Spacing our DIY Ikea Banquette Cabinets

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series DIY Ikea Kitchen Banquette Seating

This post will cover some important steps that will made our upper cabinets start to appear more like a single uniform bench!

Spacer Panels and End Panels

We realized that we did not want to put the cabinets flush up against one aother. We had some additional space to fill along the wall (i.e., the cabinets would not, as expected, take up the entire length of the walls. We knew this in advance when we were determining what size cabinets to purchase.

So we wanted to add a little “filler” between the cabinets to add an extra inch of width. Also, the sides of the cabinets themselves are not terribly pretty. In fact, when you’re installing these cabinets as, well, kitchen cabinets and not banquette benches, you add Ikea “Perfect” cover panels to the ends to make the exposed edge of the cabinet more finished and aesthetically pleasing.

Therefore, we wanted to add cover panels to separate the cabinets (I’m calling them spacer panels), as well as cover panels to cover the ends of the cabinets that would be exposed (I’m calling those the end panels).

We purchased two of the Ikea Perfekt Cover Panels for this purpose. We wanted the panels to be 15 inches high (the exact hight of the cabinets), so we had to cut the panels into 15 inch pieces (sorry, we didn’t take pictures of that step! We used a circular saw) Then we just placed the cut panels in their intended spots to ensure that they fit.

Although the cut edges of the panels are unfinished, we didn’t have to paint them or anything, because everything would be covered with another separate top panel (discussed in a future post).

(In the above picture, don’t mind that the side panel goes all the way to the floor. That was something we tried, but it didn’t work, so we eventually cut it shorter to match all the other spacer panels)

When everything looked good, we screwed the cabinets to the side panels! We used fender washers when screwing the cabinet to the panel to avoid the risk of the screw going all the way through the wood.

We clamped the side panel and cabinet together and screwed them together from the inside of the cabinets.

We repeated this for all the spacer panels.

Power Outlet Issues

Our L-shaped banquette would be blocking two power outlets, so we wanted to make sure they weren’t covered. So, just using a drywall saw, we cut holes for the outlets. There are probably a million other tools that would make this cut neater and more efficient, but we already own a drywall saw, so it was readily accessible, and we went with it.

We repeated this for the other outlet as well.

Installing Cabinet Doors

After the spacer panels were screwed together and the holes were cut out for the power outlets, we decided that this would be a good time to install the doors on the cabinets.

If you recall from our Introduction post, we opted for the Ikea Lidingo doors.

But, if you notice, the “corner” cabinet of our L-shaped banquette would be inaccessible and almost entirely hidden.

Since that cabinet would be blocked, so we opted for the smooth (and much MUCH less expensive!) Ikea Harlig Doors. (Which we had already installed in the above picture).

For the rest of our cabinets though, we installed the Lidingo doors. Installing the doors is quick and easy. We just followed the instructions in the package.

Here was the door hardware.

And installing the door hardware.

The doors then snap right into place on the hardware.

We were annoyed because one of the doors that Ikea sold us was damaged and we had to return it, but use your imagination that all of these cabinets had doors.

It’s looking a lot more like a banquette and not just some random cabinets sitting on the floor now!