A Clever Kitchen Built-in
Six small boxes joined behind a simple face frame exploit a shallow space.
Synopsis: Kitchens often need all the storage space they can surrender, but awkward locations can mean useless real estate in this busy room. Cabinetbuilder Nancy R. Hiller developed a solution for a kitchen-storage challenge: fitting a clever, useful built-in against a shallow slice of kitchen wall. She did it by joining six small cabinet boxes behind a face frame and by using smart details and strong hardware. The result is a roomy storage unit with cabinets, drawers, and shelves.
Modern kitchens are made for storage, but it never seems to be sufficient. Recently, my company built a cabinet to provide generous storage on a shallow section of wall in our clients’ kitchen. It was space that normally would have gone to waste because it was too shallow for stock cabinets.
The inspiration for this custom-made cabinet came from a traditional piece of British furniture known as a Welsh dresser. In use since the 17th century, the dresser originally provided the main storage in a kitchen; built-in cabinets did not become the norm until the early-20th century. More commonly known in the United States by the less-elegant term hutch, the dresser typically has a shallow, open upper section that sits on a partially enclosed base. The dresser described here also exemplifies the sort of planning, production, and installation essential for genuinely custom built-in cabinets.
A strategy for storage that doesn’t waste space
The kitchen had a section of unused wall about 11 ft. long, which I thought could be used for storage and display space without impeding traffic flow. Although 1 ft. of depth is shallow for a base cabinet, it is enough to hold a surprising variety of kitchen wares: cookbooks, decorative china, coffee mugs, small mixing bowls, jars of beans or pasta. Knowing that one of my…