achieve a built-in kitchen look with a few hacks

michael does a bang up job for his kitchen – using parts of the ikea kitchen system to achieve a built-in look.

michael writes, “i’m not a builder, just a web-designer/photographer. i did all of this work myself… took long enough! these shots are from my almost-finished kitchen, so don’t mind the missing baseboards & trim here & there…

ikea kitchen cabinets are great – really sturdy and hold up well to sawing and chopping… they just don’t come in all the sizes we want, right?

take their drawers – lots of big deep drawers, but most people want at least one stack of narrow drawers. using a good table saw, i carefully cut the drawer fronts shorter, re-glued the binding to the top edges, and made my own configuration – this is really useful, and ikea REALLY should make one:

here’s my oven/warming drawer combo. took a 36″ 4-drawer stainless base cabinet, mounted the sides in a tall plywood shell that the oven installed into, and used three of the drawers. (now i have a leftover 36″ stainless deep drawer sitting around… will be a future hack…)

the ikea stainless matches the appliances nicely, and it’s handy as heck. here’s the framework under construction… you can see the ikea cabinet sides and bottom, recessed into the plywood. you really have to be able to ‘think in 3D’ to figure this kind of hack out. when you finally start chopping, it’s a little nerve wrecking.


here’s a simple one – i wanted a ‘built-in’ look for the fridge, so i just mounted a wall cabinet into the plywood ‘nook’; now i just need to trim out the fridge. the circles up-top are vents, since the fridge needs to vent its heat – those are actually aluminum soffit vents, i think they look cool as hell.

that’s a 36″ cooktop cabinet under the gas burners. i had to cut off the fake drawer fronts, and cut down the sides. the other cabinets are pretty much stock; my wife and i poured and ground the concrete countertops and bar top; 2″ thick with integral green stain and a built-in travertine drainboard. the stainless surrounds for the cooktop came from a local metal fabricator, about $200. that cooktop? heck of a bargain – it’s an electrolux, 6 burners, essentially a wolf/viking style, but… $1300 new!


by the way, if you’re considering concrete counters, add a lot of stainless areas too – the concrete really seems to suck up oils, even with lots of sealer.”