Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Favorite IKEA Hack!

late as usual, but delivered as promised!

2 of 5: Upper Pantry Storage

Like pretty much anyone else who's ever planned an IKEA anything, it doesn't take you long to realize that what they don't make, you can easily hack.  i mentioned the hack that we did to create our boxer feeding station!  of course, that wasn't really an IKEA thing, because we'd done that years ago with an unused drawer in our old kitchen.  however, it showed us that just because it may not "fit" in the planner, doesn't mean it can't be done.
I guess we only really have 3 hacks (one more coming soon) in the kitchen, and the pantry/fridge storage is my favorite
i've never been a fan of that useless black hole over a fridge or at the top of a pantry.  whether it's the same depth as the fridge or not, doesn't matter. that space never gets used. at best we throw nic-nac plastic-y pic-nic-y crap up there that we think we'll use for some cookout we're never going to.  with the remodel i swore i would not do that again. and with the remodel, we opted for a counter depth fridge (not sure that was a wise choice but maybe i'll talk about that in detail later, maybe not). so with the pantry & the fridge cabinets, one side of our kitchen was looking like this
pretty standard.  pantry on the left with the upper cabinet & the fridge cabinet overhead.  We used the AKURUM WRD and HD to create this:
AK WRD 498.867.72
AK HD 398.868.38
You can see from those pics the the refrigerator cabinet & the top of the pantry cabinet is typically open space.  SO here's where things get all hackey!
Pantry pullout
Refrigerator pullout
Ta-da! not only do we have storage, but we have pull-out storage!  now every time i've shown this to anyone, they've all commented "yeah, but how often do you have to get up there?"  not very often, but they are missing the point!  when i do have to get to something up there, at least it's easy to get to. with 24" deep cabinets, i don't have to struggle reaching all the way to the back to dig something out!  yes, it's still way up there & i'll explain that soon too!
The idea for the shelves came from the pantry actually.  you can tell from the IKEA photo above, that we went with the pantry that included pullout drawers.  well, why not use those same drawers in the top?  seemed simple enough.  we just ordered an extra drawer that matched the ones installed in the bottom section.
Rationell  501.099.84
Rationell  201.323.87
For the refrigerator pullout it was a bit more complicated.  we found out quickly that they don't make a 36" wide drawer if you look in the Storage Organizer section.  the widest drawer they have is the Rationell 30" & it's not a Deep Drawer.  i could live without the DD considering this is going above the refrigerator where i hope NOT to spend a lot of time!  but surely they make a 36" drawer b..e..c..a..u..s..e.....we used a 36"AKURUM Base Cabinet with 2+2 Drawers!  see, you gotta think outside the BigBox!  of course i can't find the individual drawer online, but we simply ordered an extra 36" drawer like the base cabinet & used that above the refrigerator.  
UPDATE:  Thanks to Sam's comment below asking for clarification on exactly how we did the refrigerator pullout.  I think at the time i wrote this, i simply didn't remember all the details & didn't want to bother my husband with repeating them.  so i took the time to go back over that hack with my husband & here is what i told Sam:
(1) because we used a 36" base cabinet drawer, there is no hardware for the front.  that means, unlike the pantry drawers, the base or shelf is exposed.  that's the gray-ish part you see running across the bottom of that pullout. they don'tt make a 36" Drawer Front (or didn't at the time), 30" was as wide as they had.  so we bought an extra Drawer Front (901.323.92) just to use the left & right pieces.  this holds the bottom shelf piecce, the tubes that run to the back of the drawer & the "silver" horizontal piece across the front (that's up next).  so you will have to deconstruct the Drawer Front to use pieces of it.  
(2) the "silver bar" going across the bottom front is actually a modified piece of the Rationell Drawer Divider (501.822.53) which does come in 36".  we just used 1 horizontal piece because the whole thing (3 horizontals) would not fit in the Rationell Drawer Front (901.323.98).  we did this just to give us some stability in the drawer & to create a stop for anything that might roll forward.  so you don't have the deep/tall front piece that the pantry drawers have, but at least it's some sort of "lip" that holds things in.  
here's a photo so you can see where we had to chop the Divider down to get it to fit into the Drawer Front 

so the formula is:  Extra 36" Base Drawer + Rationell Drawer Front Kit (size doesn't matter cuz you just want the left & right pieces) + Rationell Drawer Divider (deconstructed to use just the part that will snap into the Drawer front).  
You can see from our finished products that, due to the door hinges, we could not install the drawers in either cabinet at the very bottom.  i wasn't sure i was going to like this at first, that tiny bit of space below the drawer might be wasted.  but so far, it's come in handy for storing flat trays and serving plates.

up next!  how do 2 people who are only 5'5" get easy access to these drawers even though they do pull all the way out.  stay tuned!


stainless steel kitchen trash cans said...

It's quite impressive.

Anonymous said...

Hi and thanks for posting your project. :)

I have a question;

On the pantry you have the std Ikea finishing cover for the front of the drawer (Rationell 201.323.87), but what are you using for a finishing cover on the front of the 36" drawer over the fridge? I tried to determine this by looking at your photo but I cannot figure it out.

Thanks again,


capt-capsaicin said...

Are you using something other than the standard 125° Integral hinges? I can't get the drawer to pass the doors and get them to gap right with the Integral hinges.

Thank you, Jason.

capt-capsaicin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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