Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hinged countertop

Ever wish you had more counter space in your kitchen? I do, everyday!  Well, we came up with a way to have additional surface space (just when we want it) with this hinged countertop.

This is such a simple and easy way to add surface space.

If you been reading this little blog of mine, you know we have a cozy little cape. We needed a way to add additional surface space to our kitchen without a major remodel or renovation.

Once we changed a wood railing to a knee wall separating the kitchen from the adjoining family room, it created the perfect opportunity to add a hinged countertop in our kitchen. When open, it can function as a sunken bar top.

And best of all, it was super easy and affordable.

The beauty of this DIY countertop is the hinge, creating the flexibility to "open" and "close" it.
hinged kitchen countertop bar in the closed position

This project requires:
  • a countertop surface (we used a semi-gloss painted piece of wood)
  • a piano hinge (length determined by the countertop)
  • two jointed support arms
  • sturdy attachment points for the two support arms and the piano hinge
  • screws (number dependent on length of countertop)
  • power drill
  1. Gather all your materials.
  2. Cut wood for the counter top to size.
  3. Finish the counter top (sand and paint, for us).
  4. Attach the piano hinge to the counter top.
  5. Attach the other side of the piano hinge to the wall or other attachment point.
  6. Install the support arms.
  7. Enjoy your new additional space.
We added 2 additional pieces to visually make sense of the design. The center two pieces are purely decorative, creating a batten board look on the wall.

Our counter top was made from a 60" piece of 1x12 pine, picked up at the nearest big box hardware store. Since you're building it yourself, yours can be whatever size you want it to be. (Customization, my favorite feature of DIY!)

I'm happy to say, we've have this little swinging bar shelf in place for almost 9 months and it's held up great. I absolutely adore the additional space for everyday function and occasionally entertaining, and the kids love having a little place to perch that peeks into the family room. (And I love that since it sits lower than the top of the half wall. Therefore, any low height clutter is not visible from the family room.

Oh, and this pretty flowers? I cut them my flower garden. They're super fragrant.

How do you accommodate a lack of surface space?

Happy DIYing,


  1. Now, that is totally neat! You are so right about needing extra counter space. I'm looking around in my kitchen now and thinking where could I put one. The family room and kitchen is combined together. If they were not, there would be a nice space right in the middle of that area where they appear to separate. Definitely keeping this in mind.

    Make It Or Fix It Yourself!

  2. What a fabulous project and I love your colors that you chose. It is so great to have it hinged so that you can use it when you want and put it away. Your chair is beautiful too. Thanks so much for coming to visit me!

  3. Stunning project Laura! I have to find more precious collection for a new space. I love how the space done and the wall color is absolutely cool! Thanks for sharing!

    Sebastian Chuter

  4. Can you describe a little more about the support arm? What keeps it from collapsing?

  5. How much weight can it hold?


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