Published on May 13th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


My hidden spice rack hack/kitchen fan

Materials: RATIONELL 60cm kitchen drawer + VINDRUM kitchen fan.

Description: When I were about to put up my kitchen fan in the corner of the kitchen, I soon discovered I needed a corner cabinet to mount it on, I began to build a custom made cabinet, just to hang the kitchen fan on. But I realized there were lots of space going to waste inside this “come to be, empty cabinet” And as it would be hanging a kitchen fan on the front of the cabinet, no door could be fitted to get access to it’s inside. I didn’t want one of those pull-out-under-the-cabinet-kitchen-fans as I wanted a retro feeling to the kitchen.

I then came up with my idea of hiding a spice rack inside the cabinet, a pull down spice rack to be precise. I rushed away to IKEA and got myself a standard kitchen drawer of 60cm width. Then my scheme of how to mount this began, I began drawing mechanisms of how it could be stowed away and still hold up a load of spice cans and bottles. I turned my head inside out and back again for about a week, then I finally got it!

Like an Eureka moment!

I got this old non working Honda civic hatchback in my yard, I ran out to it and dismounted the gas springs that held the rear window open to get access to the trunk, then I mounted the spring ends on the backside of the drawer in an A-shape and mounted the spring heads in the cabinet, in that way when pulling down the drawer the springs get compressed and line up horizontal behind the drawer.

This makes the drawer stay down and makes the springs push up once you push the drawer upwards and hold it up once fully closed, if the springs have the right pressure that is, mine needed 11kg of thrust to push them in individually. So theoretically it could hold up 22kg.

I’ve been using my hidden spice rack for about five years with not a single malfunction. It’s a reliable construction.

Unfortunately I can’t show the backside of the drawer and its construction, as it involves a major disassembly which I’m not willing to do. The ropes I added for looks, I’ve always loved mechanical things.
So it’s optional if you want them or not.

~ Robin Dahl, Sweden

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

27 Responses to My hidden spice rack hack/kitchen fan

  1. djw says:

    Just a note for those who don’t realize, heat is the enemy to the spice rack (as are moisture and light). Over the stove is not the ideal place but if you replenish them more frequently than the recommended 6-month interval, maybe it’s okay? Great build though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice work. The rationell drawers are grey. Did you lacquer it black?
    If someone wants to copy, you have to consider that there are different types of Rationell drawers in different countries. Some wouldn’t stay put on the rail.

    • Robin Dahl says:

      I used the drawers that don’t stay put on the rails. The gas springs keeps it in place together with the rubber band pulling it back towards the inner corner of the construction. I used black chalkboard colour.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is amazing!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is very good, congrats!

    BTW have you noticed the cool optical illusion? In the pics, the cabinet and the fan form an illusion of a corridor leading through the wall into bright white emptiness.


  5. Anonymous says:

    This is cool looking and a great design. However, I’ve heard its not a good idea to store spices near the stove because the heat and moisture will cause them to degrade much faster. I hope this doesn’t cause any issues for you.

    • Robin Dahl says:

      I had that in mind and took it in consideration, as it’s behind the stove and stored up above inside a drawer, it doesn’t get that humid and hot, the kitchen fan takes care of most of the heat and moisture thankfully, and it’s a fast and easy access to slide it down and grab what you want, likewise it’s easy and fast to pull it away. Thank you all for the positive response =)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this is a great idea! It even sounds cool when you move it!

  7. Don Krypton says:

    Hi Robin!

    Great idea and fine craftsmanship – my respect! But how about a little drop of oil from time to time…:-)…?

    Greetings from Hannover, Germany!

    • Robin Dahl says:

      it’s the brass wheel blocks which the ropes run through, I wanted it that way, adds to the authenticness of a mechanical feel ;) I like how it feels old and everlasting.

  8. Robin Dahl says:

    Forgot to mention, I also used the spice jars called DROPPAR from ikea, and the same picture ledge as ikeas ones called RIBBA, but I wanted them in oak, so I got them elsewhere, but the ikea ones works as well =)

  9. Anonymous says:

    You’re a genius ! Love it !

  10. Robin Dahl says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is in front. The stove? The kitchensink?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Robin, man tro du är Pettson själv! Vilken uppfinnare, fantastiskt!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very cool hack! And thanks for sharing your solution to the public.

    • Robin Dahl says:

      Thank you, I’ve been looking for the right place to share this, and I finally stumbled upon this site, and thought to myself, this is the perfect place! =)

  14. Donna says:

    Wow! You are sure clever & think outside the box. I like what you came up with.

    • Robin Dahl says:

      Thank you, I felt like I had to share this cause this site has made it possible for all of us to do so, and what an inspiration this site is, all of you contributing are such inspirators! =)

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