New Kitchen Cabinet

I gained a lot of counter space when I removed my dishwasher, but I really didn’t need that much more. What I needed was a cabinet to hold all the stuff that’s normally on the counter and which has no other home. So when I travel, that stuff ends up filling the sink, making using said sink a pain.

The problem was finding a cabinet that would fit into the awkward space between my stove and window. And I only just realised that I forgot to grab a before shot. Doh. This is the best I can do:

I needed something that would be about 12″ wide, about 25″ high, and no more than 12″ deep. It also had to fit around the window valance as I did not want to have to mess it up.

I spent quite a bit of time on the Ikea website then at stores looking at the buildable furniture. I was resigned to making something myself when I found the perfect compromise on the Target website:

This design would allow me to cut down the top part of the cabinet to fit it into the space while still having a good sized cabinet with a door.

Now, I knew that this was going to be a cheap particle board item that wouldn’t age well, but for the price, it was worth having it even for a short while. You can buy this item in a white version in store, but to get the espresso, you have to buy online. I thought the espresso colour would look nicer against my cabinets than attempting to paint white laminate.

Particle board isn’t an easy thing to cut cleanly, but I was able to do an excellent job of it:

The vertical cut isn’t as clean because I started and stopped with the saw while the horizontal cut was made in one motion.

To cut the particle board, I put a layer of tape over the area I wanted to cut, then I used a straight edge and a sharp blade to score through the laminate layer. I then sawed through using my jigsaw and a 10TPI blade. 20TPI is recommended for laminated particle board, but I forgot to grab one last night and the 10TPI did a good enough job.

It took a bit of fussing to get all my pieces cut to fit the hole since nothing was plumb and square. Interestingly enough, the counter I installed is perfectly level while the upper cabinets are not! Go me! 🙂

The area around the valance looks silly:

If I was working with high quality cabinetry (that I would have willingly paid for had I found something the right size), I would have probably cut down the valance and attached the curtain rod to the cabinet. But since this is a vantage point very rarely seen, I will be happy to close the gaps with a little trim.

Once I was happy that all the pieces would fit in the space, I assembled the cabinet, using glue in addition to the screws. I then moved the cabinet into place and mounted it with one bracket screwed into the wall and by screwing the base of the cabinet directly into the counter.

Valance area not withstanding, it looks pretty good!

The cabinet came with a crappy black plastic pull. I used one of my nice pulls that matches the rest of my cabinetry. That involved having to drill new holes into the door but, thankfully, the ends of my pull cover the original holes. I think that pull makes all the difference!

The inside of the cabinet has a moveable shelf. I did not use the top part of the cabinet, so I cut it down to make myself a second shelf in case I ever need it:

If you squint, you can see the roller catch I installed for the door (just below the shelf). The door came with a pretty strong magnet catch, but magnet catches aren’t good enough in an RV. The roller catches have never failed me.

I am going to look for some baskets to fit into the top portion to hold spices. I had thought to put a dowel across to hold whatever, but I don’t think there is enough space to put a dowel and still give me room to pull things in and out. The right baskets will make that space look really nice and hide the awkward valance area.

Everything but the pepper mill fits!

I could move the shelf up a notch to fit in the pepper mill, but then the other items on the top shelf won’t fit. The pepper mill can travel while stored at an angle!

Standing in the entrance looking at the cabinet:

And the ugly side:

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do to cover the hole in the counter (used to be a cup holder). Suggestions?

I’m really pleased with how well this project came together and how much better it looks than I would have expected!

Tomorrow, I am going to use another piece from the same collection to make some improvements in the study.

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  • Looks awesome Rae!
    I don’t think there’s an ugly side. How often do you have the “find the ugly side inspectors” in for a tour? Never! 😉
    Pepper Mill: get a broom holder (from Andy Baird) to attach to the cabinet to hold it.
    Hole:Large utensil holder? Baseball bat holder? Flashlight holder? Umbrella holder? 😐 … I give up.
    Great job again.

  • Thanks! I am really liking it so far! My coffee station was very handy, but it’s so nice to declutter that area a little.

    I do have an ugly side inspector in for a tour occasionally. 🙂

    I only need to secure the pepper mill for travel, so I’m not going to worry about it, but thanks for the reminder about the broom clips!

    As for the hole, LOL! I would rather cover it up than stick something in it. 🙂

  • You could use that cup holder hole to hold something decorative like a vase of pretty stones or a candle. Fitting it partway down into the hole would keep it there while traveling.

    Nevermind, you just said you don’t want to stick something in it.

  • Linda, I also thought of a vase, but I don’t like things that are purely decorative. I might just find a nice box to put over that hole!

    BTW, there is a cabinet below that hole with stuff in it, so the hole is only as deep as the counter top, about an inch.

  • How about an African violet or some other small plant that would give you some green and help clean the air? Not that you have bad air. LOL

  • I would love a plant (and had one for a time) but a) my cats would eat it and b) it wouldn’t get across the border. 🙁

  • Hey Rae,
    Love that wall sconce you had to move, in first picture. 🙂
    I never thought of those before (note to self, again).

  • Vicki, I did not have to move it. I chose to remove it because I LOATHED it! It was made of rubber and SO tacky! I had two in the dinette area and two in the study. The other three left exposed holes in the wall, which I covered with pictures!

  • For the hole, two options – you could make it a holder for your pepper mill in transit, or you could go to an office supply store or the like and get a cover such as they use for desks that have a hole to let cabling through.

  • Deac the cover idea is really good, but the hole is too big for the covers I’ve seen. 🙁

    The pepper mill idea did give me another idea. 🙂

  • Not sure where you put your “pocket stuff” when you empty your pockets, and that hole might not be large enough, but I love always knowing where my keys, chapstick, etc. are when I go to leave the coach! A stainless steel container of some height, and that would fit in the hole, would hold a lot of keys, and whatever other debris your pockets collect.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie  <– Sierra Vista, Arizona


    Today: Stone in the Sand

  • Judie, that hole is way too far from the door, but good idea! A landing strip is an absolute MUST by a front door. You can see what my landing area looks like here.

    Hook for the purse, shawl or coat; end table for dropping bags; hook for the keys; narrow shelf above the pantry for dropping small items.

    I HATE look for my keys and that little hook is probably the best hole I ever made in my rig. 😀

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