Let's get right to the picture shall we?
And from the other side...
And with Ed.
I always scroll to the bottom of blog posts to see the final picture and then go back and actually read it. I'm impatient like that.
We are really happy with the way our fridge cabinet turned out! Especially since we had to build it from scratch and work around the beam where the old wall used to be. Here's how we did it.
First thing? Come up with a plan. I could see what I wanted to do in my head....but had trouble explaining it to Ed. Of course I expect him to read my mind. To make things easier for both of us, I used Excel to come up with this.
There was a lot of filler involved. And I think the more filler, the higher chance that that "DIY look" will show. Everything had to be exact - which is one of my excuses for why it took us a week (and a half?) to build.
Our over-the-fridge cabinet was way too high for the new plan, so we had to take it down and move the suspension bar down to the right height.
We originally put the cabinet at the same height as the rest of the wall cabinets, but it was way too high in relation to the top of the fridge. I didn't want a foot or so of empty space between the bottom of the cabinet and the refrigerator.
We also needed to bump the cabinet out to match the depth of the beam so that the cabinet would have a flush front with the panels and filler. So we added a piece of the Ikea base cabinet ledger behind the suspension bar.
Ed likes me constantly taking his picture almost as much as he likes moving suspension bars. (Which we have done several times throughout this kitchen reno.)
We added another piece of the same ledger to make the cabinet level, and then installed the first panel.
Before installing we used a table saw borrowed from a friend (thanks Jesse!) to cut the panel to counter depth (two feet). Then we used L-brackets to anchor it to the wall and the floor checking for level the entire time. Can't have a slanted panel!
Putting in the second panel was a little more challenging since it had to be shorter than the other one (beam in the way). So we had to slice off a little with a jigsaw, and then sand it down until it was just right.
There was a little gap along the wall after we installed it. We're not sure if it was a bad cut on our part or if the wall or floor was slightly tilted but...we're putting a piece of trim there anyway so no worries.
That's what trim's for right?
Being perfectly flush at the front is more important than getting it right in the back.
Then came taking the cabinet back down in order to install the filler piece on top. We took that cabinet up and down about....five times? FUN! But it was necessary in order to get the measurements right and then have access to the back of the filler piece from inside the cabinet.
We cut the first filler piece and notched out a place for the beam.
Sadly, the first attempt was a no-go.
It had a gap along the left side...
And I broke it trying to jam it into place.
So we cut another one which worked out perfectly.
We used little baby L-brackets and very short screws (1/2") to secure the filler pieces to the side panels. It's hard working with finished pieces of - in this case MDF - because no screws can poke through the other side. Everything has to be seamless, so the perfect screw length is essential.
Then it was on to the side filler pieces. Pretty much the same process except we used Ikea's "finishing screws" to attach them to the cabinets - screwed through the side of the cabinet into the side of the filler piece.
Ed choppin' some filler in the workshop.
Add a 2" piece of filler to the bottom (using the little L-brackets again), add a fridge and there you have it!
The same molding that we used for the fake beam will be going around the top of the cabinet so it will have a really built-in look.
We're so close to the end! It's time for countertops, electrical and microwave vent installation. Know what's great about those things? We pay people to do it for us! Nice.