it and a vice. I have been saving it to do something with those legs. They are very ornamental. Thank you for posting this; it gives me hope that one day I can utilize those legs.

  • joy shannon

    I recently got a 1917 Ivers & Pond Baby Grand Piano. It still works but does need some tlc as well as a tuning. I got this to use as a garden waterfall. Should I feel guilty for tearing something apart this old to use in a garden? Thoughts?

    • HomeJelly

      Hmm…coming from my musician side of my brain, I’d say take a moment to possibly have the piano appraised. It might be considered an antique and could be valuable. There are lots of broken and/or less valuable ones for sale. I found these here: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/antique-piano

      On the DIYer side of my brain, I say…once you’ve checked it out for value…GO FOR IT! If it’s not an antique and not very valuable, why not? OR…if you just LOVE the look of this particular piano but never plan on playing it…(with a slight heavy heart while saying this…) go for it!

      To sum up: I say 1.) check it’s value, then 2.) decide where to go from there. I hope this helps!

      Keep me posted on what you do…I’d LOVE to get a photo of your “after” and add it to HomeJelly! You can email me at: [email protected] Good luck!

      • joy shannon

        Ok lets say I get it appraised and it’s valuable. WHere do I go from there because it seems hard to sell them. The guy I got this from had a ad on craigslist and I was the only one that called on it. So it seems like they are in the big of a demand whether they are antique or not. Of course I could be wrong about this…..I’m been wrong on a few other occasions. LOL

        • HomeJelly

          Right. Yes, pianos can be a bit difficult to “move” (pun intended!). I’d say get the appraisal first (you can even simply call a local piano store and speak with a knowledgable person or even look it up online for a start). If it’s under $500, I’d say DIY it. Unless you know of someone who would enjoy it or might want to buy it, that amount of money is just not worth the trying-to-sell-it headache.

          If it’s more, it might just be worth placing it on craigslist, diggerslist, or ebay. Again, I hope this helps…please keep me posted!!