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Kitchen Cupboard Conversion

This was a  project we needed to tackle straight away.  Like, the weekend after we moved in. Why?  We couldn’t finish unpacking the kitchen boxes until we did this…and we had enough other boxes standing around, thanks!

The excitement was real!  We were finally able to dream about doing exactly what we wanted to – no need to ask permission from anyone else.  It was also so awesome to be making improvements, even just small ones, so quickly.

The cupboards on either side of the oven had awesome potential and, while we could see what the previous owners were trying to achieve, it just wasn’t done well…at all!  There were these horrible metal slider drawers in the left cupboard. They were all bent and skew so pulling them was just awkward and noisy.  And on the other side they had added a drawer at the top that we couldn’t even pull open and it just had lots of wasted/unusable space in general.

This collage show the before shots.  Not the best pics, but you get the idea…it wasn’t so pretty.

*cue us driving excitedly to Gelmar*  We had been popping in there now and then for the last few months, for general tools/hardware stuff, and when we did, we’d always look at all their awesome drawers and “help me organise my house” stuff and dream about all the great DIY/renovations a person could use them for.  With a husband who is a dreamer, it was almost impossible not to.  So now, we were actually going to buy something awesome and do it ourselves.

The plan was (after changing our thinking once or twice):

  • Take off the doors and their hinges, so that they would become pull forward drawers, rather than swinging out doors;
  • Find some sort of drawer unit that pulls out, but that also stacks, so it can maximise space, while still being able to get things in and out of the shelves easily.

We ended up buying a set and taking them back.  We realised that something else Gelmar had would actually work better – a 3 tier drawer unit where the door would attach to the front, that was high enough to keep easy-is access to our gas switch off valve. The plan was to also put on handles that look better with that style of door but we just haven’t got there yet.  We’ll do all the handles in the kitchen at the same time, at a later stage.

Then my DIY-fabulous husband worked his magic.  I’m seriously lucky to be married to someone who knows his stuff and who is as keen/excited to make things and DIY renovate/improve parts of our house as I am. He’s got such a great mind for picturing things in advance, in a way that I can’t.  And he certainly thinks of things I wouldn’t.  Which means he picks up on potential design problems that I don’t see. Go team!  I did some holding, screwing and helping but, let’s face it, he’s the overall legend who put together all the important bits.  The process pics we have kind of show how tight the space to work with was.

The steps were fairly simple:

  1. Place the railing and racks into the shelves and make sure it is sitting exactly where you want it to be;
  2. Mark all the holes with pencils so you know where to put screw pilot holes (if you need to – depends how hard your wood is);
  3. Screw down the rails;
  4. Fix the drawers to the rails;
  5. Remove the existing doors and hinges (that can be step 1 if you want, but, leaving the door on keeps them in the correct space for lining everything up);
  6. Attach the doors to the front of the drawer unit;
  7. Test and get excited when it all works and changes your kitchen storage world! (we had to move the doors once or twice to make sure they were screwed into the exact spot that made them level.  Otherwise your so the doors don’t close tight and flush with the frame).

And…ta da…the finished product is the header page to this post.  We love it! 🙂


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