A hose for a central vacuum can be cumbersome to store. Here's a nifty solution.
One of the design challenges we faced in our open-concept house was where to store the central-vacuum hose. I had originally planned to cap the end of the kitchen base cabinets with a floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet. This would have given me room to hang a hose, but I decided in the end that a bulky cabinet like that would disrupt the flow and sightlines of the house. That meant that I had room for only a 36-in.-long base cabinet. After carefully measuring the dimensions of the 30-ft. coiled hose, I realized there was no way it would fit into a standard base-cabinet pullout. It would need to pull out from the end rather than the front. And to complicate matters further, I decided to soften the end of the cabinet with a curve rather than have a sharp corner jut into the pathway between the kitchen and the central hallway.
After drawing up a full-scale plan for the cabinet that would maximize the remaining spaces with other storage, I built a base cabinet with a pullout cradle on the open end, rather than the front, which gave me the extra length I needed to coil the hose comfortably. I cut all the parts from melamine recycled from my old kitchen cabinets and laminated the cherry veneer doors on a vacuum press. The cradle rolls out on three 28-in. full-extension ball-bearing slides, one on each side and one on the bottom. The accessories all fit in the bottom of the cradle, preventing any of the parts from being lost. Luckily, my stone fabricator had a piece of granite left over from my other countertops that was just large enough. I made him a template, and he matched the curve perfectly.
There are many advantages to building a kitchen one cabinet at a time, but few people have the patience to wait for that final cabinet to go in. In my case, coming home every night and pondering all possible solutions to the problem over a glass of wine or two has led to a cabinet that finishes the kitchen like a keystone. I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent on it. The cabinet hides its function, but serves its purpose perfectly.
Photos: Dean Jackson