The Billy Hutch: My “Ikea hack”

The proportions of my kitchen are odd and difficult. It once had a back door leading onto a small landing. That was long ago closed off and covered from the inside with a sheet of plasterboard and with siding from the outside. One of my many plans is to put a back door in and have outdoor stairs built that would lead down to my driveway in the back. Early this month I found that very door leaning on the railing of a neighbor’s porch. It was an old back door with one broken window-pane and it was going to be dumped. I saved it. So watch this space for what happens once it’s warm enough in my garage to start stripping it and repairing it.

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Waiting for a new life, ain’t she a beaut?

In the meantime, the wall inside the kitchen that that door would open towards was wasted space. I’d put a single shelf on wall brackets and some pretty jugs on top and hung pictures on the wall. But I sorely need cabinet space and cabinets just don’t FIT in the odd nooks and crannies of my kitchen.

What would fit this approximately 11″x31″ space behind the future door — just — would be a Billy bookshelf from Ikea. In my lifetime, I’ve had more than my share of Billys. They’re just a practical, handsome simple design! We had black ones in our living room in the 1980s, then in the 1990s they moved into my ex-husband’s office and we got birch ones, some with doors that went halfway up, for the living room and my office. Some of them moved with me to my next house. The rest I gave away. Finally I gave them ALL away when I moved across the ocean only to buy new ones here.

This time, though, I didn’t want the Billy to look like a Billy or even like a bookshelf. I wanted a HUTCH.

After I brought my new white Billy home and assembled it and attached it firmly to the wall, I spent a few days mulling it over. Mulling things over is always a good thing! Don’t go rushing in!

The first thing I put in my online shopping cart were two Oxberg doors, the kind I’d once had on the shelves in my living room. They hide the bottom three shelves of the bookcase so I can fill it up with pantry items and other kitchen necessities. I also, as you can see, glued a remnant piece of vintage wallpaper on the rear panel, just to add some color.

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Then I measured and researched. What I found was a cabinet door Ikea makes for its BESTÅ series called SINDVIK. I bought two, turned them on their sides and installed them each with two 2″ satin-nickel overlay hinges.

Here’s my “hutch”!

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