The Unexpected Way I Reused My Old Kitchen Cabinets After Renovating

published May 1, 2023
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Old kitchen cabinets in garage being used for additional storage.
Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Almost a year ago, my family moved from a house we built and then added on to. Every bit of that house’s layout and storage was perfectly designed for our needs, including storage spaces like mudroom cubbies, laundry room cabinets, and a spacious hallway closet that stashed all our games and art supplies.

Though I don’t regret moving, it was hard to leave that house and definitely an adjustment to move into one that was almost 30 years old. We’ve been learning how to match this house with our particular requirements, including our storage needs. 

Slowly, we’ve been adapting to what this older, new-to-us house has to offer. One great decision we made was saving the previous kitchen’s cabinets when we renovated our kitchen. 

For our new kitchen, I knew I wanted something that made the room feel airy, something in sharp contrast to the dark wood cabinets that were in the original kitchen. I opted for white for the upper cabinetry, which stretches to the ceiling, and charcoal gray cabinets for the lowers, to help hide fingerprints and dirt. But rather than having the old dark wood cabinets hauled away in the trash bin, we decided to give them a new life.

I got this idea from Gabe and Anna Liesemeyer of In Honor of Design, who saved their old kitchen cabinets to use in the garage when they did their kitchen renovation. When it was our turn, I had the workers put all the cabinetry that wasn’t destroyed during demo in our garage. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

My husband mounted the top cabinets in two different spaces in our garage to maximize our use of the leftovers. One section of corner cabinets from the kitchen got mounted in a corner of the garage, and then on another wall, he mounted the rest of the upper cabinets. Below that, he placed the matching lower cabinets. 

Although in retrospect I suppose we could have had it cut down and reused it, we didn’t save the old granite countertop. Instead, we purchased the cheapest laminate countertop we could find at Home Depot, and cut down to fit the bottom cabinets. 

The cabinets have become invaluable and good-looking storage in our garage. We keep overflow cleaning and kitchen supplies in the corner cabinets, things like extra sponges, dish soap refills, and additional boxes of aluminum foil and plastic wrap. The other set of cabinets holds items we don’t need in the kitchen all the time, but that get used fairly regularly, like extra candles or vases and specialty baking supplies like piping tips and a cake turner. 

Using our old kitchen cabinets as storage in the garage has saved us time and money. We were able to organize items that don’t need a permanent place in our house and we didn’t have to spend time or money planning and purchasing new garage cabinets. Unlike storage bins, the cabinets are super easy to access and are perfect for stashing items we need to grab quickly. Best of all, the whole project has inspired me to look for ways to repurpose even more old items as we continue to make our new home our own.