Primary school kitchen ergonomic makeover

Materials: Two Udden workbenches, five Snack wood boxes (now sadly discontinued), Rill weels, Molger hooks, scrapwood for cleats, high-tack glue, screws, plugs, drill, saw, hammer.

My kid’s school teachers had put up a request for a mother to make new curtains, for under the classroom kitchen sink. After inspecting the small arts and crafts kitchen, I concluded it was an ergonomic horror for the teachers: they had to stoop down to the floor (on hands and knees) to get anything from under it. Besides, the tiles were practically falling off the wall, and they needed extra storage space in the classroom. Being a dad, I didn’t see myself sewing curtains and prolonging the dysfunctional setup, so I took a different approach.

‘before’ from another classroom

After some negotiating, the teachers got a little budget to redo the kitchen, with second hand kitchen cabinets. While at Ikea to purchase the wooden Snack boxes for under the countertop, I discovered two Uden workbenches on big discount, called the teacher and she agreed to use them to replace the old tiles.

I hammered the rims flat, and used a French cleat, scrapwood pieces jammed under the rims and high tack glue to fix the two panels in place, and finished with some sealant kit (polymer). (Tip: to prevent wobbly effect, attach a sizeable piece of wood in the centre of the panels).

The boxes with wheels make it much easier to store and reach art supplies. I had a strip of Molger hooks lying around so I attached that to the hanging cabinets for towels etc. Best thing: the stainless steel tops double as magnetic backboards to attach things to. From shabby kitchen to luxury style art corner, all for around one hundred euro’s and an afternoon of work.

I didn’t take before pictures, so the before pictures are from another classroom with a similar setup as the before situation, just to get an idea of the ergonomic disaster.

~ G.V.M., The Netherlands

Jules Yap