Looking for ideas on space usage in an existing cupboard

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Forum topic by DrPuk2U posted 06-20-2016 06:03 PM 595 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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59 posts in 2439 days

06-20-2016 06:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cupboard closet design ideas

My wife owns a horse, which she keeps at a barn/stable near us. As part of her fees, she gets a small cupboard/closet, which consists of a space about 6 feet high, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. It has two shelves, one about a foot off the bottom and one about a foot down from the top. There is a saddle rack (like the blue one here in the middle facing outwards) The cupboard has a plywood door. (I’ll get more accurate measurements shortly, but those are the rough estimates).

I can’t destroy the carcase of the closet or do anything too radical, but my wife has asked me to help her organize the interior. Currently it’s a messy jumble, with stuff shoved to the back (since it’s fairly deep) which means one often has to take all sorts of stuff out (you wouldn’t believe how much stuff you need to care for a horse :-) in order to get something at the back.

So I’m looking for ideas on how to best use the space. My nascent thinking is that I should try to leverage the depth available by making some form of hinged shelves that swing out.

I should mention the other constraint is that this IS a stable – I can’t go in there with a workbench and a saw and start making a huge racket. I’d be hung from the rafters. So I need to build something in my shop that I just “install” (as quietly as possible).

If anyone has ideas, experience or pointers to where I might find some ideas, I’d be very appreciative. TIA

-- Ric, Northern Illinois, "Design thrice, measure twice, cut once... slap forehead, start over"

2 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2765 posts in 3679 days

#1 posted 06-21-2016 12:35 PM

Maybe this will help.

My description in the project could be better. Cut boards to fit up against the sides of the box interior. Attach cleats to the boards. Lay shelves on the cleats. The boards support the cleats, the cleats support the shelves, and the shelves keep the boards in place.

I have used this method to put shelves in a locker at work, where I couldn’t drill to install cleats. We have an antique knock down wardrobe in our kitchen that we use as a pantry, the shelves use this same method.

This assembly is not permanently attached, no tools required to install or remove.

-- My reality check bounced...

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1066 days

#2 posted 06-22-2016 02:30 AM


I am not an equestitarian, so I hope my ideas do not sound lame.

One option to make the shelves more accessible is to use drawer glides and slide out shelves. Assuming the upper and lower shelves are fixed, a new removable shelf with the bottom made from ½” thick plywood with a front, back and sides 1” -2” or so high and sized to accommodate whatever glides, shop made wooden or ball bearing glides, could be mounted just above the two existing fixed shelves. The slide out shelves would allow easy access to items in the back.

I would think that putting a saddle on the rack is awkward, since the heavy saddle must be woman-handled into place. Perhaps a slide out saddle rack could be installed. The slide out saddle rack would consist of a three sided sturdy frame onto which the saddle rack is mounted. The upper corner could be reinforced with heavy duty shelf brackets and the lower frame corner reinforce with a diagonal brace. (There may be better frame designs.) The frame could be installed in the cabinet using pantry slides. The frame would slide in and out to make the saddle more accessible. It may also allow make room for an additional above the saddle shelf, since the saddle rack slides in and out for setting the saddle in place and thus the amount of clearance otherwise required to set the saddle on a recessed rack may be reduced.

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