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Home Office: Built In Wall Cabinets

**This post may contain affiliate links, which are of no additional cost to you, but help me buy more headache medicine because wow that was a lot of thinking!**

Coming up with ideas of what I envisioned my office to look like was one thing, making it come to life was another. I knew that I wanted built in cabinets on one wall of the office, but knowing what else we were doing in this space, to build them from scratch was NOT an option. You’ll never guess what we used!

We used stock kitchen cabinets! I know, I thought it sounded crazy too!  I thought that I was some sort of DIY genius when I came up with this idea, but since I have never installed kitchen cabinets and I took to Pinterest, I quickly discovered I wasn’t the first one to have done such a thing. (whomp, whomp)  My first thought was to use base cabinets, but instantly I saw a couple of problems.

1)  I wanted the cabinets to look like they had always been there and our baseboards are well over 7 inches tall. This meant that the cabinets would need to be built up on a base to give enough height to place the base board in front.

But then….

2) The windows in the home office are lower and didn’t allow much depth between the window casing and the wall, which meant base cabinets were out because they were too deep.

Then I looked at the upper cabinets instead and found they are less deep and would fill in nicely. Whew! We measured the wall and determined we would need three sets of these upper cabinets from Lowe’s. We would also have to install a filler piece on each end so that the cabinets appeared to span wall to wall.

Home office, storage solutions, home office built in
We scored these cabinets on sale AND had a 10% off coupon!

We removed the baseboard and shoe molding from the wall where the cabinet would live and were super careful. I wanted to reuse this piece to cover the base we would build and give it the “I’ve always been here” look.

To get the cabinet high enough off the ground, we used 2″ x 6″ boards. We built a rectangle long enough and wide enough for the cabinets to sit on and topped them off with two more boards to give it the correct height off the floor we needed.

Home office, storage solutions
Because I’m all about the base.

BEFORE we secured anything in place, we double checked everything, including the baseboard, to make sure it would all work. Slow and steady. Surprisingly the floor was level enough that we didn’t need to use any shims for the base or even when we placed the cabinets on top. We centered the base and secured the base into the wall using screws.

Home office, storage solutions, home office built in cabinets.
Base is in, cabinets are up and marked, time to install.

We placed the three cabinets on top and marked the cabinet location on the wall with a pencil. In that space, we used a Ryobi stud finder to mark where all the studs are to have something solid to secure the cabinets.  We needed to cut a square with our Ryobi Jigsaw on the back of the first cabinet to allow for the outlet behind it. We used an outlet extender to bring the outlet forward and after the third cabinet was installed and secured to the second cabinet, we placed the outlet cover back.  We used a large bit to create a hole at the top of the cabinet which would allow access to the outlet from the counter.

Home office, storage solutions, home office built in
Part of the arsenal from Ryobi we used for this project. If you have the right tools, you can literally do anything. (Drill and bits)

We then placed the first end cabinet and secured it to the wall using 3 inch screws.

Home office, storage solutions, home office built in cabinet
Using an outlet extender and making holes in the cabinet shelving, we still have access to the plug inside the cabinet.

We added the second cabinet, clamped the two cabinets together and used 1 1/4 inch wood screws to secure them to one another before securing the second cabinet to the wall. Then continued to the third and final cabinet. We used a piece of wood to fill the gap on either side of the cabinets to fill in the space and again secured the filler piece to the wall.

Once everything was in place, we replaced the baseboard, shoe molding, and caulked any gaps. Then everything got a couple of coats of  the color “White Dove” from Benjamin Moore, but like all of my other paint, Lowe’s matched the color and I used Valspar paint. You can read all about my method for painting cabinets.

Home office, storage solution, home office built in.
After caulking and a fresh coat of paint, the built in cabinets look like they have always lived in this home office.

We couldn’t find one piece of wood that was long and wide enough to span the space for the counter on top of the built ins. Instead we used pocket holes, thanks to our Kreg pocket hole jig, to secure two boards together.

Home office, storage solutions, home office built in
Using another Kreg Jig to make pocket holes.

I used the same drill bit to make a hole in the counter where it would rest on the cabinet and allow access to the outlet inside the cabinet. The counter received the rustic wood look by first applying Weathered Gray by Rust-Oleum,  two coats of Classic Walnut from Minwax, then a top coat of  polyurethane.

Home office, storage solutions
View from the top to show the hole in the counter where we can still access the plug below.

I stumbled upon these handles from Target and they are the perfect amount of farmhouse and industrial that I wanted for the space! Thankfully we had the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig and face clamp to install the cabinet pulls.

Once everything was in place, I felt like I needed to hang the star of the show, you guessed it, Ferdinand.

Home office, storage solutions
Ferdinand approved. All the rustic feels in one space.

What’s next?

  1. Shiplap (p.s. this was finished before this post)
  2. Build the desk
  3. Refinish side table
  4. Decorate

I feel like at this point the bulky part of the project is done, but there are still many things left to do.  Before we move on, I am IN LOVE with the wall of cabinets. Even getting rid of the two tall book cases, the built in cabinets have already provided so much storage.



Home office, storage solutions, built in cabinets
Built in wall cabinets added style and function to our home office.

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