Alcove project - advice welcome!

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Hi there,

We have a couple of alcoves in our lounge that have been crying out for a fitted storage solution, so I'm finally getting around planning some cupboards and 'floating' shelving.

I've got a good deal on some sheets of birch plywood (18mm) so it's my intention to build most of the cabinets and shelves from this.

The shelf battens will be pine (or whatever I can lay my hands on) with a solid wood piece making up the front, I'll probably tack some 4mm plywood to the upper shelves to hide the battens. Everything will be painted white.

The shelving I'm not too worried about as I've built and fitted a couple of sets of this type before, but this is my first time venturing into cabinet making and I want to run my current plans by some more experienced eyes and see what you think.



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I have a pretty good idea of how I'll fit everything together - I'm planning on using pocket screws for the face frame, so I might make this section out of something other than plywood. I'd also like to make the doors as properly as I can, so again, these will probably be made from Poplar or similar.

The one area I'm lacking in confidence is the base of the cabinet. The plans above are just what I've thrown together but I'm very aware that I will need to adjust the height to level the unit as well as provide more support in the centre. What are people's thoughts on this? I've seen people use kitchen feet to help with the adjustment but others have suggested that building a dedicated plinth, attached to the floor, would be the way to go.

For reference this alcove is 980mm wide.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this!
 
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Ok, I've had a stab at working up another option for the cabinet building a separate plinth. I would level this with some shims and then attach it to the floor and possibly reinforce the corners with some braces/bits of wood I can find.

What do people think about this approach?

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All looks good. Tiny point ... make sure that right frame edge is wide enough to allow the door to open properly when things are plugged into that double socket that's alongside it!
 
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Looks good but I would use 18mm mdf as it leaves clean edges and takes paint well.
 
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Do you need the cabinet? Could you fix doors and a counter top to supports and fix more shelves at whatever height you want? BTW the kick panel/plinth would probably look better if it was a bit back from the front face, like kitchen plinths are.
 
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Thanks for the feedback guys, massively appreciated!

All looks good. Tiny point ... make sure that right frame edge is wide enough to allow the door to open properly when things are plugged into that double socket that's alongside it!
That is a very good point! I will need to check this. Thank you!

Looks good but I would use 18mm mdf as it leaves clean edges and takes paint well.
I've been going round and round on whether or not to use the plywood for this. I definitely want to use it for the shelving in the alcove as it's less likely to sag than MDF for the loads it will be carrying. My main reason for using it for the cabinet is that there will be more than enough material left over once I've cut the shelves from the sheet. Also, it's been about 18 years since I last used MDF on a project and I really struggled with the feel of it (fluffy edges, easily damaged) vs wood. I've been told that MDF products are much better now but I've still got reservations about using it.

Do you need the cabinet? Could you fix doors and a counter top to supports and fix more shelves at whatever height you want? BTW the kick panel/plinth would probably look better if it was a bit back from the front face, like kitchen plinths are.
My first approach to this was exactly that, building some framework into the floor/walls and attaching a top and doors but the more I looked into it the more I read people saying it's more difficult to get a fine finish this way. As for the toekick, I think you're right, it would look better recessed. My original plan was to wrap the skirting around the front to tie it in with the room (a bit like the image below) but I'm starting to second guess this approach now.

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