My husband and I are working on updating our kitchen by adding a pass-through window between our kitchen wall and living room wall. On the kitchen side, we are adding a new set of cabinets with a counter top. On the living room side, we are adding a second counter top at bar height to work with the set of bar stools I’ve recovered in a light beige fabric.
We aren’t ready to cut the window hole, but I purchased the cabinets from IKEA and wanted to get them installed before our return-and-exchange period was up in case there were any issues. We decided to get the cabinets installed first. This required some prep other than just assembling and installing them. We had a vent that we needed to reroute because the vent was on the wall directly behind where we wanted the cabinets to go. The easiest way for us to do this was to extend the venting so that it could extend beneath the cabinet. After extending the venting, we cut a hole in the toe-kick panel for the new vent grate to go, and we were back in business. We did have to file the vent grate down in order to match the height of the toe-kick.
Here are some progress pictures of our new cabinets in place. I chose two 18″ cabinets with swing doors and one 18″ cabinet with drawers. These cabinets are only 15″ deep instead of a standard counter depth because our kitchen is super tiny and anything deeper would have been uncomfortable to walk through. We used to have a stand-alone unit where these new cabinets are, and it feels so much more spacious since they aren’t as deep as the stand-alone unit.
Now that the new cabinets are in place, we’ve moved around our countertop appliances. We have so much more counter space to prep dinner now and I’m absolutely in love with it.
Previously, we had a microwave beside the fridge, but you may have noticed it’s missing from the picture above. We had a microwave incident in the midst of this kitchen update. Unfortunately it stopped working, and we had to replace it with a new one. We bought an inexpensive one that was a great deal because it was a refurbished model, but it was HUGE. When I originally set it up on the counter, I was shocked by how deep and wide it was. It took up nearly the whole counter depth and was almost 50% wider than our previous microwave. Basically all the counter space we gained was lost.
I ended up clearing out a shelf in our pantry cabinet on the other side of the fridge and set it up inside there. We have 3″ of clearance on both sides of the microwave and above it, so there’s plenty of circulation. We lost some significant pantry space, but with the additional new cabinet space from the new installation, we still have more storage than we started with. Plus, to me, it’s worth having the additional counter space.
More updates to come as we make more progress!