"Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) gabion box supplier philippines , launched in 2013, is the centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinpings ambitious effort to expand his countrys diplomatic and economic footprint. A massive infrastructure and development investment strategy, the BRI has funded bridges, ports, power plants, railways, tunnels, and 5G networks in the Global South, to the tune of $50 billion to $100 billion per year , according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution. The BRI now covers over 139 countries , which together make up 63 percent of the worlds population and 40 percent of global GDP. Completed major projects supported by the BRI range from a railway in Kenya to a port in Pakistan to dams in Laos . A Harvard Business Review analysis found that by 2020, China had lent about $1.5 trillion in direct loans and trade credits to more than 150 countries, making Beijing into the worlds largest creditor , surpassing even institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a result of all this, the BRI has helped China vastly increase its influence in global politics, especially among the often-ignored nations of the Global South. Global power is often seen as a zero-sum game, and policymakers in Washington fear that Chinas growing influence is coming at the expense of the US. Yet they havent offered an alternative to the BRI, instead largely chastising China for its intentions behind it and discouraging countries from joining it. But that changed at the Group of Seven (G7) Summit last month, when President Joe Biden announced the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) . With the PGII, launched in 2013 reinforcement concrete mesh product , with $200 billion specifically earmarked from the US. The motivation isnt hard to discern: Counter Chinas BRI. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, said Jorge Heine , a professor at Boston University and Chiles former ambassador to China. It has finally dawned on Western countries that there is actually a need for infrastructure in countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The problem? The PGII is little more than a rebrand of Build Back Better World (B3W), a global infrastructure initiative announced at the G7 Summit last year that essentially proved to be political vaporware . And for the same political and economic reasons B3W ultimately went nowhere, experts say PGII is also unlikely to amount to much: The sum total of concrete commitments by the US government made in its White House brief meaning actual money allocated, not just promised at best adds up to less than 0.1 percent of the promised $200 billion. Charles Kenny , a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, said that when it comes to funding infrastructure in the Global South, the Biden White House has a rhetoric versus reality problem. It is a bit embarrassing that they announced this thing last year, they then had a year to figure out something, and what we get is a bunch of bullet points, he told me. It does smack of an administration that had its mind on other things. The PGIIs underfunded ambition reflects how much of the attention on China and the USs contrasting international development programs has focused on the role these plans play in a broader battle for global influence and leadership, rather than the impact these strategies will have on the ground. But this obscures the real needs of the Global South today. Between the Covid-19 pandemic , food shortages , and unsustainable debt , the Global South has suffered greatly in recent years. Add in the estimated $40-trillion-plus gap between what developing countries are believed to need on infrastructure and the money made available to pay for it and its clear that more investment is needed from G7 nations nations that arguably share a moral responsibility to help given their colonialist history and culpability for climate change . Beyond improving the lives of the billions of people who live there, a better-supported Global South would help industrialized nations by addressing some of the social problems that bleed over borders, is the centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinpings ambitious effort to expand his countrys diplomatic and economic footprint. A massive infrastructure and development investment strategy temporary fencing malaysia , and China has projected its foreign policy in the Global South, realizing that the United States and Western European countries are so much involved in their own domestic issues that they are paying relatively little attention to the needs of the Global South, Heine told me. In his remarks announcing the PGII , Biden stated: Im proud to announce the United States will mobilize $200 billion in public and private capital over the next five years. Despite that promise, however, the real money the US government has committed is far from $200 billion adding up to about $170 million . That discrepancy comes in part from how the US plans to finance this agenda. Kenny told me the US and the European Union have been keen to mostly rely on the concept of financial leverage . For example, a government may offer to finance $1 of an infrastructure project with the idea that this will then spur and be matched by $10 of investment from the private sector. Theres this idea that you get from the millions and billions to these hundreds of billions by leveraging the private sector, Kenny said. But, he added, the fact is the record of that has been grim . Rather than a one-to-10 public-private financing ratio, were seeing a low one-to-one. The US is relying on leveraging to fund the PGII for two reasons. One, Congress is unlikely to authorize any more money for this kind of initiative, especially given its failure to pass increased funding for domestic programs (the rebranding of the initiative from Build Back Better World was no coincidence ). So leveraging private companies makes small amounts of US government money look bigger, Kenny said, while enabling the administration to take credit for the whole promised sum. Heine added that the US government simply does not see funding for programs in the Global South as a priority. In 2020, the Biden campaign team proposed to invest $4 billion in Central America . This initiative was compared to the Marshall Plan , which saw the US invest $150 billion in todays dollars into rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. However, up to this point, there has been no movement by the Biden White House on a Marshall Plan for Central America. Meanwhile, the BRI has funded bridges curvy fence , reflecting what Heine termed a strong obsession with Europe and everything across the Atlantic. The other reason, according to Kenny, is a deeply embedded ideological belief, stemming back to the Washington Consensus of the late 20th century, that the private sector beats government when it comes to delivering on goods like infrastructure. Reliance on the private sector also has the added benefit of preferring US companies and workers for various development projects, but Kenny added that US policymakers genuinely appear to believe this method makes these projects more affordable to low- and middle-income countries. This line of reasoning is shaky, though, as public-private partnerships like the ones the PGII proposes are often very complex. As Kenny detailed, you have to entice private companies to take on projects, and they usually ask for lots of subsidies, support, price guarantees, regulatory changes, and a raft of stuff that makes their deals very expensive. Thus, they end up involving a lot of government money anyway . Even if upfront costs are lower, recipient governments can still be liable for costs down the line because of the nature of these agreements with private companies. This includes 10 to 15 percent returns on the projects that have to be paid for by poor consumers, poor governments, or both, said Kenny. China and the BRI have had a different model, which has proven more successful. Kenny told me that China has been more willing to finance infrastructure that will be owned and operated by Global South governments. Fundamentally, this allows projects to be built faster and more cost-effectively as governments are already responsible for most infrastructure (approximately 83 percent of infrastructure investment worldwide is government-financed, per a 2017 study), and they dont need to bargain and haggle with private companies. The US and G7s PGII agenda, couched in the rhetoric of competing with China, could ironically amount to very little in terms of actually competing with what China is offering the Global South. But geopolitical competition aside, there continues to be a desperate need in the Global South for more investment in hard infrastructure like high-speed rail in Southeast Asia and undersea cables to boost internet access in Africa . Developing countries are not as competitive and not able to grow at the rates they should be because the logistics and transport costs are way higher than in developed countries, said Heine. They dont have the ports, the tunnels, and the railways that they need. China, which has been criticized for overpromising and underdelivering on projects of the BRI, nevertheless recognized there was a gap in investment, and has made it a real priority. So what could the US and the G7 do instead to help fill the gap? One key way for the US and G7 to support the Global South would be to better use existing multilateral institutions like the World Bank and regional development banks like the African Development Bank, especially because, as Kenny told me, the World Bank actually can do the concept of leverage pretty well. While the US is proposing the approach of a bespoke retailer that pursues public-private deals one project at a time (each maybe a $100 million investment), the World Bank is like a big wholesaler that leverages money from the whole market (in the range of hundreds of billions) to support a range of public sector projects. Governments put in a little bit of capital to the World Bank, which then goes out and borrows massive amounts on private markets, issuing bonds at a 10:1 ratio, Kenny said, meaning that they can get a lot of money for construction and development projects for the Global South. The World Bank also used to be much more engaged in financing hard infrastructure like roads and railways, only for priorities in terms of what is funded to change in recent decades. A massive recapitalization of the World Bank, Kenny said, could be an important place to start. Dean Baker , senior economist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, also suggested the issuance of special drawing rights (SDRs) from the IMF to shore up the central banks of countries in the Global South. SDRs effectively act as coupons from the IMF the closest thing to the worlds central bank and they function like cash transfers to countries in times of crisis. SDRs were most recently issued to support countries around the world facing a financial crunch during the Covid-19 pandemic , and were used by low- and middle-income countries to pay for vaccines and other health care needs. However, as the authors of a Brookings Institution analysis of SDRs during the pandemic found, high-income and upper-middle-income countries currently receive the majority of SDRs, so distribution would need to become more equitable. The US would also be wise to focus on its strong suits. As Kenny wrote in a recent article , the best way the US could help build the human capital of the world by way of providing scholarships and visas for access to its world-leading institutions of higher education, as well as increasing the number of work visas issued. And many of these migrants would end up sending capital back to their home countries in the form of remittances . A 2019 IMF study found that remittance flows total up to greater amounts of cash to low- and middle-income countries (China excluded) than overseas development aid. Easing migration would benefit the US as well. The US is facing an increasing absolute shortage of workers just because were not having many kids and people are getting older, said Kenny. There is going to be increasing demand for migrants from poor countries to move to rich countries, and that brings a huge amount of benefits for the migrants, obviously, but also real advantages to the recipient countries. A final option for the US is to ditch the global competition frame and collaborate with China to invest in the Global South. Baker argued that the competition basically makes zero sense due to the global scale of issues like the climate crisis, pandemics, and global development more generally. There is precedent for this kind of collaboration between rival superpowers during the Cold War, the US then collaborated with the Soviet Union on eradicating smallpox , as well as on nuclear nonproliferation and space exploration . And the US and China have collaborated previously on global health initiatives , like combating Ebola in Western Africa, as well as rallying behind the Paris climate agreement to tackle climate change. Fundamentally, the Global South hasnt necessarily bought into the geopolitical ideological competition of democracy vs. autocracy between the US and China. The Global South, as seen in its position toward the Russian war on Ukraine , is increasingly pursuing a strategy of what Heine termed active nonalignment , meaning rather than siding with either of the big powers in this supposed new Cold War, theyre more narrowly focused on their own economic growth and development. Many countries in the Global South are in desperate need today, even more so than they were before the pandemic. And as Cobus van Staden , a senior China-Africa researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs, said to me, most Global South countries dont want to choose between the US and China, and would probably prefer to have the BRI and PGII running at the same time. Ultimately, global development plans must be made with Global South input and interests in mind, rather than merely using the latter as pawns in a geopolitical chess game about maximizing influence. Explanatory journalism is a public good At Vox, we believe that everyone deserves access to information that helps them understand and shape the world they live in. That's why we keep our work free. Support our mission and help keep Vox free for all by making a financial contribution to Vox today. $95 /year $120 /year $250 /year $350 /year We accept credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can also contribute via\n", 'As I write this, the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth IIs death is only just sinking in. At the grand old age of 96, as a nation we all knew the time for the Queen to pass would come but for many it was still a terrible shock. For more than seven decades she dedicated her life to public service with dignity and devotion and inspired so many around the world. Tributes to the Queen have poured in following her death with many in our industry turning to social media to express their sorrow and offer condolence to the Royal Family. As Britains longest-serving monarch, reigning for more than 70 years, the Queen visited hundreds of construction projects in her time as head of state. On many of those site visits she would have indirectly seen the positive impact and development of safety within construction and the scaffolding industry. Working at height still remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries but the inception of SG4 by the NASC over twenty years ago really changed things for scaffolders. Over the years this flagship guidance note has progressively been adopted by scaffolding contractors across the board and possibly saved many lives. Now to ensure this important guidance remains current and reflects the needs of the wider scaffolding industry SG4:15 has been updated to SG4:22. On (p47), we speak to Alan Harris chair of NASCs Health and Safety Committee, and head of the working party tasked with the revision. He gives us an insight into the changes and what to expect to see in the new guidance before its launched in November. Also, in this issue, we have looked to focus not only on scaffolding guidance but also on scaffolding materials. Brent Scaffold Boards are celebrating 30 years in business this year despite the setbacks such as recession, a pandemic, and the rapidly rising cost of materials the business continues to go from strength to strength. We find out more on (p54). Meanwhile On (p50) we discover the wonderful world of bamboo scaffolding and its years old traditions that are still used in Hong Kong today. Elsewhere in this issue, as the shortage of labour and attracting new workers continues to be a key problem for many scaffolding contractors. On (p34) Summer Rowswell at GKR Scaffolding Ltd, explains how their company reached 70,000 young people with one post on social media and filled its apprenticeship programme quickly. Happy reading, and stay safe! Daniel Norton Editor\n', 'C oncrete repair is one of the fastest growing segments in the construction industry. Some experts believe this market will top $21 billion annually in a few years. Concrete contractors are understandably drawn to this market because many of their core skills apply, making it a big opportunity. But theres one area of expertise they may not have. Repair contractors frequently work in a vertical orientation or overhead on tasks that require using heavy tools from elevated surfaces. And many of the techniques used are multi-stepped. These projects are typically fast-tracked and involve a minimum of workers in remote settings. Often, in these types of job settings (like inspecting and repairing beams, columns and double tees in parking decks) the use of mobile scaffolds is essential. Mobile scaffolds are configured in many ways to match jobsite conditions. Designs can be tube and coupler, fabricated frame or modular and can be supported by casters or wheels. They can also be powered or unpowered. The most common type of mobile scaffold used is a single bay supported scaffold tower with casters. Its important to understand that scaffolding of any kind draws greater attention from inspectors. In 2016, OSHA issued more than 3,200 citations for contractor violations of the scaffolding standard, 1926.451 . It was the years third most commonly assessed violation. That means its critical for contractors to develop operational plans that include access equipment to perform repairs safely when scaffolds are involved. But a solid fall protection program for mobile scaffolds involves more than just adding a few ladders to a workers truck. It must conform to the same requirements that cover stationary scaffolds with one big difference repair contractors typically erect their own mobile scaffolds. Whatever scaffold type is chosen, a competent person must conduct a thorough job safety analysis for tasks to be performed. And the focus should be on three key areas: (1) setting up the project workplace, (2) inspecting the mobile scaffold before work begins and (3) considering how employees will use it to perform tasks. When contractors need to develop these programs, contacting their White Cap Account Manager to get the lowdown on some available safety resources is a good place to start. Whether the repair contractor owns or rents their mobile scaffold, the crew will need to thoroughly inspect it before use. Their inspection must find that all components are complete, functioning properly and correctly assembled. Some key inspection points are: No Description Here are some common safety suggestions that could be included in the worksites Job Safety Analysis document.\n', 'istockphoto.com Painting a homes exterior , installing new siding, and putting up new gutters are just a few of the projects that require reaching elevated areas of a homes exterior. While an extension ladder is one option, a ladder often doesnt create a stable surface from which to work and constantly requires you to reposition it to cover the entire project area. Sometimes a better and often safer means of reaching those elevated areas of a homes exterior is to build temporary wooden scaffolding. This guide will take you through the steps for building homemade scaffolding. After you know how to build scaffolding, its easier to work more safely on elevated parts of a homes exterior. The first step in building scaffolding involves gathering the materials and tools needed to construct the project. Two 8-foot-long 2x4s and a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood are needed to create the scaffolding frame. Youll also need four 8-foot 2x6s to support the frame as well as two 2-foot-long 2x4s that will serve as anchors for the supports. Youll need a carpenters square to mark and a circular saw or chop saw to make cuts to the lumber . To attach the 2x4s and 2x6s, youll need 8-penny framing nails and a carpentry hammer . Finally, make sure to have a sledgehammer on hand to pound the anchors into the ground. istockphoto.com Building scaffold usually requires having enough space to lay out all of the materials and tools, and a space that is flat. After choosing the location, its time to start setting up scaffolding. Nail a 3-foot-long and a 5-foot-long 24 together at right angles. Then, make two 3-foot-long triangles of 3/4-inch plywood and attach them to the 2x4s with 8-penny nails. istockphoto.com A set of two double 2x6s can support your scaffold by serving as a brace. Nail two 2x6s together using the framing nails to make each brace. Use a framing square to mark an angle on one end of the double 2x6s so that it fits into the 90-degree corner on each of the scaffolding frame pieces. Cut the double 2x6s using a circular saw or chop saw. Two 24 supports will attach to two anchors driven into the ground, creating a strong base that will support the scaffolding. Use the circular saw or chop saw to create a point on two 2-foot-long 2x4s to create both anchors. istockphoto.com Attach the two scaffolding frame pieces to the house using 8-penny nails, positioning them so they will allow you to reach the entire project area. When attaching the scaffold framing, make sure to drive the nails into the homes framework to ensure they create a secure connection. Run 26 boards across the top of the scaffolding to serve as the walkway. Trim the 26 supports to the proper length so that the cut ends fit into the corners of the scaffolding frame pieces and the opposite ends extend to the anchors. Attach the supports to the frame and the anchors using framing nails. If youre wondering if scaffold towers are safe or if you require a license to use them, then read on for answers to some of the most popular questions about scaffolding. DIY scaffold towers can be safe when you use the right construction methods. Use dimensional lumber and fasteners that are strong enough to support the load of workers and supplies and make sure to properly support the scaffolding. In general, you should use scaffolding at a height that is 4 feet above a lower level. If scaffolding is more than 10 feet above a lower level, you should also use fall protection. There is no requirement for permission or a license to put up scaffolding on your property. For a quick review of these steps about how to make scaffolding, watch this video from Bob Vila:\n', 'BEIJING Scaffolding at a construction site in eastern China collapsed into a deadly heap on Thursday, sending iron pipes, steel bars and wooden planks tumbling down on about 70 workers in the countrys worst work-safety accident in over two years. At least 67 people were killed by the collapse of the work platform at a power plant cooling tower that was under construction, state media reported. Two others were injured and one worker was missing. The cooling tower was being built in the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province when the scaffolding tumbled down at about 7:30 a.m., an official with the local Work Safety Administration who would only give his surname, Yuan, said by telephone. The reported death toll suggested that nearly all the construction workers at the cooling tower perished. Close to 70 people were working at the site when the scaffolding gave out, according to local media reports. About 500 rescue workers, including paramilitary police officers, were digging through the debris with their hands, according to state broadcaster CCTV. It showed debris strewn across the floor of the cavernous, 545-foot-high concrete cooling tower, in the middle of which stood an unfinished structure. Rescue dogs were seeking to locate survivors or the bodies of victims, while backhoes shifted wreckage to the margins of the massive round tower. Chinese President Xi Jinping urged local governments to learn from the accident and hold those responsible accountable. He said that in the wake of recent work accidents, the State Council, Chinas Cabinet, should carry out thorough inspections of work sites to reduce risks. China has suffered several major work-safety accidents in recent years blamed on weak regulatory oversight, systemic corruption and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy. Also Thursday, Yang Dongliang, a former head of the State Administration of Work Safety, stood trial in a Beijing court for allegedly accepting $4.3 million in bribes between 2002 and last year, as he rose through the ranks as an official in Tianjin before joining the regulatory agency. Yang was sacked in August 2015 in connection with a massive explosion at an illegal chemical warehouse in the northern port of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. The head of a logistics company was also handed a suspended death sentence over the case. Earlier this month, 33 miners were killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Chongqing in Chinas southwest. In 2014, a dust explosion at a metal production workshop killed 146 people. Other accidents blamed on lax safety standards in recent years have also caused significant fatalities. In June 2015, 442 people were killed in the capsize on the Yangtze River of a modified cruise ship blamed on poor decisions made by the captain and crew, while 81 people were killed in December when an enormous, man-made mountain of soil and waste collapsed on nearly three dozen buildings in the southern manufacturing center of Shenzhen. Construction of the 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant at the center of Thursdays accident began in Fengcheng in late 2015 and was expected to be finished in November 2017. Provincial officials held a televised news conference late Thursday at which they bowed to express condolences to the workers families. The cause of the collapse is under investigation. Hundreds of coal-fired power plants are under construction in China. Beijing has vowed to solve a looming problem of power oversupply and cap greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term, but economic planners said earlier in November they intend to boost coal power generation capacity by a fifth over the next five years, or the equivalent output of hundreds of new coal-fired plants. Send questions/comments to the editors.\n', "A kitchen island not only gives your kitchen a storage boost, but it can help turn a kitchen into a sociable hub, a place for friends or family to gather while you prepare food. Whether you want to try a new kitchen island idea , give your existing one an update, or upcycle something to make a new one, there are a number of different DIY kitchen island ideas to try, many of which can be done in a weekend. 'When it comes to DIY kitchen islands, thinking outside the box can result in some truly unique designs,' says Kane Hughes, interior design expert at MyJobQuote. 'You can turn vintage sideboards or buffet cabinets into a kitchen island. These can be found for next to nothing in charity shops and look fantastic with a new coat of paint.' Whether you're about to dive into your first upcycling project or you're a pro with the power tools, these DIY kitchen island ideas are the perfect way to transform your space without spending a fortune. A DIY kitchen island doesn't need to be costly, and it's easy to make a breakfast bar out of reclaimed materials. Take a look around your local reclamation yard for reclaimed scaffold boards. These area are thick and sturdy perfect for a DIY kitchen island. Make sure each plank isn't bowed and ask for them to be cut to size. Then all you need to do is make your frame by fixing together the three sides and cladding the back with horizontal boards. You can also find scaffold boards on eBay, or check out Facebook Marketplace for local bargains. Use tiles on one side of your kitchen island for an easy way to give it a fresh look. Choose a design that incorporates an accent colour to tie the look to your kitchen. Alternatively, pick a bold pattern to add interest to a simple colour scheme. This budget-friendly kitchen island from Ikea has been given an upscale makeover using mosaic tiles in a calming neutral shade. You could even add antique mirrored tiles for a modern touch that will reflect light around the space ideal for small kitchens . Add an industrial vibe to a kitchen island by storing kitchen essentials in reclaimed metal drawers or boxes. This is an easy way to add character (and valuable storage!) to a DIY kitchen island without a huge amount of work. Pick up vintage metal drawers from antiques fairs or websites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Either slot the boxes or drawers into a narrow shelf, or stack them up if you have space. If you're looking for ways to organise your kitchen Nothing beats the look of exposed brickwork when it comes to adding character. Whether on a chimney breast or as part of a feature wall, you can easily apply this look to kitchen islands, too. If your kitchen island has seen better days, why not clad it in brick slips (thin slices of brick which are applied like tiles). This simple update completely changes the look of an island. And if you're after a relaxed, industrial vibe for your kitchen, this one's for you. Make it even more of a focus with a statement kitchen island lighting idea , like this run of three contemporary pendant lights over the island. For a kitchen with the wow factor, you can't beat using vintage furniture, especially something like this old shop cabinet. Not only will it provide you with buckets of storage,\xa0 This type of unit is normally pretty big, and so it's great for a large open-plan kitchen space. Turn it into a DIY kitchen island with a sociable breakfast bar for entertaining. Simply fit a length of worktop on top with a slight overhang on one side. 'One of the easiest ways to update a wooden kitchen island is to give it a fresh coat of paint,' explains Michael Rolland, interiors expert and MD of The Paint Shed (opens in new tab) . 'An island is a great way to add colour to the kitchen,' he says. 'Those wanting to try some of the latest trending shades in their kitchen but are too nervous to commit to painting all of their cabinets can add a splash of colour by painting the kitchen island instead.' If you're a fan of a white kitchen , or you favour a more neutral scheme, why not be bold and choose a contrasting colour like this vibrant yellow shade? To paint a wooden unit like this one (and old science workbench), lightly sand the surface before painting. Then use a hard-wearing paint finish like an eggshell. It's hardwearing and will look good for years to come. Turn a vintage chest of drawers into a statement DIY kitchen island. Here, extra depth has been added by attaching a row of kitchen base units to the back surface of the chest of drawers. This doubles up on the storage space. Paint the drawers and the attached cabinets to match in a striking dark shade such as charcoal of deepest blue, then replace old knobs with shiny new gold ones. Top the kitchen island with contemporary white worktop with an overhang at the end to create a sociable spot to sit and chat. If you need to boost your storage on an existing kitchen island, add a small shelving unit to either end. Then paint it in a bold shade like this vibrant blue to create a stand-out feature in your kitchen. Top with a single piece of worktop for a flush finish, and use the shelves to store your favourite recipe books. Alternatively use glass jars to store dry ingredients and line those up on the shelves. Then you're ready to whip up your next show-stopping bake! Look out for vintage tables, especially ones with a low shelf, which are perfect for storing pots and pans. Add a set of castors to each of the legs to increase the height this'll make it a better level for prepping food. This clever upcycling tip also makes the table a great portable kitchen island idea , as it can easily be moved around depending on your needs. You can turn it from lunchtime vegetable prep station to an evening cocktail bar in a flash. Or, if you're anything like us, you'll want to wheel it to one side to make space for your kitchen disco! For a small kitchen island idea , look out for a secondhand butcher's block to give you a much-needed bit of extra prep space. A lower shelf is ideal for storing pots and pans and you can attach a wall-mounted hanging rail to one side for tea towels and kitchen utensils. Leave the wooden finish natural for a classic country look that will add interest next to lighter kitchen cabinets. If you have a wood-burning stove at home, incorporate a log store into one side of your kitchen island so you can keep logs dry indoors. Ideal for a country-style kitchen, add a shelf to your island or leave a base cabinet without a door so you can easily pile up logs inside. The answer is almost anything! The main thing to remember when upcycling something for a DIY kitchen island is to make sure it is the right height. Around 90cm is a good working height. Any lower and you'll be bending over awkwardly when prepping food. Any taller and it will be an uncomfortable surface to work at. Some great items to turn into a DIY kitchen island include: Absolutely. This is a great way of creating a bespoke DIY kitchen island. You could use base cabinets without doors for an open shelving look, or choose doors in a different colourway to your main cabinets to make the island a focal point. A single row of base cabinets is ideal for a slimline design, whereas two rows of cabinets facing away from each other will give you a lot more storage, but you'll need a bigger space to do it. The best paint for kitchen cabinets will depend on the finish you want to achieve. If your kitchen cabinets are made of wood, an eggshell paint with a light sheen is a good choice. Gloss paint will create a high sheen, which works well for a modern scheme, while chalk or furniture paint is a good idea for a country look, but it will need sealing afterwards with a lacquer or wax to keep the finish in top condition. If you're painting a laminated kitchen surface, look out for a multi-surface paint. Make sure you read up on how to paint kitchen cabinets before getting started.\n"