The Dream Kitchen: Open shelving – because we really need more storage (#ORC Week 4)

We’re into Week 4 of our 6 week kitchen makeover for the One Room Challenge. This week we’re adding some open shelving. Whenever anyone walks into our kitchen, the first comment we get is usually get is “Wow, that’s a lot of cabinets” and to be fair, they’re not wrong. We do have a lot of cabinets.
Just one half of our kitchen - so many cabinets

In fact, when our kitchen was originally delivered from IKEA, it came in 376 boxes. That isn’t an exaggeration.

Our kitchen - in 376 boxes

So while the space is clearly not lacking for storage, what it does lack is any place for us to display anything – pretty dishes, wine glasses, etc.  To rectify that, we built some open shelving boxes to mount below our cabinets.

The plan:

KItchen Elevation showing open storage boxes
Kitchen Elevation showing open storage boxes

Similar to our media wall console, we built the boxes out of 3/4″ plywood that is laminated to give it an 1 1/2″ thickness and then finished the raw edges. The finished plywood edge will help give the boxes a bit of the industrial look we’re going for.

Kes also routed channels into the boxes which will be used to recess some LED strip lighting. This will allow us to backlight the inside of the boxes as well as provide some under-cabinet lighting for the space.

Routed channel in the open shelving box for recessed LED lighting
Routed channel in the open shelving box for recessed LED lighting

The boxes are assembled and ready to go. Now we just have to stain them & get them installed.

Before we go, lets check in with our overall to-do list for the kitchen.

The to-do list:

  • Source backsplash tile options
  • Research countertop options
  • Research sink options
  • Source electrical work
  • Choose countertop
  • Finalize lighting choices
  • Paint window wall frames
  • Update electrical for island pendants
  • Wire island for outlets & bar fridge
  • Purchase bar stools
  • Build & mount open shelving
  • Install under cabinet lighting
  • Replace window/door trim
  • Purchase bar fridge
  • Purchase backsplash tile
  • Install sink
  • Have countertops cut & installed
  • Install backsplash
  • Install new faucet
  • Install pendant lights
  • Install wall sconces
  • Style & accessorize

That’s it for this week! What do you think?  Are you digging our open storage boxes or do they seem like overkill?

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12 thoughts on “The Dream Kitchen: Open shelving – because we really need more storage (#ORC Week 4)

  1. So. Many. Boxes! I would have been totally overwhelmed. But also, your routed channel looks sooo good. When I tried to do that for our lighting they were all wibbley wobley lol – I can’t wait to see the whole thing come together!

    1. Thanks Casey! It was overwhelming for sure when we saw them all arrive, but we got a little team of family members & managed to get everything assembled over 3 days. ? Also I can’t take any credit for the routing. That’s all Kes. Hard to believe there’s just 2 weeks to go!

  2. HI Tash,

    I’m looking for an inspiration for an upcoming kitchen makeover project. I like a lot of storage. This just made me realize that it is possible. I hope everything goes well. How’s everything going?


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