Kitchens are the heart of any home, so any additions made to the space can add value.

While upgrades can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, they don’t have to be. A simple way to change up your kitchen is to add or replace a kitchen island.

Think outside the box. Most kitchens are a traditional box made up of cabinetry. Switch it up by creating your own spin on things by using other furniture or shelving.

Some possibilities include: 

-- Use an old dresser. Clean it and paint it. Don’t worry too much about the top. You can purchase a premade counter top at a home-improvement store and adhere it to the top using liquid nail. Don’t forget to measure for your desired amount of overhang on the back side for seating.

-- Take two storage cubes (the nine-hole cubes work best), place them back-to-back and attach them. It will give an open look to your island. Add a counter of your choice. This island allows for baskets as well as open-air storage of dishes and other kitchen accessories.

-- For smaller kitchens, find a metal or wood storage cart. You can keep the wheels or remove them, depending on your needs.

-- Find an old table, preferably with chunky legs. You won’t have to do a lot of work to it, and it creates a unique farmhouse look to your kitchen. You can add slats to the bottom for extra storage.

You can add extras on any of these islands. Attach hooks for utensils, pots, pans or rags.

Jenn Hall can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPHall.