How Can I Inexpensively Deal with the Exposed Pipes in My Kitchen?

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Q: My fiance and I recently purchased this small one bedroom condo near Washington, DC. I am thrilled about attacking it with my ideas, but I am a little stumped when it comes to this particular space in the kitchen. Ideally, this would be a good spot for a microwave/fan, and the existing cabinets are not ugly. BUT there are these awkward gaps between the cabinets due to what I assume to be water/gas lines that are run up from the crawl space below. I am thinking of several options. None of them include re-running the pipe lines, since I assume that would be very expensive:

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Here are some options I've been thinking about:

1. Replace the cabinet with a custom cabinet with holes cut to accommodate the pipes. Note sure if I will be able to do this with a microwave/fan combo as well.
2. Remove the cabinet and install open shelves here. Not sure how this would look, especially next to regular cabinets.
3. Leave the existing cabinet in place and either leave the gaps alone or figure out something to slot in there.

Do you think any of these is a good option? Any other ideas?

Sent by Natalie

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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