Thursday, June 15, 2017

Adding Cabinet Space

Our kitchen is a decent size for a rowhouse, but of course you can always use extra cabinet space. Originally, David bought a bookshelf from IKEA and we used it to store dishes. However, he always wanted to add extra cabinets across from our fridge since we had a little bit of space. Base cabinets are usually 24 inches deep, which would take up a little too much space, so instead he had the idea to use the upper cabinets which are only 12 inches deep. This gives us the extra cabinet space without sacrificing too much open space.

IKEA bookshelf for extra storage. 

We also had a little bit of room on the other side of our fridge for extra cabinets. Since we didn't have many drawers, I picked out a cabinet that had three drawers to install next to the fridge. We weren't limited on space over there, so we were able to buy a base cabinet. We wanted to make this area into a breakfast nook to store cereal and fruit.

Before David could install the new cabinets, he had to fix a small issue with our current cabinets. When our house was flipped, our upper cabinets were installed higher than the industry standard, which made it difficult for us to reach items. David figured this was a good time to lower the cabinets about 4 inches. He was tackling this project by himself, so he nailed a piece of wood to the wall and then rested the cabinets on top of it so he had a free hand to screw them in. It took a lot of work because he had to remove the doors from all of the cabinets as well as the mounted microwave and then re-install them as you can see in the timelapse below.

Resting the cabinets on wood.

After lowering the old cabinets and installing the new ones, it was time to add countertops. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the exact match at home depot. We actually saw the same countertop on a floor model but it wasn't the right dimensions. It turns out our countertops had been discontinued. We found countertop that was just a shade lighter so we decided to get that instead.

The difference in shades between the old and new countertops.

David added an electrical outlet before installing the new cabinet.

The next challenge was cutting the countertop down. Since countertops typically go on top of base cabinets, they are usually 24 inches wide. So David had to cut some excess off to make it fit the narrower upper cabinet that we were using on the bottom. The difficult part was that he couldn't just cut off the front since that has a slope or the back since the has a lip.

Cabinet installed. Now on to the countertop.

David had to get creative and cut a section off in the middle and then re-attach the two pieces together so that we would still have the sloped front and lip for the back. This means that there was a slight gap in the counter top. He filled this in with putty. You could tell there was a crack, but it wasn't super noticeable.

Sizing the countertop.

Slight gap.

David also installed under cabinet lighting and an outlet. This cabinet is perfect for storing those extra kitchen items (I'm looking at you Kitchen Aid). And with the outlet we can use our appliances.

Upper cabinets on the top and bottom.

As for the countertop not matching, you couldn't really tell since the new countertop was not directly next to the old countertop. I never had anyone mention that it was different. Even when I pointed it out to people they were surprised.

We had these countertops for about two years, but have since upgraded them (I will talk about that in another post). I wanted to post about this though, because it was a pretty innovative idea. If you are displeased with you cabinet space, see if you have a foot to spare and squeeze in an upper cabinet!

Breakfast nook on the side of the fridge.


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