Ivar Instant Kitchen

Materials: Ivar shelves, Ivar doors, Kosing knobs

Description: Moved into a new house last year, with no kitchen due to an unfinished reno by the previous owner. We were pretty lean after the house purchase, so I came up with this hack, to buy some time before we install a more serious kitchen.

The hack is pretty straight forward. Simply cut down the 20 inch deep ivar shelf units (to 35 inches h + 1 inch for the counter-top) and then cut the 12×49 shelf units with a knotch in the back leg (see pic) so that they sit level with one leg on the counter top backboard. Metal L brackets hold the counter-top to the bottom shelf risers, and the bottom shelves are brought forward a bit to match nicely with the front lip of counter-top.

After that it was simply a matter of cutting a bit of ply wood to cover the open ends and painting that to match the wall color. The lower plywood also hides the “gap at the back” of the bottom row, because the counter-top is 25″ deep, while the ikea shelf units are only 20″ deep.

The final touch was changing the door pulls to the white Kosing pulls, which helped match the white counter tops. Upper shelves are secured to the walls, but so far the whole assembly is rock solid stable after 1 year of use with full loading from cans, dishes, etc.

Most people don’t even notice that the kitchen is a hack, because it looks quite warm and inviting. The sweet part was that we already had all the shelf parts from our university days, and the counter-top bits were from a local building materials recycler – Not quite free but darned close to it.

~ Ed M., Chicago