Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IKEA Cabinet Hacker

Recently, I found a blog where people post creative use of IKEA furniture: IKEA Hackers. I was surprised to find so many fellow IKEA hackers out there. Obviously, I'm not the only one chopping up IKEA cabinets to get exactly what I want. We hacked quite a few closets in our previous house to make them look built in. Today, I introduced our builder to the art of hacking IKEA cabinets.

In the mud room, along the two long walls and just below the ceiling I've installed "above refrigerator" cabinets. The 15 inch tall ones fit precisely over doors and windows and gives not only lots of storage, but also a feeling of shelter when you are under them. I'm a big fan of the "Not So Big House" concept by Sarah Susanka. She talks a lot about ceiling height variety and a feeling of shelter.  Putting the cabinets along the ceiling gives all of that - plus storage. Last night, I worked on installing all eight upper cabinets. The deep ones are heavy and the not so straight old wall challenged us!

Once the cabinets were in place, we could glue and screw the cover panel (intended for the sides of cabinets) on the underside of the upper cabinets. While building my previous house, I learned that construction glue, or PL400 is incredibly strong stuff.

Tall cabinet is hacked to be narrow
enough to fit sideways under the
upper cabinets.
Tall cabinet is used to squeeze up the back
of the cover panel while the glue is drying. 

This morning, the top, bottom and back part of one of the tall cabinets was cut off to make the cabinet fit sideways under the upper cabinets. When you do that, the bottom and top loose their holes for IKEA hardware, so I just put in a few long regular screws from the side that now faces the wall. 

There is not enough space under the cabinet for legs or a plinth. When the builders showed up, they helped me with pieces of 2x4's and some shims to bring it up to the right height. It will all be covered with trim anyway. Tomorrow we'll put the other tall cabinet in place and prop it up the same way.

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