Horizontal Lift door?

busybmeFebruary 1, 2010

I would like to have an appliance garage but don't like tamboor doors. Instead, I would like to have a horizontal door that can be slid back into the cabinet once it is lifted.

This area will house a coffee maker and other countertop clutter. The cabinet is planned to be 36" wide and 18" tall, 12"deep. I can go a touch taller if need be. It will sit under a standard wall cabinet, to give a counter to ceiling look.

Anyone done anything like this? Do you have other ideas for appliance garages?



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At 36" wide, you could also have two doors that open normally (out) and then slide back, similar to what many entertainment armoires do to avoid blocking the view. It's not terribly different from your original idea, just another concept to consider.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:04AM
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Yes. It's called a lift-up pocket door. I have one. Brookhaven/Wood-Mode offers it as an option. Like you, I didn't want a tambour door. I love mine. It's 36" wide IIRC and 18" tall. All my most used appliances live in there, plugged in to a strip of plugmold. That includes my KA mixer which I would never use if I had to store it somewhere. I use it a lot!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:13AM
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lowspark, thank you for the picture!! That is exactly what I was looking for.

Your design is simpler than what I had in mind (except your fancy false fronts, of course). That picture reallylets me see how I could get it done.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:50AM
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That is a nice place for your counter-top appliances.

I have two Wood-Mode cupboards with horizontal lifts that are terrible. They do not tuck back into the cabinet but instead lift up and require one hand to keep them open. When you release the door, it snaps back fast. This is particularly awkward as the cabinets are located up high.

This is a design issue.

Something to be sure to ask about if placing a Brookhaven or Wood-Mode order. Be sure you are getting the doors that tuck inside if possible.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 2:49PM
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plumeriavine you probably could buy replacement blum hinges that staid open, like they have on the Ikea cabinets. It wouldn't hide your doors, but at least you wouldn't have to hold them, and they have the soft close option. Depending on what size the cabinet is you may be able to even buy the hings directly from Ikea (and they have really good prices compared to other blum retailers).

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 3:03PM
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I have almost the same sort of opening that I am trying to solve with doors too. I am getting custom cabinets and these doors have really puzzled the guys doing the cabinets.

Here's the issue. With the lift up door, you wind up with a lot of the door sticking out beyond the cabinet. With only 12" deep cabinet but 18" tall, you automatically have 6" sticking out because the door height is greater than the cabinet depth. But then you need to add room for the hardware. I have 16" deep cabinet with 18" tall door. The lift up option still makes the door stick out 6 1/2" with the lift up hardware.

The other option, doors that slide back in like the TV armoires also have the same depth vs door issue. My opening is 38" like yours. If I have 2 doors that open up and slide back in, there is still a lot of door sticking out...again...math...if you split the 38" in half you get 2 doors of 19" each. You only have 12" of cabinet depth so the doors will stick out 7" plus a few inches for the hardware.

The best option my cabinet guys have been able to find is to do the doors that open and slide back in, but instead of only have 2 doors, they would have 4 doors..2 on each side. Basically, I would have to fold open the doors then slide back in. This model leaves only 3/4" of door sticking out (but remember my cabinet is 16" deep compared to your 12"). But doing it this way, reduce the inside usable space by 5" so I will only have 33" inside the cabinet.

The cabinet guys I'm using have had 2 different hardware reps come out and try to solve how to do this. The bifold slide-back door option is for the far the best solution, but it's not perfect.

If anyone else has a solution, I'd definitely like to hear it.

Meanwhile, ask hard questions about how much the doors will stick out before you order. You want to make sure that doors sticking out several inches will work for your space. They don't work for mine because it's in a high traffic location.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 4:17PM
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That's why the cabinet that brookhaven makes is actually 18" deep. It comes standard, Lift up pocket door on appliance garage = 18" deep cabinet. My door sticks out maybe 4" when opened. But that's fine, it stops just about where it needs to since the knobs won't tuck in, and I don't want them hitting the upper cabinet when I open them.

The lift up pocket door was a major requirement for me in my remodel. I insist upon having my most used appliances on the counter but at the same time I hate the cluttered look. And I didn't want a tambour door for a couple of different reasons. I absolutely love this garage, it's easily among my top five favorite things in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 4:29PM
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Brickton - My hinges do say Blum on them, but they do not have the gray plastic piece on them. Does the gray plastic piece make it a soft-close? Can you tell from these pictures?

To recap, these are my snappy doors, they require one hand to hold them up and the other hand can be free. When the support hand lets go, the doors snap shut hard and fast.

What type of hinge would help them stay open by themselves?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 5:41PM
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I'm becoming an appliance garage convert! I never thought I would want one but I now see the value and will probably plan one as well. I wonder if anyone has done an IKEA mod that looks like Lowspark's? :-)

Lowsparks - I can't see any hardware - how does that work?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 7:54PM
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IKEA doesn't have a lift up and recess into the cabinet option, and I've never seen anyone hack one in, but I don't think you'd have to, unless your heart's really set on it-- IKEA has a couple of options that would work great for an appliance garage.

The first is the one I have-- just plain old 15" or 18" cabinets, set directly on the counter, with doors that open the usual way: From 2010-0204

I use the bottom row of cabinets as a 6 foot long appliance garage (we planned for two outlets in each cabinet), and the run easily holds my most used appliances: coffee maker with supplies, toaster oven, rice cooker, and blender with accessories.

IKEA's second option would be their horizontal cabinets-- you could easily set them on the counter, appliance garage-style. The hinge would only go up and out (not recess the door back into the cabinet), but it would certainly work, as well.

If you really want the up and recess back action, it shouldn't be difficult to install in an IKEA cabinet-- all you'd have to do is buy the specialty hinges (Rockler must have them) and screw them into the IKEA cabinet.

Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:33PM
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it's not exactly clear from your pictures but I'm guessing that the hinges you have are just normal cabinet hinges which would explain why they won't stay up. I think you can replace them with some kind of hinge that would keep the door open. Something like this maybe?

I don't have a picture showing the hardware but it looks something like this, except it's installed at the top of the cab not on the sides.

Here is a link that might be useful: flipper door hardware

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 4:19PM
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What's your opinion of the interior space of the appliance garage with a lift up door vs. a tamboor door? I have on rectangular garage which is recessed from the counter so overhanging doors are not an issue. I'm also installing a corner garage and am concerned about maximizing the interior space. The carpenter comes in a few days so I need to make a door decision.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 11:55AM
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plumeria, as lowspark said, you have normal horizontal cabinet hinges mounted sideways. What you need is a hinge like in their link. But to answer your other question, yes the 'gray thing' is the soft close option, which would at least be an improvement to snapping shut. However the other hinges mount to the side of the cabinet, reducing your horizontal clearance and you would not be able to re-use the hinge recesses that are currently on your door and top of the inside of the cabinet.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 12:15PM
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I'm not sure there is a big difference in interior space. They are both doors that are going to take a certain amount of space. I have my KA mixer inside my garage and that's the tallest thing I own. It fits fine, door open or closed.

But I don't think you can put a pocket door in a corner garage because you need the sides to be straight since that is where the hardware goes.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 3:05PM
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the pneumatic lifts do look like the right kind of hinge for this cabinet. I am not sure I understand, brickton, do you endorse the choice of pneumatic lifts or are you saying they won't work because of the way they mount?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 7:26PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject, everyone. There are some logistical things that I need to figure out and I can see why others have struggled with this same issue.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Plumeriavine, the pneumatic lifts are the only hinge that will work, but I don't think they will retrofit seamlessly with what you have. It depends on how far in from the edges your current hinges are recessed into your doors. You might be able to pop out your current hinges, ignore the current recesses and then mount the new hinges, but I'm not 100% certain those recesses wouldn't interfere with where the new hinges would want to go.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:38PM
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