Out With the Old, In With the New

It’s renovation time. You’ve studied the trends, the magazines, and infused your own personal style into the kitchen of your dreams with your KAD Kitchen designer. Out with the old - in with the new, as they say. Now the work can begin getting rid of your old kitchen cabinets - but what are you supposed to do with them anyway?

Out With the Old, In With the New 1

Cue the internet - a hotbed of creative, inspiring, and unique projects and uses for any number of objects or products. Things are not always what they seem, and your kitchen cabinetry is no different - there are 101 innovative and useful ways to recycle and reuse the material you remove from your kitchen while renovating. In this post, we’re discovering what to do with your old cabinets.


How to Know it’s Time to Replace Your Old Cabinets

You don’t have to be tackling your dream kitchen renovation to know it’s time for a cabinetry refresh. There’s two main ways to know when it’s time to replace your old cabinets:

  • They’re deteriorating - the cabinets could be broken, cracked, and damaged due to moisture and exposure to heat.
  • You’re tired of them - it’s your kitchen! If you walk into the room each day only to be unimpressed by the style and aesthetics of the heart of your home - it’s time to replace them.

So other than pile them into the demolition heap, or escort them to the dump yourself - what can you do with your old cabinets?


Get Creative

During a dream kitchen makeover, one of the first things you’ll likely consider replacing or updating, is the cabinetry. This can mean updating the style, material, colour, size, etc. As your contractors prep the space for your fresh new digs, they’ll be removing the old cabinets to make room for structural improvements, removing walls, painting, and installing new islands, counters, and new cabinets. Take those old cabinets and get creative in your approach you reuse, or recycle the material - there’s a multitude of great ideas, and innovative how-to’s for reusing wood, melamine, and composite materials.


Stylish Coat Hangers

innovative coat hangers

Image courtesy of Redoux Interiors

Use the hardwood faces of your old kitchen cabinets and mount them to the wall as innovative coat hangers, or key hangers at the entrances of your home. You can also reuse the cabinetry knobs from base cabinets as coat hooks to hang your jacket, purse, keys, or hats in a stylish way near the door.


Serving Trays

The solid wood face of your old cabinets are the perfect material from which to create a recycled serving tray, perfect for bringing coffee up to the bedroom, or serving a decadent cheese tray to guests. Simply remove the old cabinet face, fill the pre-existing handle holes with wood filler, sand smooth, and paint any colour you wish. Nest, reuse your old cabinet handles by turning them perpendicular to their original position and mount them upward so you can carry it around upright.


Workshop Table

Take your old kitchen base cabinets and outgoing countertops and refashion them into sturdy and reliable workshop tables and/or garage storage solutions by outfitting the bottom of the cabinet with rolling/locking caster wheels. The added storage space, and working surface area provide for inexpensive and suitable portable cabinets, ideal for storing tools, DIY supplies, gardening tools, etc.


Ottoman Chest

One of our personal favourites. Using a hanging cabinet box, cover the open back of the cabinet to act as the base of your new ottoman storage chest. Next, fasten dresser legs and/or wheels to the back of the cabinet so you may position the cabinet as a chest. Choose to upholster the cabinet door with a padded fabric to match your existing decor or living room aesthetic, or paint the entire box to act as a chic coffee table and storage trunk - perfect for blankets, throw pillows, photo albums, or vinyl records.


Mudroom Bench

A very similar idea to our ottoman chest idea, old kitchen cabinets can make the perfect mudroom bench for getting ready in the mornings, storing boots, mittens, and seasonal clothing. Simply remove the hanging cabinet from the kitchen wall, and add structural support to the inside of the cabinet box to provide rigidity using 2x4’s. Use the existing cabinet doors as cupboards for forward-facing storage.


DIY Sideboard


Base cabinets by their very nature, are meant to be used as accommodating storage and workstations. They’re built to support loads on top, and store goods - whether that be food, dishware, cutlery, etc - inside. This means recycled base cabinets are the perfect material to create a reimagined sideboard as displayed by @anthropologie - cabinets used in the dining area, bedroom, office, or hallway - and very similar to that of a credenza, or a buffet. Simply paint to match the decor of your intended space, and fashion a great new counter from other recycled cabinet material to enhance the stylish DIY sensibility of your new sideboard.

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Try not to stare Photo via @palmandprep (link in profile to shop)

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The world is all too familiar with the culture of wasting, or throwing away old things we no longer have uses for. Part of our job as innovative and creative kitchen designers is to find beauty and usefulness in spaces and objects that have little hope left in them. We’re strong proponents of the DIY ethos, and reusing cabinets is a surefire way to make use of old materials, keeping them out of landfills. Go ahead and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty - recycling and reusing old cabinets is a great way to make use of your old cabinets, and give them a renewed sense of purpose and life.