A Pinterest-Inspired Alternative to a Dated Trash Compactor


After removing a {hideous} non-working, dated trash compactor from a house-flip, I turned that eye-sore into functional, creative storage in a kitchen.
**I buy old, ugly houses and flip them all by myself! It's a crazy house-flipping life, but come follow along at my blog, The Bachelorette Pad Flip.
Hello, 1974
Hello, 1974
Flip #2 was cursed with harvest gold appliances. I love a good retro vibe, but these hideous, non-working appliances were certainly not adding any value to the property.
Looking a little less like the disco era!
Looking a little less like the disco era!
I immediately removed them. Replacing the dishwasher was a breeze. That trash compactor, on the other hand, was a bit trickier. As a REALTOR, I know that trash compactors have become dated in design, so I wanted to put something totally different in that space. While some people do use trash compactors (but definitely not in my region), BUDGET dictates every choice I make in a flip.
a pinterest inspired alternative to a dated trash compactor, diy, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
I opted to create a built-in that looks original to the space. By adding adjustable wood shelves, the space is actually functional. Adjusting the shelves is easier with small pegs that easily move to the different holes. This custom built piece is unique and adds character to an awkward space. This project could be created anywhere- regardless if a trash compactor was there or not. Once could even do this project with a normal cabinet and remove the door.
a pinterest inspired alternative to a dated trash compactor, diy, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, repurposing upcycling
After the wood was installed, I stained it to match the original cabinets. I tested different stains to find just the right match. After a few coats and a coat of Poly, I had unique shelves that look original to the space!
Is that even the same space?!
Is that even the same space?!
I added some vintage locker baskets and cookbooks in to that space. It's eye catching and functional- an asset in a house flip!
To see a complete post about this project, please check out my blog!

Suggested materials:

  • Wood  (Lowe's)
The Bachelorette Pad Flip

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Dee
    on Apr 4, 2016

    Hi: Since you're a flipper I have a question. We've bought a fixer upper in need of everything. Walls are some type of cardboard-ish board. We've covered over them with plywood beadboard in some areas but are looking for ideas on how to cover over with 4x8 sheets of something other than beadboard. Paneling is a bit too flimsy as the walls are always even in places or flat. Any thoughts? Thanks

    • Dee
      on Apr 4, 2016

      Thanks to everyone! Some great advice & ideas.

  • Lesley Brisco
    on Apr 4, 2016

    Coming from South Africa, I have never heard of a Trash compactor! what are they & how do they work? Do they mechanically compact the trash?

    • Nancy
      on May 19, 2016

      I wouldn't be without mine! My son and daughter-in-law get after me to recycle but I live in a small home and I don't like trash cans hanging around nor do I want to take the time to sort stuff.

  • Carol
    on Oct 4, 2016

    How do you get these ugly compactors out? Ours is very tight in the space. Surely you don't have to remove counter top. Thanks

    • Hi Carol! Mine easily slid out. You might check if it's screwed to the underside of the counter like a dishwasher.

Join the conversation

2 of 65 comments
  • Skyval
    on Apr 5, 2016

    Libby , I also flip ugly houses by myself but I don't have a clue how to do a blog ! I think you're pretty cool for doing one , happy flipping , yay !

  • Shirley
    on Jul 4, 2016

    We made my cubby into a divided cookie sheet/chop board area.

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