Our Cardboard Kitchen

By | April 8, 2014

I’ll admit it. I’m a visual person. When planning remodeling projects and other big decisions, I need to see the options in front of me so I can really get a feel for how the finished product is going to look.

This kitchen project is no exception. Even though we’ve already removed most of the wall, I was still unsure about ordering cabinets without having a great idea that what we were getting would be exactly what we needed to fit the room. I mean, this is a HUGE project and we’re planning to only do it once…so I want to make sure we get it as right as possible.

Removed Drywall in Kitchen 4

I started by sketching and sketching and sketching ideas of how we want the space to look. Really, I am a terrible artist and terrible at drawing things to scale and with the right perspective. My grandma was an art teacher and I can’t help but feel I’m letting her down every time I can’t figure out the right angle to draw a line to show the cabinets going in two different directions. Sheesh.

Needless to say, there was a lot of erasing and redrawing as I went through this process.

Kitchen Cabinet Sketches

Finally, we had it narrowing down into a few options but I was still having trouble getting a good idea of what the space would really look like, and feel like. Grr…

So, I had the idea to make some makeshift cabinets that would help with visualization. I figured Hubs would laugh and refuse to cater to my insanity, but he actually got into it and started taping things together with me!

Building Cardboard Kitchen Model

We used cardboard boxes we had stashed in various places (spray painting backdrops and the box from our new dishwasher, etc.) as well as a few other random items to try a few of the configurations out in the space “for real.”

Pretty soon, we had ourselves a little model of what the corner might look like, complete with a flannel-colored base cabinet.

Cardboard Kitchen Mock Up

It’s not much, but it was really, really helpful in giving me an idea of the footprint of the finished space.

For some reason, my brain is able to look through the studs and get an idea of the open space that will be there better than my brain was able to picture corners and angles and how far cabinets would stick out, so this silly process gave me a good idea of what the space would look like. If I squint my eyes and tilt me head, it kind of looks like an old potato(name that reference!) I can picture the studs gone and the cardboard as nice, new white cabinets!

Cardboard Kitchen Mock Up 3

For now, we *think* we’ve finally settled on a plan for this little nook area (what I’m calling it) and we have an appointment tomorrow to get our cabinet order adjusted to reflect these changes. Fingers crossed this ends up saving us money, not costing more! Also, fingers crossed we’ll be able to get the random, customized cabinets we need to make this work.

This piece shows where the counter will be…hopefully.

Cardboard Kitchen Cabinet Model 3

And this shows the upper cabinet on this side..which will be connected on the angle to the cabinets on the other side…hopefully.

Cardboard Kitchen Cabinet Model 2

And again, hopefully, we’ll have a similar angle on the base cabinets.

Cardboard Kitchen Cabinet Model

In the meantime, we have a totally non-kitchen related update to share with you all tomorrow in case you’re already getting tired on hearing about one room in our house after seeing us bounce around the house randomly for a year or so. So, stay tuned for a surprise new piece of furniture for a totally different room!

And no, this furniture is not cardboard. Although Hubs did offer to make me something new for the kitchen with the box this piece came in…He’s a good one, that man.

Tell me…have you ever practiced laying out furniture or cabinets with cardboard or other random items from your house? We used some Rubbermaid totes, cardboard, and a blanket to make this little arrangement…I’d love to hear your suggestions for makeshift furniture and fixture…it’s like blanket fort building…for adults!

6 thoughts on “Our Cardboard Kitchen

  1. Mary

    Love the idea of visuals (I’m a visual learning too)! Are you doing any pull out shelving by chance?? Some magical day when we remodel our dream kitchen I plan on doing some pull out shelving for bottom cabinets! Happy planning!! 🙂

    1. Melissa Post author

      We’ve discussed some pull out shelving option…especially for the pantry area…but I think we may end up building that ourselves, perhaps…so we may be adding some of those details custom after ordering…they are so nice when they come built in, though!

  2. Lindsay Ropella

    I think that’s a great idea! Not weird at all. 🙂 I’m such a visual person too that I’ve done some pretty weird “tricks” to try and see how things will look in our house as well. Our new kitchen countertops are getting installed on Wednesday and I’m freaking out a bit – picking stuff out without actually being able to see it is tough! Totally with ya on that one. 🙂

    P.S. I think your drawings are really good! A million times better than anything I could have done lol

    1. Melissa Post author

      Thanks! Glad I’m not the only one who has a hard time imagining what things will look like! The cardboard model helped so much!

  3. Cheryl A

    never used cardboard but my walls and floors have been covered in painters tape mapping out different things

    1. Melissa Post author

      That’s also a really smart idea! We’ll have to try that next time! Thanks for the tip!


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