Side Hutches for the Cabin Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 01/31/2011 - 22:10
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Large cubbie hutches, that work with the Cabin Collection. Perfect for storing everything from extra blankets to display objects to books and entertainment essentials. Shelves can be made adjustable.


A few weeks back, I made a commitment to focus on the projects that I need done around my personal home.  And I want to thank all of you for understanding and supporting me, for being patient with your own requests as I try to fill them in between making my personal home better.

With the help of the Real Alaska Man, over the last week or so, we've been devoting much time to a new entertainment center.  And yesterday, I couldn't help myself.  I just had to share a quick photo with my friends on Facebook.  So many of you have already seen this . . .

When I first started building furniture, saving money was the main motivation.  And money still is a huge factor.  But as I'm sure you know all to well, when you finish a project, and it is painted to match an impossible slate fireplace, a dark shade of gray that only comes from a can, you become overwhelmed with a feeling of wow, I (in this case, we) actually built this. And you wake up in the morning and think, wow, did we really build that? (as opposed to ugh, how much did we spend and when is the credit card bill due?)

There are so many reasons why DIY rocks.  It's healthy.  It can save you money.  You can get what you want.  You can customize projects.  But my most favorite part of DIY is when you move a piece of furniture into your home and sit back and smile, and think, it's not perfect, but we built it with our own hands.  What I like to call the DIY High.

You could probably say that I am a tad addicted to the DIY High.  I had big intentions of posting the plans for the entire rest of this collection tonight, but we are already dove into our next DIY project and couldn't quit until we ran out of materials at 10PM!  So today we'll look at the plans for the side hutches, and I'll get to the center hutch in the next day or so.

And for those of you asking, here's a quick breakdown of the project.

  • Estimated cost: $250
  • Paint: 2 Cans of Flat Enamel by Valspar in Mark Twain Gray Brick (Get a free Valspar sample here)
  • Time: Here and there over a week, approximately 20 hours
  • Composition: 100% pine boards, 2x2s are furring strips, box is made of 1x12s, with 1/4" plywood on the back
  • Plan Collection: Cabin Collection

I am very happy with the gray, it's a softer more muted version of black.  For this project, we pulled the sprayer out (a first for me on furniture projects) and I found the sprayer gives a more even finish, but does not necessarily cover imperfections in the wood as a brush might.  Our sprayer was purchased to paint the exterior of our home, but it worked great for this application as well.  We also sprayed a top coat on to give the piece a dust-able finish.  I lightly sanded by hand exposed edges (just giving Grace a head start if you know what I'm talking about) to distress prior to the clear coat.  I'll post more pictures of the finish with the center hutch plan post.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 4 feet long
3 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1/4″ plywood, 48″ x 18 1/2″ (optional back)
1 1/4″ screws and 2 1/2″ screws
wood glue
finishing supplies

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 1/2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Width of 1×12 – Side Trim)
4 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Legs)
3 – 1×12 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelves)
5 – 2×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 18 1/2″

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Power Sander


Step 1


Start by attaching the trim to the sides. I used screws from the insides, but for those of you with a finish nailer, have at it. Just make sure your screws or nails are less than 1 1/4″ long.

Step 2


These aren’t really legs, but if we were making a bookshelf, these would be the legs, so we’ll refer to them as legs. Attach. I used pocket holes from the insides, but you could also use 2 1/2″ fasteners – just predrill holes carefully and use glue.

Step 3


Attach the shelves to the sides as shown above. I used pocket holes, but again, you can also use countersunk screws and glue. You can also adjust the shelf height as desired but I found these heights perfect to fit large milk crates for storage.

Step 4

Back Shelf Trim

Trim out the back shelves as shown above. The bottom 2×2 will give you something to screw the plywood to.

Step 5

Step 6


The back is really optional because of the trim on the back, but if you choose to add a back, glue and screw or nail to all of the shelves too.

Step 7

Finish as you finished the base. You should also anchor the hutch to a stud in the wall behind the hutch and attach to the base with screws for safety.


wendy (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 03:20

I have been hoping for an entertainment center like this for a LONG time. The only thing I might like to add are some doors to cover up the TV when it's not in use. I'd like them to slide back into the entertainment center (as opposed to hanging out in the open for everyone to run in to!). I'm a novice builder, though. How hard would this be and should I even attempt to tackle this anytime soon?
LOVE your site, btw! And another, btw, my dad was military and we spent a couple of years in AK. Can't say I'd want to be there right now, but maybe in a few months when it's summer! :)

Bethany (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 04:40

Hey! I was thinking about building the Pottery Barn Rhys media center, and this is pretty much it! This is sooooo so so so so amazing Ana! Thank you so much for sharing these plans.

Jenny (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 12:48

I love it! We need some built-ins on both sides of our fireplace and I so wish I knew how to make some. I want to, but don't know where to start. I wouldn't even know what to buy?!

Grace is adorable!

Grace (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 15:57

Love this! Thanks give giving Grace a head start on the finish ....Hey we Graces
stick together!

PS Link for free Valspar sample doesn't's a pic of Grace

Lisa (not verified)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:38

She's a beautiful baby! They are so darned cute at that age. How come you only have one??? (Sorry, I lurk and I have a 4 nieces)

For some depth in your piece, try a little rubbed wax. It should make it shine a bit, and not collect a lot of dust since it's vertical. Try the effect on the side or back of a drawer before you commit.

Kate (not verified)

Mon, 09/05/2011 - 11:01

Hi Ana - I may just be missing a step but my husband and I are interested in starting this project except that we cannot seem to find the steps that cover instructions for the base of the side shelves. I looked through the three separate posts and I see the shelves, the media hutch and the media console. Could you direct is to the steps for the cupboards below the side shelves? Thanks!


Thu, 03/22/2012 - 13:06

Hi Ana,

My husband and I are getting ready to tackle this entire project. We currently have a deep sage color sofa and eventually would like to upgrade to a chocolate leather sofa. Can you offer a paint suggestion for us to paint the Entertainment Center once we're done building it?


Shanwarn (not verified)

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 07:11

Hi Ana, this is beautiful!!! My husband and I found a media center similar to this one that we love, but it'll cost us $1800 to buy...uh, no thank you!!!! I'm hoping to ge my husband on board with this project:) it must fit a 60 inch tv, though. I couldn't find anywhere that said what size tv this fits. Could you let me know please??!! Thank you!

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