Ikea Hack: Floating Kitchen Pantry
Ikea Hack: Floating Kitchen Pantry
A small kitchen means inventing clever ways to use every square inch of space. Our house is about 1000 square feet and the
kitchen is proportionate in size. The door leading out to the back yard is located at one end of the kitchen and we have sort of a galley style kitchen. The space between the cook-top and the counter is about 36 inches. Enough to fulfill code requirements of a walkway area but it means we can't put anything on this wall or it would block the doorway.
This is what the kitchen used to look like before I replaced the floors and appliances and installed an Ikea kitchen.
The only light switch to the kitchen was underneath that cabinet in the middle of the picture! The switches to the left of that used to control the outside lights. So you had to walk into the kitchen and find the switch to turn on the light! Russ and his dad fixed that by installing a 3-way switch at each entrance so that we can turn the kitchen light on from either side of the kitchen. Makes more sense! I also tore out the old wall exhaust fan and my cousin, the mason, patched the brick on the outside. When we opened up the wall to configure the electrical this is what it looked like; a web of mysterious hidden wires, not to code, and a fire hazard buried behind the drywall.
Being that you come in from outside in this space one idea was to put hooks for hanging coats and possibly a small shoe rack. I knew the coats wouldn't take up much depth but they would be ugly hanging in a kitchen and muddy boots wouldn't be appetizing to stare at while trying to cook. I was at Ikea one day browsing the 'As-Is' section and found two FARDAL panels that are meant to be used as cabinet doors for the Ikea kitchen system. So I thought using these funky turquoise panels to make a shallow cabinet would help hide the coat hooks. It just so happened to be a wacky Wednesday so everything in the As-Is department was 50% off!
I went ahead and purchased the panels knowing I could make good use of them and for only 15 bucks each I couldn't pass them up. On my way home I decided a better idea would be to make a shallow pantry cabinet instead of a coat 'closet'.
This cabinet hangs on the wall so sweeping up underneath is a breeze and since it is in the walkway our feet don't get caught up by it. The cabinet is the permanent home for our, rice, grains, cereal, potatoes, and onions. The rest of the food moves between this floating pantry and our rollout pantry next to the fridge depending on where we have space and what can fit.
How I Made the Pantry Cabinet
Before building the cabinet I took a careful study at what we would want to keep on its shelves and measured all of our favorite cereal boxes, glass jars, and potato bins. I spaced out all of the shelves so they would accommodate our typical grocery list and made a drawing.
I had to cut down the length of the blue panels in order to make the shelf floating but kept the width of the door as-is. The overall measurements are 70" tall by 19" wide and 7" deep. The panel I used as the pantry door is positioned so the cut end is at the top minimizing the visibility of the cut edge.
I cut the other blue panel down to 6" strips to use as the sides, top, and bottom of my pantry cabinet.
I cut plywood to 6" deep by 18" wide for the shelves.
Then I laid everything out and started assembling.
I used pocket holes and a bit of glue and started with the blue panels that made up the outside of my cabinet.
Painting the shelves was the next step. To start the assembly I measured out the spacing between each shelf used pocket holes and a little wood glue to hold them in place on the right side panel.
Before attaching the shelves to the left side panel I hung the whole pantry on the wall making sure it was level. Metal L-brackets from the hardware store; two on the upper inside, and two on the bottom outside of the cabinet attach it firmly to the wall. These you never see unless you lay down on the floor. Then I was able to use a level on each shelf before gluing and affixing them to the left panel using the pocket holes.
Putting on the hinges was the hardest part. Since these panels were originally intended as cabinet doors they already had four hinge holes predrilled. I made use of three of them, but since I cut the panel I used for the door down I had to make an extra hole at the top of my door. I purchased a mortis hinge drill bit just for this purpose. I also ended up purchasing the Ikea hinges just to make the final fit easier. Lining up the placement of the hinges on the door to match up with the part of the hinge that attaches to the inside of the cabinet took careful measurement.
After all of the hinges were lined up and attached the only job left to do was empty the other drawers that had food and fill our new cabinet.
Look at all the space we are saving!