Elevate Your Ikea Kitchen with an Appliance Garage

Creating an appliance garage or countertop hutch for your Ikea kitchen is a game-changer in terms of functionality and aesthetics. After living with our Ikea kitchen for three years, we decided to make some adjustments...

Creating an appliance garage or countertop hutch for your Ikea kitchen is a game-changer in terms of functionality and aesthetics. After living with our Ikea kitchen for three years, we decided to make some adjustments and create a custom hutch that not only hides all the cords and clutter but also looks beautiful when open.

ikea cabinet hack for a hutch cabinet appliance garage Image Source: sanaulac.vn

When it comes to building an appliance garage, there are a few key decisions you need to make. First, determine the size of the cabinet you'll use. Then, consider how the door(s) will open. This choice depends on factors such as your cabinet arrangement, the function the cabinet will serve, and your ability to "hack" the cabinet. While Ikea offers high-quality hinges, they have limited options for different types of hinges and resulting door openings. Fortunately, the affordability of Ikea kitchens allows for some budget flexibility to upgrade certain features.

There are three main options for an appliance garage or countertop hutch, which I have considered for both client projects and our own kitchen:

Traditional Opening Doors

This is the easiest way to install an Ikea kitchen appliance garage. Simply use a typical Ikea Sektion cabinet, either the "high" depth (15") or base depth (24"), installed on your countertop. For this option, you'll use the standard Ikea Utrusta hinges. This works well in many applications, particularly if the open doors won't interfere with the flow of using your countertops. It's a great choice for shallow-depth hutches on top of full-depth bases, ensuring the doors don't overhang the countertop awkwardly. If ease of installation is a priority, this is the way to go.

Ikea Flip-Up Hinges

This hinge option is ideal for shorter height cabinets, particularly those positioned at eye-level or higher. However, it's important to note that the flip-up doors can obstruct your view of the cabinet's contents. Therefore, this option is best suited for a pantry cabinet or where an elevated location is desired for hidden small appliances. Alternatively, you could explore swing-up hinges if they are compatible with your specific configuration. Although I haven't personally used this hinge in a design, it's worth considering for certain scenarios.

Slide-In Doors

Implementing slide-in doors was initially my preferred choice for our appliance garage. However, this option requires careful planning to create clearances between the Ikea Sektion cabinet frame and the surrounding panels. When dealing with stacked cabinets, like ours, the clearances need to account for the cabinet's width. For example, a 36" wide base cabinet drawer set stacked on top of a 36" wide appliance garage cabinet would require a 30" wide Ikea Sektion cabinet to allow for 3" of gap on either side. While this option is generally suitable, we wanted to maximize the space within our appliance garage, so we opted for a different solution.

Appliance Garage with Slide-In Doors Image Source: sanaulac.vn

Accordion Hinge Doors

Ultimately, we chose accordion doors for our appliance garage, and they turned out to be a fantastic option. This choice was relatively easy to "hack" since we used standard Ikea hinges on one side and a simple piano hinge to connect the folding doors. I particularly love the traditional look that the folded doors provide when open. In our kitchen, this option worked well because the cabinet is next to a wall, so when the doors fold up, they don't interfere with anything. It keeps the window side clear, allowing my boys to stand on the bench and help.

Accordion Hinge Doors

Tip: To maintain a custom look for the backside of the doors, we ordered the hinge on the wall side as a standard 18" wide by 40" high door. For the side that folds in (window side), we ordered an "undrilled door" of the same dimensions. This undrilled door doesn't have drillings for the Ikea hinges, resulting in a smooth, flat surface at the back. However, if you're buying your doors directly from Ikea, you won't need to specify this "custom" detail. In our kitchen, we sourced all our doors and panels through Semihandmade, which allowed us to achieve the desired look and feel.

Our appliance garage sees frequent use, with the doors left open for most of the day to accommodate our coffee maker. Therefore, we wanted the interior of the cabinet to look beautiful as well. Instead of using the Ikea Sektion frame, we decided to build our own using maple ply. We made sure to replicate the exact dimensions of the Ikea cabinet frame and stained it to match the other wood details in our kitchen, complementing the walnut elements used in other areas of our home, such as the Ikea Godgmorgon Vanity in our boys' bathroom.

Custom Appliance Garage Details

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