New cabinets to match the old

From the minute I saw our kitchen during the first walk through (okay, from the real estate pictures if I’m being honest), I began thinking about how to add more cabinets. The original kitchen layout only had 1 corner base cabinet, a set of drawers and the under sink cabinet. There were a modestly, decent amount of of uppers: a single, a double and an over-the-stove double. But if we were going to add more lowers, some shelves at the very least wouldn’t hurt.

proposed new floorplan


In my initial plans for the kitchen, I was hoping to add 12″ deep cabinets on the wall opposite the sink, using at 15″ tall cabinet in the center on top of which I would put a small microwave. Above the cabinets, I was going to hang these L-beam shelves from West Elm:

L-beam wall shelves from West Elm
L-beam wall shelves from West Elm

We closed on the house Memorial Weekend, so I snagged two sets of these shelves at a good sale price.

But then, we changed the plan so that the new cabinets would be on the lone window wall. This would let us add 30″ upper and lowers, 24″ upper and lowers, and 15″x30″ lower to create the microwave shelf (not reflected in our really technical drawing below, sorries).

new floorplan

Our really technical drawing of the new cabinets
Our really technical drawing of the new cabinets

Our friends were redoing their entire kitchen with new IKEA cabinets, so we tacked on our smallish order so we could get 20% off during the annual kitchen sale. It took us over a month after getting the cabinets to start on installing them because we were busy tearing up the floor and refinishing the hardwood.

Assembling the cabinets and hanging them was pretty simple:

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But the cabinets did not fit wall-to-wall, so we had to figure out how to fill the gaps, make the cabinets extend to the ceiling, and make the shelf for the microwave. Using our Kreg Jig, we assembled all the boxes needed to build in IKEA cabs with only tiny finishing nails visible on the fronts:

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We bought some more butcher block, and ripped it to size on our new table saw:

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The longest length IKEA sells is 8′ and we needed about 10′ so we had to buy two length and join them together. We used the new Kreg Jig to pull the two pieces together. Then Bry did a great job filling the joints.

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All the wood we added to the cabinets needed to be primed and painted to match the existing cabinets:

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I selected the Orsa door front style because it looked Shaker-esque to match my DIY version on the existing cabinets, AND they were solid wood, so, after sanding, the paint would actually stick to them unlike melamine options. Unfortunately, IKEA isn’t selling these any longer.

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Then… oh goody!! I got to paint MORE cabinet doors!

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After hanging the doors, we were a little unhappy with how you could see a bit of the birch print of the cabinet frame peeking through:

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We spent some time trying to convince ourselves it was fine, but ultimately, we took the doors down, ironed on some wood veneer tape and painted it to match.


Iron on veneer tape from Home Depot
Iron on veneer tape from Home Depot

It made a huge difference:


Now we have room for our recycling, our baking supplies, small kitchen appliances like our waffle maker and food processor, plates and bowls, and serving ware. Plus we have a dedicated place for the microwave and a surface for things like our toaster and soda stream. I literally do not know how we would have made the kitchen function without all this extra storage.

Have you ever added new cabinets to an existing kitchen? How did you make the new ones match or coordinate with the existing cabinets?